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Magic Mile Calculator

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Magic Mile pace calculator: What is the Magic Mile?How to use the Magic Mile calculatorHow to calculate the Magic Mile pacesFAQs

Whether you're a newbie, a casual runner, or a seasoned marathon runner, the Magic Mile calculator is the right tool for you. This calculator is based on formulas established by Jeff Galloway — a former top-level marathon runner and ultra-popular coach in the US. He has developed a performance prediction method based on the time needed to run 1 mile for the following distances: 5K, 10K, 10 miles, half-marathon, and marathon.

In this article, we will answer the following questions:

  • What is the Magic Mile;
  • How to calculate the Magic Mile paces; and
  • How to use the Magic Mile pace calculator.

Read on to discover the magic behind this calculator!

Magic Mile pace calculator: What is the Magic Mile?

The Magic Mile is a test that predicts your running time over a distance and the pace associated with it. You can use the Magic Mile to find out two pieces of information:

  • The time you can expect to achieve over a distance ranging from 5K to a marathon; and
  • The pace to adopt as your target speed for this time.

The Magic Mile requires very little equipment. The aim of the test is to run 1 mile as quickly and consistently as possible. All you need is a stopwatch and a 400-meter track. As we know, a mile is 1609 m, so you'll need to run around 4 laps of the track. If you don't have access to a running track, find a spot where you can run for 1 mile on a steady, level surface.

Here are the steps:

  1. Warm up by running 1 mile at around 60-65% of your VO2 max or 65-70% of your HRmax.

  2. Follow with 5 to 8 accelerations of 50 to 80 meters, and walk the same distance between each acceleration to recover.

  3. You're now ready for the Magic Mile! Time yourself by running the 1‑mile distance as steadily as possible.

  4. Stop your stopwatch and note your finishing time. This will be used to calculate your Magic Mile running time.

  5. Walk for about 5 minutes to recover from the test.

  6. Finish off with a gentle run of at least 1.5 miles to cool off.

💡 Jeff Galloway has observed that effective training leads to between 3% and 5% progress in six months.

How to use the Magic Mile calculator

In the text below, you'll learn how to use our Magic Mile calculator. Let's take a concrete example.

Mike felt it was finally time to take up running. He decided to participate in the Pflugerville 10-km race to challenge himself. He followed the steps in the above section to determine his Magic Mile time: 7 min and 23 sec per mile. Then, Mike inputs his data into the calculator:

  1. He enters his Magic Mile time7:23.

  2. He selects the distance he plans to run: 10 kilometers.

  3. Tadaa! Our Magic Mile calculator automatically displays the following information:

    • His ideal running pace for 10K: 8:29 min/mile.

    • The time it will take him to complete the 10-km distance: 52 min and 46 sec.

    • His overall speed: 7.1 mph.

  4. You can change the units for pace, time, and speed by simply clicking on the units in the appropriate field.

To sum up, based on his Magic Mile time and the distance he wishes to cover, the Magic Mile pace calculator indicates that to complete the run and maintain an appropriate pace, Mike needs to run each mile in about 8 minutes and 29 seconds. That means he'll finish his 10K in about 52 minutes and 46 seconds at a speed of 7.1 mph.

Mike is now all set to ditch the stage lights, lace up his sneakers, and bring his Magic Mike moves to the 10K race!

How to calculate the Magic Mile paces

The formulas behind the Magic Mile pace calculator are, in fact, neither magic nor rocket science. The only thing you need is your Magic Mile time. Once you have determined your time, simply refer to the following formulas to predict your pace per mile for the following distances:

5K = Magic Mile time + 33 sec/mile

10K = Magic Mile time × 1.15

10-mile = Magic Mile time × 1.175

half-marathon = Magic Mile time × 1.2

marathon = Magic Mile time × 1.3

Remember that your Magic Mile time is the time it took you to run 1 mile. Therefore, the 10K, 10-mile, half-marathon, and marathon formulas above work if you express your time in units of time/mile. For the 5K formula, you should input your Magic Mile time in seconds per mile. To calculate your 5K pace by hand, don't forget then to convert the time for 1 mile into seconds. If you don't want to do the math, enter your Magic Mile time in minutes and seconds into our calculator and let it do its magic.

To make things clearer, let's look at an example. Suppose your Magic Mile time was 6 min and 10 sec. That means it took you 6 minutes and 10 seconds to run 1 mile. Here are the step-by-step detailed calculations for the 5K pace.

  1. First, convert your time into seconds:

    6 min × 60 + 10 sec = 370 sec

    It took you 370 seconds to run 1 mile.

  2. Then, input the time in seconds into the Magic Mile formula:

    370 sec/mile + 33 sec/mile = 403 sec/mile

  3. To convert your time in minutes into minutes and seconds

    • Divide the previous result by 60:

      403 sec/mile /60 = 6.717 min/mile

    • Multiply the decimal part by 60:

      0.717 min/mile × 60 = 43.02 sec/mile

  4. That's it! Your 5K predicted pace is 6:43 min/mile (or 6 min/mile and 43 sec/mile).

By plugging your Magic Mile time into the other formulas, you get that:

  • Your 10K predicted pace is 7:05 min/mile;
  • Your 10-mile predicted pace is 7:15 min/mile;
  • Your half-marathon predicted pace is 7:24 min/mile; and
  • Your marathon predicted pace is 8:01 min/mile.

If you'd like to learn more about the different running paces, check out our marathon pace and half-marathon pace calculators.


How do I calculate my Magic Mile pace?

To calculate your Magic Mile pace, you need to:

  1. First, warm up!

  2. Then, time how long it takes you to run 1 mile as quickly and steadily as possible. This is your Magic Mile time.

  3. Input your time into these formulas to calculate your predicted paces for different distances:

    • 5K = your time + 33 sec/mile

    • 10K = your time × 1.15

    • 10-mile = your time × 1.175

    • half-marathon = your time × 1.2

    • marathon = your time × 1.3

  4. And that's it!

How do I calculate my ideal 10K running pace?

To calculate your ideal 10K running pace, use the Magic Mile test:

  1. Time yourself for 1 mile. Run as fast and as steady as you can. This is your Magic Mile time.

  2. Input your time in the following formula. Let's say your Magic Mile time was 5 minutes:

    10K pace = 5 min/mile × 1.15 = 5.75 min/mile

  3. To convert your time in minutes into minutes and seconds, multiply the decimal part by 60:

    0.75 min/mile × 60 = 45 sec/mile

  4. Your 10K predicted pace is 5 minutes and 45 seconds per mile.

What is my ideal marathon running pace?

6 min and 26 sec per mile, assuming your Magic Mile time was 4 min and 57 sec per mile (or 297 sec/mile). To calculate your ideal marathon running pace:

  1. Use the following formula:

    marathon pace = 297 sec/mile × 1.3 = 386.1 sec/mile

  2. To have your time in minutes and seconds:

    • Divide the previous result by 60:

      386.1 sec/mile / 60 = 6.435 min/mile

    • Multiply the decimal part by 60:

      0.435 min/mile × 60 = 26.1 sec/mile

  3. That's it! Your ideal marathon pace is 6 minutes and 26 seconds per mile.

What other factors can affect my pace apart from my Magic Mile time?

Here are some factors that influence your pace apart from your Magic Mile running time:

  • Weather conditions;
  • The steepness of the course;
  • Your general physical condition and training experience;
  • Your running form and efficiency; and
  • Your diet and hydration on the day of the race.
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