Figuring out your pace on an indoor track

GPS watches are used by many runners to track running pace. When running indoors, such as on a track or treadmill, GPS does not work properly due to signal limitations. Most watches have indoor running settings, such as selecting “treadmill run” or “indoor track run”. Older watches may have the option to temporarily turn GPS off. Watches with indoor running options generally have an accelerometer, and use factors such as arm swing and stride length to estimate speed and distance. This method gives good estimates, but is not always precise. 

So, how can you precisely measure your pace indoors? The answer is mathematics. Running pace is simply the result of dividing time by distance.

If you have a goal pace for intervals on an indoor track, the best approach is to figure out how much time it would take for you to run one lap at that pace. A simple example: if your goal pace is 5:00/km, this would equal a 1:00 lap on the inside lane (1) of a 200m track.

Note: the inside lane of the Canada Games Centre track is 200m. But not all lanes are the same distance. As you go further out from the inside lane, each lane is slightly longer. Lane 2 is 207.66m for example.

For your convenience, we have created a pace chart that does all the math for you.

If you know your lap time and lane, this chart will give your running pace.

If you know your desired pace, this chart will tell you how fast your lap needs to be depending on the lane you are running in.

You can access the chart using the link below for the 200m Track at the Canada Games Centre (note, there are tabs for lanes 1-2-3, and 4-5-6):