Calculators > ROAD COURSE
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This calculator is designed to help you plan and evaluate your training sessions or races on a road course (or on a path, around the block, at a mall, or wherever). The course can be a loop, out-and-back, or point-to-point. The calculator considers each completion of the road course as one "loop" (even if it is a point-to-point course), and can easily perform the following functions:
- example question that can be answered by the function
convert distance to laps
- How may loops must I complete to cover 5 miles?
convert laps to distance
- How many miles did I go if I just completed 7 loops?
convert pace to lap time
- What loop time equates to a 6-minute-per-kilometer pace?
convert lap time to pace
- What was my mile/kilometer pace if my loop time was 7:35?
convert pace to race time
- Click here to forecast your race times at ALL distances!
convert race time to pace
- What was my mile pace if I completed a marathon in 4:17:23?
If you have questions about the calculator and its calculations, please see See NOTE 1
and the other notes for answers. Now, let's get right to the Calculator
NOTE 1 - GENERAL: All conversions to and from the metric system are based on 1 foot equaling .3048 meters. For lap and pace time entries, a missing entry in the hours, minutes or seconds box is considered to be a zero. All pace times are shown in whole seconds where .5 seconds or higher is rounded up to the next higher second.
NOTE 2 - DETERMINING LOOP SIZE:
RACE COURSES: For single-loop, out-and-back, or point-to-point races, the loop size is the race distance. For multiple-loop races, the loop size should be printed on the race flyer -- or able to be calculated from the information given (e.g., a 10K race with two loops of the course indicates a 5K loop).
PRACTICE LOOPS: For courses used as part of training, one way to determine the loop size is to measure the loop in a car or on a bicycle with an odometer. For greater accuracy (especially using an odometer that only measures in 10ths of a mile or 10ths of a kilometer), complete the loop several times and divide the total mileage by the number of laps made.
PRECISE MEASUREMENTS: If you desire a more precise course measurement, or if you are trying to set up a race course, you should obtain a booklet entitled "Course Measurement Procedures" from USA Track and Field, or a manual entitled "Course Measurement and Certification Procedures" from the Run Canada Committee, a part of Athletics Canada. It should be noted that, if race times are to be submitted for official records, the course must be measured by a person certified by the organization that keeps the records.
Most road courses are certified using a Jones Counter, a device that attaches to the front wheel of a bicycle and counts the number of revolutions the wheel makes. The counter makes 20 counts per revolution of the wheel, thereby accounting for partial revolutions. (A newer version of the counter, the Jones-Oerth Counter is also now available and makes about 23 counts per revolution.)
The measurement of a road course using the Counter begins and ends with the measurement of an accurately measured calibration course (a straight and level distance of at least 300 meters). This establishs the distance traveled during one revolution of the wheel. The measurer then rides the road course several times to obtain the actual measurement. Measuring the calibration course both before and after the road course measurement is designed to compensate for errors due to changes in tire pressure from thermal expansion and slow leakage. Finally, a value equal to one tenth of one percent ( .1%) of the road course measurement is added on to insure against having a short course.
The official requirements for race course measurement are much more complicated than outlined above. Anyone wishing to make an accurate measurement is strongly encouraged to obtain the official U.S. or Canadian instructions. Further information about course measurement can also be obtained from an Internet search engine by entering "jones counter" or "jones oerth counter" -- or by accessing the USATF and Athletics Canada Web sites.
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