Knowing and training at your goal race pace wil help you get the feel for the effort you'll need to meet your goal. Training at (or faster than) 'race pace' should be limited to 1-2 sessions per week and should be only a fraction of the actual race distance. For example, 440 yards is an appropriate interval for the 5k race, while 1-mile intervals are more appropriate for the marathon.
Once you establish your Goal time , you can now start planning and training for the actual pace. In longer races, like the marathon, runners will wear wrist bands listing the goal mile splits for each mile.
It’s helpful knowing what your goal pace is and structuring your training plan around that time. For example, if you’d like to run a sub-4 marathon, that’s just over a 9-minute-per-mile pace. Therefore, you’re mile intervals should be 30-60 seconds faster.
You can use this tool to calculate your time, pace, or distance by plugging the other two (2) numbers into the empty fields and hitting the calculate button.
Recommendation: If you’re just starting out, measure the time it takes you to run a lap around the track at your jogging pace (440 yards or 400 meters). After a few iterations of this, take the average and put this into the calculator, check the 400m button and calculate your mile pace. This is a handy starting point for measuring future workout and setting race pace goals.
Note: For our metric friends out there, check the kilometer button(s) to get an accurate time per kilometer pace. Best of luck. Seems like a simple calculation, but knowing your goal pace can really set your training plan off on the right foot !