Converting Miles to Kilometers or 400 meters

The quickest way to convert Miles to Kilometers when driving a car is:

1 mile = 1.609 kilometer
1 kilometer = 0.621 miles

So when Americans come to Canada and see a “100 kph” posted speed limit, that’s really 62 miles per hour!

For a track or road running athlete, you know a 10km event is 6.21 miles, or 25 laps around the track!

How about 400m to 800m to Mile conversion times?

You can also use the old “4 second rule per lap” but some people (like me) argue it’s really 5 seconds. Basically it is adding 4 (or 5) seconds for every lap increase you run. For example:

  • 60 seconds for the 400
  • 64 seconds per lap for the 800 (i.e. 2:08 for 800m)
  • 68 seconds per lap for the 1600 (i.e. 4:32 for the “Mile”)

Let’s take Canada’s Gary Reed for example. His PB for a 400m is 46.72 from 2003. His PB for 800m is 1:43.93 from that magic Rieti meet in Italy 2006. Take his 400m time, add 5 seconds and multiply by 2 laps and you get 1:43.44.

According to my formula, Gary can still shave 0.5 seconds off his 800m PB!

To convert a Mile time (i.e. 1609m) to a 1500m, the difference is the pace for 109 meters. There is really no set formula because the pace is so varied.

More on Track Conversions

In the past article on speed for distance runners, I wrote about some other well known track conversions. It comes down to how fast you run your 100 meter time.

Here are some famous Track and Field theoretical conversions:

Do you prefer to calculate it the other way around? Okay, do a One Mile time trial, then use these conversions:

  • 5Km = (Mile time + 33 sec) x 3.1 miles
  • 10Km = (Mile time x 1.15 ) x 6.21 miles
  • Half Marathon = (Mile time x 1.2 ) x 13.1 miles
  • Marathon = (Mile time x 1.3 ) x 26.2 miles

How do these conversions add up to you?

Jimson Lee

Jimson Lee

Coach & Founder at
I am a Masters Athlete and Coach currently based in London UK. My other projects include the Bud Winter Foundation, writer for the IAAF New Studies in Athletics Journal (NSA) and a member of the Track & Field Writers of America.
Jimson Lee
Jimson Lee
Jimson Lee
  • =) All these are useful to anyone? Haha. I guess it could come in handy. I hate those who use miles. km is the SI standard unit =/ Why don’t just everyone shift to km.

  • Why don’t we use SI units for distance instead? I agree to zo hai that using miles may be complicated to understand.