Miles v Km

I’ve always been a miles man. I get all the positives of moving to KM but even though maths is one of my strong points when I have tried in the past I just can’s seem to adjust.
I can in distance, just not speed and pace (if that makes sense).

Did all you KM advocates used to work in miles and just change? How long does it take to stop the comparison and keep checking ‘what is that in mph’?
I just don’t see the point in making the effort if I will always be using mph as the reference point.

Anyway I’m off on holiday tomorrow and thought I may go strict KM pace and speed while I’m there for 2-3 weeks.

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Always worked in Km as my first coach did. No idea what km paces correlate to in miles.

KM - always have been, wish they’d change car speed limits and roadsigns to KM too

If you want to do an oly tri bike leg in an hour, well that’s 40km/h, if you want to run 5k in 20 mins 4m/km, 25 mins, 4.30m/km. Easy

I don’t convert into mph unless I have to (when talking to a few guys I ride with).


I have always used km because most evenets are metric. I doubt it will take long to convert.

I actually persisted with mile/pace with runs until my Polar RCX5 died around 2016. I had moved to km for cycling ages ago; particularly given I lived in Germany for a few years and I didn’t use a GPS bike computer back in those days.

When you think about it, the Ordnance Survey have done ‘metric’ scaled maps for how long?! Hence the military have worked in KM for longer than I served, so before the 1990s.

@explorerJC do you ever remember using Imperial for navigating?

Even before I started running properly, I used km. It just seemed more logical, as all the distances I ran at school were in meters.

As for time taken to switch the brain, I really can’t think it’d take a long time. Metric is just so much more straightforward in terms of working out what the relevant key distances/paces are, like JGav says. I also couldnt imagine having my watch setup in imperial, meaning I’d get swim splits in yards?!

The only thing I now quite like being in miles is a HM, but only one where it has official time boards every mile like at the Big Half. Sub80 is always a bit of a landmark (whether I’m aiming for that or not), and it’s really easy to pace against that on the mileage boards (6:06, 12:12, 18:18, 24:24, etc). I still have my watch in metric pace, but I just have a function where autolap is set to every mile rather than every km, so I can tell whether my gps distance is ahead or behind the official distance.

But even with the marathon, I preferred the metric boards in Malaga much more than mileage boards you get in the UK. Even though there are more of them, they pass so much more quickly.

Miles are for bumpkins.

Kilometres for the win. And science. And math.


I was a kid, I just though all this base 12, base 16, imperial nonsense was mad, so I just refused to learn it or talk to people in gobbledegook. Of course they hated me for it :smiley: But not as much as when I explained hexadecimal.

Most people my age are still stuck with Imperial so I wouldnt worry too much, it doesnt really matter.

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I have a foot in both new and old money camps…

Run - minute miles for pace, miles for distance
Swim - mins per 100m for pace, km for distance
Bike - mph for pace, miles for distance.

My Garmin is a pain so records only one or the other entirely so all my swims in yards etc mean nothing until downloaded/converted.

Temperature is even worse as when it’s cold I’m in Celsius (3deg C, -2 Deg C etc) but get to warmer stuff and I’m in Fahrenheit (70deg F = pleasant, 80Deg F = hot, 90 Deg F = scorching etc).


@stenard I have always had my swim logs in metres! Yards don’t make sense.

Right, I’ve changed Training Peaks, Strava, Garmin Conn, my Garmin 520 & 920 to KM’s for everything. and all the planned runs in my calendar to KMs.
I’m gonna just go by HR & power for a few weeks and not refer back to miles at all.

I think I’m gonna get withdrawal symptoms, it will be hard not to refer back.

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Maths. KAY!!!


Echoing what others have said.

Always been Kms - it’s just easy

I’ve no idea on imperial run pacing but I’m alright converting kms to miles

I am of an age where we were taught both at school, depending on how old your teacher was. However, the real tipping point for me was moving to Oz, everything there is metric and I learned to adapt really quickly and never gave it a second thought.

For me, metric = Australian. The hardest conversion in my head was going from mpg to l/km for fuel economy.



fuksake if you advocates can’t get it right then I’ve got no chance :smiley:


Whoops, was thinking 22.30. 5m/km obvs… :sunglasses:

Shows how easy it is to make mistakes whilst on conf. calls

I can do both but prefer Km and have all my measurement systems (bike, car, watch, dashcam etc) set in Km.

I basically follow the crowd - driving think in miles because that’s the default for speedos, speed limits, petrol. But all my exercise is in metres.

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I did 3 months of running in min/miles, did my first 5km, realised using miles was pointless and made the change.
At school Athletics, we didn’t use pace, just 800s/400s.

My problem is that 6min/ml was such a threshold for running growing up that everything is referenced back to that. Even now I know that sub6 is a good hard run, sub4/km is just that bit easier. As a result I conclude that conversion from miles to km is probably the biggest single cause of decline in UK distance running :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

On the bike I have pretty much converted, but still use 32km/h as a reference point… And when planning a long ride I add in an extra few km to make sure it is over 160km…

Swimming is full on metres and pace/100m. But then all my local pools are in metres. There is a long OW swim near here that has either 1600m or 3200m distances.