How to Create Running Speed Goal??

Looking for some advice on how to set up two running speed goals. I want to get my 5k pace down to 8 minutes per mile and run a single mile in 7 minutes.

I’m not sure how to do this from a practical standpoint. Tracking individual run speed won’t work well as a do less goal given the wide variance of runs based on training distance and variation in weather, sickness, fatigue from other exercise.

There’s a couple of things I could track as supportive goals (Mileage/week, times running/week, cadence) but that’s not the actual goal/what I want to do.

I think it would almost work well to just allow a really big variance +/- the goal on a weight loss goal but still give my speed each run so I could see the average moving down but I don’t believe I have an option to set that variance directly

Anyone have any thoughts on this?


I’ve never built a weight loss goal, but my understanding is that it automagically calculates the width of the road based on observed variance in past datapoints.

That said, I generally find it’s best to beemind things I can control directly (as with some of your supportive goals). I would probably approach this by 1) setting up the supportive goals with initial slopes that I believed would achieve my goals, 2) setting up a weight-loss type goal with a flat slope, for data tracking/averaging purposes only, and then 3) adjusting the slopes on the supportive goals as needed to achieve the change I wanted in the appropriate timeframe. In other words, I’d put the “sting” of Beeminder on the things that are actions, while still taking advantage of the tracking functionality for the outcome.

At some point it’s a question of why you want to improve your pace. Is it simply a “do better” sort of goal, or is there a race you’re trying to win? If you’re committed to achieving that pace for race day, you could put a commitment on the weight-loss type goal, but as you said, that is subject to variations, and you might end up derailing due to factors you can’t entirely control. But there will be things you can’t control on race day either, so maybe that sort of hard commitment is what you need to achieve the real goal - winning the race.


I’ll second everything that @gretchen said (side note: it sure is nice to have Beeminder superusers around to answer questions like this!) and also what you already noted, that the input goals are more suited to Beeminder than an output goal like this. Here are two other ideas though:

  • A custom goal (only supported with a Bee Plus subscription) allows you to set the width of the yellow brick road manually, which may fit with what you want, to allow a really big variance. Let us know ( if you want to try this out before committing to a subscription, or if you’d be willing to pay, but only some lower amount than $16/month, and we can work something out.

  • A do less goal where you only report selected runs, like a weekly time trial. If you’re sending data automatically via Runkeeper for example, you could specify in the public fine print that you’re allowed to delete datapoints that aren’t time trials.


Though we’ll probably overwrite your most recent changes the next time we fetch data. Manual entry is probably better if you’re being selective about which datapoints to include.

If there’s a comment field, you might be able to rig something automated with Zapier.


The why behind this is a combination of a few different factors.

  • Joint problems that have made distance an issue and caused me to focus on running shorter distances faster which seems to cause less pain
  • Having ran with some faster people recently which my succesfull attempts at trying to keep up helped me realize that I was capable of running faster than I previously thought likely
  • I’m participating in a marathon relay at the end of April with a group from work. We’re not trying to win the race by any means with a team name like the “Well Intentioned Misfits”, but I sure wouldn’t mind being the fastest on my team :slight_smile:

I think I will go the route of setting up a do-less goal and just record my best pace of the week. That will give me a little variance between my 2-3 weekly runs to allow for different types of training and the occasional off day. All the data is still tracked in my run tracking app so I think this will work well for me. I spent about 4 months tracking the number of times I ran each week and feel like I have that ingrained as habit now. If it weren’t for that, I think I would need to focus more on the supporting goals.

Thanks everyone for the advice!!


Love this discussion! Just chiming in with a relevant blog post about what metrics to mind.

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