How to Pick the Right Pace Group

L.A. LEGGERS has a variety of pace groups for all levels of fitness. Each group is led by an experienced mentor who will help guide your training at a pace that is appropriate for you.

Pace is the number of minutes it takes for you to run or walk one mile. To find your pace, time yourself while you run or walk one mile at an easy, comfortable pace.

  • Runners: At the end of your one-mile run, are you able to carry on a conversation without huffing and puffing? If the answer is yes, check the chart below to find your pace group. If the answer is no—you’re too winded to talk—add 2-3 minutes to your timed-mile pace, then check the chart below to find your pace group.
  • Walkers: Add one minute to your timed-mile pace to get your pace group.

Now you know which pace group to try out. But how do you know if you’re really in the right group?

You should be able to hold conversations during the Saturday training. It’s okay to take deep breaths between sentences, but if you are huffing and puffing between every word, you need to take it slower.

Feel free to try many pace groups during the season until you find the one that fits you perfectly. Don’t be afraid to move up or down!

Running Pace Groups: 7 to 15

Our running pace groups generally increase in 30 second increments: for example, from the 10s to the 10.5s. All of our groups run/walk, except the Boston Bound pace group for experienced marathoners. The individual ratio of minutes running to minutes walking varies by pace group, and pace groups are based on the average pace that you run/walk, including the walk breaks.

L.A. LEGGERS running groups: run/walk ratios, running-pace range and actual running pace

Pace group Run:walk ratio in minutes Running pace range Actual running pace required to exactly hit pace goal
Boston Bound
(7 – 8.5)
No walk breaks, but we do stop to regroup a few times during the run Varies Varies
9 8:1 8:30 8:26
9.5 8:1 8:45-9:00 8:55
10 7:1 9:15-9:30 9:20
10.5 6:1 9:30-10:00 9:44
11 6:1 10:00-10:30 10:14
11.5 5:1 10:30-11:00 10:36
12 5:1 11:00-11:30 11:07
12.5 4:1 11:15-11:45 11:26
13 4:1 11:45-12:15 11:58
13.5 4:1 12:30-12:45 12:11
15 2:1 14:15-14:45 15:02
Breakthrough Runners 1:2 to 2:1, occasional mile repeats Varies Varies

Leggers Boston Bound

We have a training program for experienced marathoners who run at an 9 minute-per-mile pace or faster and generally run year round. It is designed for competitive runners trying to achieve personal records (PRs) or qualify for Boston.

In order to join any of the Boston Bound pace groups, you must already be able to:

  • Run at least 13 miles. The Boston Bound groups run more miles than the other Legger pace groups, and they do not start with short distances and gradually build up.
  • Run without taking walk breaks.

If you aren’t sure whether or not you are ready to train with a Boston Bound group, we suggest starting with the 9.5s. If the 9.5 mentors feel you are significantly faster than their pace group, they will advise you to move up.

Breakthrough Runners

This group is designed for new runners, walkers who want to become runners, and people who just want to take it a little slower. The group walks more and runs less than our other pace groups, starting at a run:walk ratio of 1:2 and gradually moving to a 2:1 ratio. The focus is on learning to run versus running at a specific minute-per-mile pace.

Walking Pace Groups: 12 to 18

The L.A. LEGGERS are a walker-friendly club. In fact, about 20 percent of our members are walkers.

The walking groups go up in one-minute pace intervals: for example, from the 15 Walkers to the 16 Walkers.

Walking groups are based on running-clock pace — the overall pace from the time you start the walk until you finish, including traffic lights and breaks. This means that your actual walking pace may be faster than the number stated in your pace group’s name, especially during the last half of the walk.

L.A. LEGGERS walking groups: pacing guidelines

Pace group Running-clock pace You must be able to comfortably walk at least
12 Walkers 12:00 – 12:59 12:00
13 Walkers 13:00 – 13:59 13:00
15 Walkers 15:00 – 15:59 15:00
16 Walkers 16:00 – 16:59 16:00
17 Walkers 17:00 – 17:59 17:00
18 Walkers 18:00 – 18:59 18:00

Slower walkers (more than 15 minutes per mile)

If your walking pace is slower than 15 minutes per mile, you may want to carefully consider whether full marathons are right for you. The LA Marathon has a 6.5-hour course cut off, a time that you cannot meet. You may be asked to move to the sidewalk and obey traffic lights.

You may want to focus on half marathons that you can comfortably finish within the course time limits. The L.A. LEGGERS training schedule is designed with local half-marathons in mind. Enjoy the health benefits of training and the fun of race day, without the stress of trying to beat the clock.

Pace-Group Emails

The mentor for each pace group sends out specific information and instructions to that group’s members each week. In order to get this information, you must sign up for pace-group communications.

Many of our members sign up for the pace group above and below the one they think they’re right for. This lets them hear from more than one mentor and easily move between groups if they find that the original group is too slow or too fast.

After you register for this season, you may sign up for as many pace-group emails as you like.