# How to convert difference in elevation into distance?

When you're running up a slope, you're running slower. Down the hill you may run faster, if your knees allow it. But how much?

In German, there is the notion of "Leistungskilometer", which is translated to "effective kilometers", "technical kilometers", "power kilometers" or "energy expenditure kilometers", depending on the source. The definition is that 100m difference in elevation are equivalent to 1 flat kilometer, at least for calculating hiking times.

I find that for running this is not true. Using a factor of 10 for the difference in elevation gives me virtual flat paces that are way beyond my abilities. Say you're running 6 km up a 500m hill in 45 minutes. This is a pace of 7:30; with a factor 10 the flat equivalent would 6 + 10x0.5 = 11 kilometers, giving a pace of 4:05.

I think a pace of 5:18 (which is using a factor of 5) would be more realistic.

Are there common conventions how to account for slopes when running?

• I don't know of any common conventions, but for the purposes of the original equation the pace was considered a constant. Using some Calculus skills would allow you to refine it a bit based on the pace you are running. However, to plot the results you have to have an accurate measure of pace. You'll also have to take different measures based on your speed. Oct 4 '11 at 12:19