Here is a neat device that can be used when training alone, though I don’t recommend training alone when doing starts. If you must train alone, then mount a video camera on a tripod and record your start and first 10 or 20 meters.
In the old days, sprinters training alone would bring a tape recorder with the commands “On Your Marks…. Set.. then the gun”. It would also help if the spacing of the commands were slightly off, so the sprinter could not anticipate the gun.
I still use my old Seiko timing watch that has a gadget which attaches to the watch onto a device for my thumb, similar to an external cable shutter release for photography.
Here is a description of the Starter Pistol App (from their web site)
This app is for the track runner to practice their starts. It features a countdown timer delay to start the "On Your Mark" sequence, the starter pistol sound fires at the end of the countdown sequence. Then a new uptimer kicks in to time the actual run. The "Stop" button on the uptimer is large enough that you really don’t have to look at the phone to hit the button. We also disabled the sleep mode so you can run and not have to worry about wakening your phone.
Here is the sequence of events:
- select the time increment of the countdown using the picker wheel (left photo)
- the countdown starts (On Your Mark audio starts the countdown) (middle photo)
- At about 5 – 2 seconds (varies- we have 4 different timings) you will here an audible “Set”
- Then the Pistol fires (audio of course)
- Then the Uptimer kicks in. (right photo)
There are a couple of things to take into account, the sleep mode is disabled so it would go to sleep mode with the timer running. The stop button is really large so you can hit it without looking.
Note: The only thing that will interrupt the timer is a phone call, which will pause the timer.
Future upgrades include the ability to save your times with time, date and location.
Personally, a neat feature would have a language pack so you can practice the commands.
And like most iPhone apps, it’s only 99 cents!