In the world of track and field, we live by two measurements: Time & Distance.
Race and training distances are fixed, for example, how fast (i.e. time) you can run a give distance of 300m. Yesterday’s article on Fine Tuning your 400 meter Workouts, Part 2 gave several examples of workouts up to 40 seconds in duration.
But what about the reverse? (i.e. distance)
Sure, there’s the 1 hour track record. That is, how far you can run in 1 hour in meters. Haile Gebrselassie currently holds that record at 21,285 meters, or 21.285 Km/hr!
If you read my Blog for a while, you’ll notice I like nice scientific sports physiology numbers, especially, 7, 15 and 40 seconds.
So on testing week, we could do a 300m, 325m, or 352 yard time trial. Jeremy Wariner and Michael Johnson does 350 meters.
But how about testing a 40 second run, and measuring distance?
You can do this manually with a good stopwatch, and use your eye to approximate where the athlete runs until your beeper hits 40 seconds, or when you yell “stop”.
There’s a lot of inaccuracy to this, give or take a few meters, primarily because the sprinter is moving between 9 and 10 meters per second (roughly, depending on your athletes)
The Freelap Timing System
Until recently, I’ve used the manual method, but with the Freelap Timing system (see my previous article), there is a much more accurate way of timing for distance. There’s a tiny bit of math involved, however.
Let’s say I have an athlete who can run “about 317 meters” in 40 seconds.
I place the Freelap TX Junior transmitter at 317 meters (the 310m mark is well marked from the relay zone). If the athlete runs 39.76 seconds, then:
317 meters * (40 seconds / 39.76 seconds) = 318.91 meters
If the athlete runs 40.31 seconds, then:
317 meters * (40 seconds / 40.31 seconds) = 314.56 meters
Of course, you can use any fixed distance. The faster the speeds, the more accurate the Freelap Timing System will be, as opposed to using your eye.
Using 2 or More Transmitters
As long as you space the transmitters 15 meters apart, you can set them at 285, 300, 315, & 330 meters if you have a large group of athletes, or if you aren’t sure of what they can accomplish on that given day. Then you would choose the split that is closest to 40 seconds.
I feel the Freelap Timing System is a great tool and timing for distance, rather than time, which breaks up the monotony or “pressure” of having to achieve a certain time… or else!