Last Updated on November 16, 2012 by Jimson Lee
My good friend Clay Parker asked me if a runner’s top speed can be extrapolated to a 100 meter time. It’s a good question as we constantly have endless running calculators or converters.
Usain Bolt and Tyson Gay recorded 0.805 second splits for 10 meters (based on 20 meters) which calculates to 44.72 kph or 27.794 mph.
In the past, I recorded a 3.8 40 meter segment on a flying 100m test. This equates to 0.95 seconds per 10 meters or roughly 37.89 kph. (My ego just soared 10 feet as I would get a moving violation ticket for speeding in a school zone, which is 30 kph in Canada)
While Usain Bolt’s PB is 9.58, mine was 10.92. His 44.72 kph vs. my wimpy 37.89 kph. Luckily for me, I do not earn my living running. At least not directly. (NOTE to kids: stay in school)
So is top end speed a good measure for 100 meter performance?
If so, read on…
At the 2010 World Cup, the Castrol Index used the latest FIFA tracking technology to capture data on each player which was then analyzed by a team of Castrol Performance Analysts.
Here are some stats provided from www.thebesteleven.com website:
What do you think Javier Hernandez of Mexico’s top speed of 32.15 kph will translate over 100 meters?
Surely he can break 12 seconds, if I can break 11 sec and run 37 kph? (okay, I will stop calling you Shirley)
The problem with this extrapolation (if you want to call it that) is a beginner sprinter will reach peak velocity around 35m whereas elite will reach it at 60m. Tyson and Usain are exceptions and can reach their top speed at 65-70m. Intermediate sprinters like myself may reach it “only” at 45m.
Illustration courtesy of Derek Hansen of Running Mechanics.
Training is one factor is lessening your deceleration. In Maurice Green’s perfect world, he would eliminate it.
I’ll need some advanced Calculus to figure out some data points in relation to top end speed and potential slow down which is a curve and not a straight line. Luckily, September is around the corner.