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If you follow this blog regularly, you’ll know I was a crew member at the Lake Tahoe Triple Marathon, as well as I stopped by the ESPN 1280AM studios for a segment on ethical cheating. There were more visits in California, the land of milk and honey…
Behind the scenes of SpeedEndurance, I also had a chance to visit Freelap Track and Field USA headquarters and looked at improving some of their prototypes.
I use the Freelap timing system for both my 3 point starts, as well as my fly times for sprinting. Anywhere from 20 meters all the way up to 400 meters. Even when I do 3 x 150m near all out (one of my favorite workouts), I run 160 to 165 meters and Freelap times the last 150 meters. For this workout, I am testing speed endurance, and over the course of the spring and summer, I hope to see that improve!
The Freelap timing system is also great for distance runners for split times at 200 and 400 meters. It’s all automated, and the athletes never have to check if the coach is ready to time them. How many missed splits have you had over the course of a season?
With Freelap, the sprinter just runs fast when they are ready, and the watch captures all the information. No more missed times, which is common with an ordinary stopwatch when you have to time several people.
What about Baseball? Or 800 meters start?
The 40 yard dash and the 3 point stance is easy to use with the Freelap with their touch & release device.
But what about the Baseball 60 yard test? Or an 800 meters crouch start?
Wouldn’t it be nice there was foot block, where the electronic timer starts when you release the pressure on the pads? Similar to a real starting block (though real blocks detect pressure on the pads)
Christopher Glaeser of Freelap Track and Field gave me a sneak peak at some early prototypes, and we even tested them outside on the grass field.
I didn’t do an official 60 yard test, but it did feel more natural than digging my shoe into the ground.
Most 40 yard dashes and 60 yard test are manually started by coaches, with an electronic timer to stop the watch. So this starting device, when it becomes available, will eliminate all the guesswork in timing.
I am looking forward to it.
After all, accurate consistent data is our goal.
And improving those times over time, of course.