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Old 03-04-2010, 10:00 PM   #1
Chris H Laing
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Northern VA
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Default Self timing sprints

Is there any easy way to time sprints by yourself accurately?
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Old 03-05-2010, 01:32 AM   #2
Blair Lowe
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 593

It's roughly as accurate as someone else hand-timing. Just gotta make sure to go when you hit the click and click when you pass the line.

If anything, it sucks when you miss clicking it correctly.
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Old 03-05-2010, 07:42 AM   #3
Brandon Oto
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Biggest difference is probably the lack of reaction time at the start.
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Old 03-05-2010, 09:04 AM   #4
Scott Kustes
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Location: Louisville, KY
Posts: 1,048

Get a watch with a countdown/chrono function. Set the countdown to 10 seconds, get set, go when it hits zero and then hit click on the chrono when you get to the finish line. Probably accurate to about 0.5 seconds.

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Old 03-05-2010, 10:44 AM   #5
Tyler Micheli
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Colorado
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A bit more intensive but accurate method:

Set up a video camera (I use a small Canon SD780 point & click digital) in line with the finish and with a good view of the start (often 10-30 meters to the side). Set a 10sec delay so memory isn't wasted while you prepare for the start. Run. Review if you want, but I typically just video my sprints and save the viewing for later on a bigger screen. Load the videos onto a computer and (I use Quicktime) find the time of start and time you cross the finish. Subtract for total run time. Quicktime reports in hundredths of a second, so with possible error and what not I estimate it's at least accurate to less than a tenth of a second. An additional benefit is video of your run for technique analysis.

I have also set stakes (road flares, as I had them handy..unlit of course, or light them for added pizzazz) at, for example, 15m, 30m, and 45m during a 60m sprint. Using quicktime it's easy to get splits at each of these distances. Might be overkill, but the data is there if I need it.

This is obviously more work than self-timing with a stopwatch, however it frees my mind from holding a watch and trying to push the button in time with crossing the finish. And short of deleting a video, you won't miss out on timing a run.
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Old 03-06-2010, 07:07 AM   #6
Chris H Laing
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Location: Northern VA
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Thanks everyone. Good advice here.

I'll start out using the stopwatch, and maybe when my sprint form is holding me back (and I have some money) I'll try the video camera idea.
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