Timing yourself

Some guy on this forum wants to know if timing yourself with a stopwatch by reaching over while running and hitting the stopwatch at the finish slows down your time. I say it does but he wants to see peoples responses on the forum to the question.

Think about it ,every “forced” movement in sprinting slows you down.

thats true… so id say starting you watch would give you a delayed reaction and reaching over to stop your watch would also slow you down. am i correct? how much time are we looking at here, maybe 2 tenths or so?

today i timed my workout since i am home now from college working out alone… i did 3 200’s with 10 min rest. i did my first one into the wind in 23.26 then i changed directions and ran 22.54 and 22.75. i was able to feel myself having to slow down a step to stop my watch.

What worked well for me was setting my timer at a particular time. (Say 11 flat for the 100 meter)

I’d start the watch and sprint. If it beeped after I passed the finish line I knew I was somewhere in the 10.XX range. hehe :wink:

Thats a great idea Chris -
I can set mine for intervals so I can use the beep to start too . I’ll be setting mine to 12 secs tho lol

Use a video camera to time yourself.

Hope this helps

Kenny Mac~~~

How about using a coaches (the non-wrist watch type) stopwatch fastened into your hand using its string?

Not perfect but negates the need to slow down when reaching across to stop the watch.

Thanks :slight_smile: It worked great for me!


It’s going to be probably as close as one can get by themsleves …

I do that too GF - only problem is it can tense u up a bit if u usually run with an open hand style ( plus u drop the watch lol )

…it’s not perfect, but it may be the best method if you are alone, and wish to time a run.

For those with money to burn.


I just count in my head! just kidding i get someone else to do it. But i do time myself it realy dose’nt affect me.

You crack me up up Shumon - count in my head!
I know some guys would only be fit to time their 40 at that rate…

years ago casio had a watch out which was specifically designed for self-timimg.it consisted of a normal tri-watch(digital) with a simple rod device which would run from the watch to your finger.simply push the little button in the loop connected to your hand and way you go.hit it again to stop the timer.i actually still have on but hasn’t been used in yonks

:smiley: Yonks lol - I havent’s heard that word in donkeys

I have a neat arrangement with my Casio G-Shock, I close it on the last/widest hole and slip it through 4 fingers and it adjusts perfectly around my palm/mid-hand (above my thumb), the button is in perfect range for my index finger to press it and then when I run I don’t need to have my hand closed or anything, it stays there perfectly. Kinda hard to explain in words, but it works great.

  1. Have a friend time you periodically (ideally the same person each time).

  2. Save up and spring for an auto timer like the Speed Trap or Speed Trap II systems.

Holding the watch yourself (aside from creating tensions in the arms) is going to have a margin of error of at least several tenths. The shorter the sprint, the more it matters. For example, being off by a few tenths when self timing a 200, where you might improve by seconds, is better than in a 30, where the margin of error might cover most of the potential improvement margin. Even if someone else times your 30s, the reaction time of the timer might make the 30 time useless. Last summer, Clemson told me not to bother timing his hurdler when he came to work out with me because we were just running 30s and Clemson considered hand times at that distance pretty worthless. I think he has a point.

For those who like to invest in training equipment, investing in a good timing system might be one of the most important if you don’t have any other reliable way of timing yourself. I say this because the overall training system revolves around the sprinting, and if you don’t know what you’re actually doing on the track, you’re flying blind as far as managing the interaction of the training components.

Charlie, what do you think?

I train myself - trying the CFTS format, but my running training occurs with someone watching, so they can pass judgement and comment on technique.

So I generally time myself with stopwatch loop wrapped around wrist. Every couple of session I will get coach of the squad I run with to time. Not perfect but over time gives an indication.

Timing gates and mechanism. Does anybody want to sponsor a first year sprinter and a 15 year hammer thrower. Who is pretty average at both.

I’ve been using this finger stopwatch for years to time splits and repeats more accurately. The $40 model will automatically time your recovery interval, too, which is really nice.