When does the typical low 11 second 100 meter sprinter reach top speed?

After 30, 40 or 50 meters? At what distance should the athlete think about relaxing and maintaining top speed after the acceleration zone?

I was thinking at around 60 meters the athlete has already passed through their top speed window and is starting to slow significantly.

My distances too generous?

thanks again,

my one friend runs consistent 10.8-11.0’s and he says that when he runs his 60 that he doesn’t feel like he is at top speed yet. He thinks that he reaches top speed at around 70 meters because he notices that when he watches his races that at around the 70 meter mark is when he really breaks away from the pack.


At is level I would think that would be more due to superior speed endurance in relation to his competitors rather than acceleration.

From the data I’ve seen, an 11-flat sprinter typically maxes out their top speed with around .94 to .96 10m splits. Since this top speed is much less than a top sprinter’s, they tend to hit it around 30-40 metres and then tail off toward the end.

But regardless of where top speed is reached, relaxation should obviously be a focus throughout the race, with no set distinction between acceleration zones and top speed zones in mind when running. When your strategy is to break up the race into zones with distinct beginning and end points, your race loses continuity and relaxation and patience can suffer. Let the transition between acceleration and TS happen gradually and on its own, keeping in mind only a few key cues. (I like to use my eyes to guide my rise up to top speed).

Also, although TS usually occurs for an 11 flalt runner first at 30m-40m, it is possible, though more rare, for them to reaccelerate in later stages of the race.

I’m pretty sure I’ve done this myself :rolleyes:

Possibly. But it is also possible that he is better at maintaining his top speed than some of the guys he races against. I mean if he’s reaching top speed at 70, then this man has to run 200’s???

Fabio - you think that your friend could possibly just have a longer acceleration phase than his competitors inhibiting him from reaching top speed too quickly and allowing him to come up later in the race and finally be at top speed while others have popped up too quickly and already burned themselves out while he’s just getting started?

I’ve notice Mo Greene does this. He stays down for a long time and that’s one of the reasons why he always pulls away at the end rather than just jumping ahead of everyone like a Jon Drummond type (quick out of the blocks).

Anyone else notice this, think it’s a possibility?

rob watson, he does run 200’s, his fastest has been 22.3, I remember one time he ran a 22.6 in the 200 in 28 degree weather!!..and the meet before that one he pbed in the 200 with a 23.2.

400stud, me and him both think this. We looked at my 100m race and his and when he ran he stays down slightly longer as I am more evened out and my rize is around 30-35 meters. But sometiems I see that when I rise up at the 25 meter mark that my 30m time and 60m time are faster than if I were to rise up at the 30m…

Thats a good point sprinterl.

I have often had bursts of speed at 80-90 meters and passed competitors. I am not sure why this happens.

I normally run well for 0-30 meters, get passed around the 30-50 mark and then reign them in again at 80-100 meters. I had a race in the Atlantic Championships where I exploded out of the blocks and was ahead of everyone at 40 meters. Two guys passed me between 40-60 meters and I passed one back at 90 meters. It was very strange. The guy that won ran 10.7X FAT and I smoked him over 40 meters. (I have it on videotape at home where I was about 2 meters ahead of him)

With my mid race mechanics being screwed up (maybe I was surprised at being ahead at that point) I ended up slowing in the middle of the race and picking it up again at the end. I was less than one meter away from Silver but ended up winning bronze. DOH!

Ran 11.20FAT but I find it confusing. I think my transition to top speed is messed up or something.

I need to work on my transitions I guess.

Having said that chris, i’ve been in a similar situation in a 100m race. I smoked everyone to 60, then as i ‘came to’ i was so surprised that i had 2-3 metres on everyone that my transition phase went up the spout. It’s about concentration as much as anything else.

I definitely think that is true. That and not concentrating within your lane is a factor too.

I notice that I seem to reach top speed from 70-80m. I donno it it’s because of a bad start or what

It probably is a bad start b/c you should most definitely be at top speed before then. But, I’m like you b/c I’m at top speed in the 60-70m range, but I also like to stay down a bit longer than normal since I’ve run my best races when I’ve done that (not being as fast as others, longer acceleration helps me stay in the race).

Im a high 10 sprinter low 11 and I hit top speed at about 50 meters. Depending on the race.

Here are some actual splits of 10-high/11-low/11-mid sprinters. They were taken by Peter Dürer, the coach of AC Wien in Austria. I’ve lost the direct link to his homepage, sorry.

100m race splits
0-40m 40-70m 70-100 time
5.15 2.92 3.08 11.15 (Marco Steinbrecher)
5.44 2.98 3.19 11.61 (Lukas Kreitmayer)
5.44 3.04 3.19 11.61 (Dominik Richter)
5.56 3.05 3.18 11.79 (Wolfgang Reiterer)
5.38 3.18 3.28 11.84 (Simon Pichler)

150m race splits
0-100m 100-150m 150m
10.78 5.11 15.89 (Martin Lahkovichs)
11.12 5.05 16.17 (Thomas Scheidl)
11.26 5.40 16.66 (Marco Steinbrecher)
11.57 5.55 17.12 (Stefan Hainzl)
11.66 5.56 17.22 (Dominik Richter)
12.01 5.55 17.56 (Wolfgang Reiterer)
11.90 5.69 17.59 (Lukas Kreitmayer)

200m race splits
100-150m 150-200m 100m 150m 200m
5.52 5.69 11.56 17.08 22.77 (M. Steinbrecher)
5.44 5.75 11.80 17.24 22.99 (Wolfgang Reiterer)
5.60 6.16 11.96 17.56 23.72 (Simon Pichler)

You can see that Steinbrecher (11.15) has his fastest phase between 40 and 70m. His last 30m drops off precipitously (this is in fact the case for all the sprinters involved). If he had been able to maintain his 60m top-end speed he might have broken 11 flat in that race. Until 40m most low-11 recreational male sprinters are quite competitive with elite female sprinters. Their speed endurance is typically a lot less, however.

Here are some splits for elite female athletes:

Devers 4.09 6.95 8.86 10.82
Ottey 4.13 6.98 8.87 10.82
Torrence 4.14 7.00 8,92 10.89
Privalova 4.09 7.00 8.96 10.96

As you can see, Ottey and Torrence come through the 30m mark at around the same time as Steinbrecher, or possibly even a little slower. At 60m they are ahead of him (his time would be 7.05 - 7.09)
and at 100m they have broken 10.90 while Steinbrecher comes in .25 later at 11.15.

In other words, the typical 11-low male recreational sprinter loses .35 of a second on an elite female sprinter of around the same level, almost entirely in the second half of the race.

Something to ponder, I guess, before going out and running endless 30’s.

Yes, a slower male looses over the final section to a female of similar performance (by definition at a higher level) Top speed for the male will usually occur around the 30 to 40m segment. Attempts to delay accel at this level is silly. A better finish will come primarily through fitness at this performance level (relaxation is assumed)

Thanks for putting up that information, it is very helpful.

So for us 11 second recreational sprinters we should concentrate a lot on speed/strength endurance? How would we modify our programs to help us in the last phase of the race? (This is where we need the most help anyways and should have the most room for improvement here right?) :slight_smile:

Strength wise I am pretty decent. 0-30 times are typically good. (3.9-4.1 from gun on average) Top speed isnt the greatest and the end of the 100 feels like a marathon LOL!

What would benefit me most for running the 50 meters indoors and the 100 outdoors?


Well, a part of the speed endurance comes from running races. If I recall correctly the splits I posted were taken from a race in May, and by the end of the summer Marco Steinbrecher had improved his 100m time from 11.15 to around 10.95. This improvement was almost certainly due not to increased strength or top-speed, but improved speed endurance from racing. One advantage elite athletes have over recreational athletes is the ability to train at higher intensity, and compete relatively more often, given better opportunities for recovery, and this translates itself into better speed endurace.

I think this elucidates a point Mr. Francis has made elsewhere: training pure speed endurance at any intensity less than 100% is not very effective in the short sprints, except for the conditionally unfit. Achieving 100% intensity in training is quite difficult for most athletes. In my opinion you will want to include trials and races at distances up to 200m in your planning at a suitable stage.

For indoors (running 50’s) would a focus on accel work and top speed be the best bet?

Then look at a little more speed/strength end work in the transition to outdoors? (As well as gaining speed endurance from races)


For 50’s and 60’s I don’t think a huge amount of speed endurance work is required. f you are not planning to run at any distance over 60m I personally don’t really see the need for much speed endurance work.

Chris30, this is covered in some detail in this thread.

If you follow the thread, I graphed a national level male against an international level female. It explains a lot. I certainly learnt heaps from it, just by asking myself why men run faster than women. It made me modify certain aspect of our training this year.