Testing your Speed

Mobility is often neglected, but is a key factor in an athletes performance.

This is very straightforward: you simply want to test how fast you can run when you are travelling at full speed, in order to find out your maximum velocity.

We want to remove the element of acceleration from this so we suggest:

  • 3 x 30m flying with a full recovery

This means taking approximately a 20m run in to the start and then timing over a duration of 30m. It is quite tough to get this timed accurately, but with 3 people (one running, one timing and one dropping a hand as the start line is breached) a good degree of accuracy can be achieved.

By doing the run 3 times and taking an average, you should be relatively close to the actual time. This will tell you pretty accurately what your top running speed is.

Alternatively, it is possible to buy electronic timing equipment, where the times are taken automatically, when laser beams are cut.

We believe it is important for all runners of all distances to know what their maximum speed is. Below are listed a few times that will help you decide the level at which you are running (they are a rough guideline rather than results you have to achieve - if you are a bit slow for your standard you may be able to run your distance faster by having great endurance and vice versa, but increasing your speed will help).

  • World Class Male Sprinter - 2.5 secs
  • World Class Female Sprinter - 2.8 secs
  • 50 second 400m runner - 3.0 secs
  • 2.10mins 800m runner - 3.7 secs
  • 19.00mins 5000m runner - 5 secs

Obviously for long distance runners this is less relevant, but it is still worth knowing what you can do and whether you have good speed for your distance.