I have a 30 lap/split memory stopwatch that I got for doing sprints. I thought it would be a little more intuitive, but it doesn't look like stopwatches are really meant to capture what I'm trying to do?

I simply want to capture only my sprint time as individual laps. Not as cumulative time. I don't care about my total time or distance. So when I go back into memory I can see my sprints back to back so I can improve the next time around.

Right now the only way I can do is is kinda a "hack"

Set it to Lap Mode:

Hit Start --> Run my sprint --> Hit Lap/Reset --> Lap 1 clocked at 02"30 --> Immediately Hit Start/Stop --> Lap 2 clocked at 00"20

After I do this, all I have to do is hit Start/Stop and it will start tracking my sprints as I want. But is there a way to do this without going through this "bogus" Lap 2? (I listed in bold)

Does that make sense? Am I asking too much from my stopwatch? I'm completely amateur to track/field so I'm not particularly sure how the professionals do it without bringing a friend and a clipboard.

  • Also the stopwatch came with a tiny manual but doesn't mention this.
    – xhermit
    Jan 8, 2013 at 2:37

2 Answers 2


If your stopwatch allows review, and you have enough laps, what you do is start when you are ready for your first sprint. Run it out. Lap. Then however long your rest period, let it run until you are ready for your second sprint, and then lap again to start.

When your second sprint is done, lap again. And repeat.

Upon review, you will have your obvious two and half minute sprints, and some longer intervals for the rest. Or even if they are similar in time, the ordering will tell which is which, so you will know the sprint times.

I do this on hills. Start during warm up, lap at base of first hill, lap at top. Lap at the bottom to measure descent, lap after cool down period and start of second hill, repeat.

It helps I use a Timex Datalink USB which has a 200 lap stop watch, and downloads over USB to an Excel sheet. (Alas they stopped making them. Best watch ever!) Holy spimoney! That Amazon link is $250? I paid between 50 and 70 over the years. (I bought three as I broke/lost them).


The functionality of most stop watches only contains START/STOP, LAP and RESET.

  • RESET resets the time to zero,
  • START/STOP start/stops the time
  • LAP only freezes the displayed time (until you hit it again), still recording the time in the background.

For a watch with these "standard features", there is no other workaround than the one you mentioned.

See also this wikipedia article.

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