I'd like to time myself at 100m sprint, does anyone know of a bit of kit or app that does this? I'm not a member of a running club, I'd just be curious as to what my time would be. I know that there are a few GPS watches and such available, and I wondered if anyone had had any experiences with them.


3 Answers 3


Hold a stopwatch in your hand, press it at the moment when you start sprinting, stop at the finish line, and then add 0.2-0.25s to simulate a reaction time as in a real start. If you are uncomfortable running with a stopwatch in your hand, then have someone else time you; start timing nce the first foot hits the ground, and at the end add about 0.6s.

This is the only cost effective strategy for someone who is "just curious". There are also laser gates, force sensitive starting blocks etc., but each cost hundreds of dollars.

  • Thanks for your reply, some very useful information there :) The problem of having someone time you is that you really need 2 people to start and finish, which is why I think your stopwatch idea was good :). Thank you also for your insight into the products available on the market :D May 7, 2014 at 12:26
  • The person who times you starts the stopwatch when you start running. That requires only one person and eliminates another error that occurs when you have someone to clap as a starting sign :) The bigger problem is that not everyone times the same; some people are very quick to react when you start running, while others are more laid back. I am a professional sprinter, and from my experience, the only way to get a consistent result is to do it yourself. I actually practiced timing myself from starting the stopwatch to sprinting in 0.2s; this gives almost identical times as in real races :D May 8, 2014 at 12:12
  • Thank you very much for that concise answer, just what I was looking for :D I shall take your advice and do it as you have suggested, Thanks! May 8, 2014 at 18:38

Asked a similar question a few months back, about how accurate GPS based devices were for measuring the distance run on a track, was deleted as off topic. Anyway I had a search and play, appears a few bodies had already composed a few tables giving the found accuracy for various devices e.g GPS Accuracy of Garmin, Polar, and other Running Watches

This lead me to having a play with a Sony Smartwatch 3, Adidas miCoach speed Cell + x-cell combo, Polar H7 HRM and Watch combo, Runtastic Combo.... (was given a toy box a couple of months back to play with / evaluate). If you ignore the pairing with a phone being a bit temperamental the Adidas combination appeared fairly accurate, but you'll only be able to get at your data once in front of a PC. The others are really only suited for distance activities e.g. to stop an activity on the smartwatch will take a tap to activate the screen, a swipe to go from a time / distance display, to a screen with a pause button, a tap to pause, another swipe and tap to stop..... essentially stopping the timer will take a second or two, so not suitable for a sprint. Also found the error in the distance recorded, by any of the GPS devices based devices, was more dependent on the app you've chosen to use than the device itself, appears the app's have different sample rates eg. Google's My Tracks only captures your position every 10 secs (can be altered), and the GPS position is only accurate to 10m.

Anyway per @Darko Sarovic answer, I'd probably stick with a stopwatch, but if you have time to play look at creating your own home grown timing gate eg. Laser sensor project, or using a Lego light sensor eg. Lego Mindstorms Drag Race with Light Gate (photo finish), or one of the Raspberry Pi / arduino projects, or possibly play with a Sony Smartwatch; in theory it could be useful in combination with a phone mounted on a tripod at the finish line. As it can be used as a manual / noise activated trigger for the video camera on the phone. So as long as you're recording with a timestamp you'll have an accurate time. The watch has both Bluetooth and Wifi, so if out of Bluetooth range the Wifi connectivity may be good for a whole track, will have to have a play.


When you are self timing you cannot use starting blocks. Since proper use of blocks can take about 0.2-0.4 off 100m times, I figure my self timing is fairly accurate


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