Split times for 100-200 meter races?


Rational Skeptic
Valued Senior Member
Another thread reminded me of this question which has nagged me for quite a few years.

Does anybody have a breakdown of a 200 meter race into 10 or 20 meter segments?

I have a copy of an article showing split times for a world record 100 meter race in 1991. It is interesting.

The fastest runners hit their peak speed at about 70-80 meters, and slowed down afterwards. Carl Lewis, who won had the following times for the last 50 meters.

.85 Seconds

He only won by .02 seconds (about 2.3 cm or 9 inches), and was not leading until the 90 meter mark. This suggests that he slowed down at the end because he could not keep up his peak speed. It suggests that the anaerobic process used by sprinters starts causing a problem after about 75-85 meters.

I have often wondered about split times for the 200 meter race, but have never seen them. From the above, I suspect that this race requires the runners to deliberately run slower than possible for perhaps 100 or more yards, even though they seem to be going all out.
Well, speaking from my own running experience in high school, i ran the 200 and 400. Given how my body is, i knew that if i went all out at first, it would use up energy faster and i wouldn't have much at the end -- so i built up a gradual increase at the beginning of a race, especially with the 400. It's kinda like how an automobile uses up a lot of fuel if you accelerate it really fast from a stopped position -- but relatively speaking it doesn't take as much fuel to continue driving at the same fast speed. (From what i recall reading, at least.)

My peak occurred at different times with each race i would say, depending on various factors like how tired i already was from previous races and the weather and how fast the other runners were. There at the last 10 meters i probably slowed down slightly due to fatigue, though it was never by conscious choice. Some people from what i observed were willing to slow down then if they weren't about to get passed.

I also ran in cross country for a couple years. Like a friend of mine said, in retrospect, that was hell. Such pain. And i wouldn't have went out for it if my good friends hadn't went out too, so it was kind-of a social thing, and we did have a lot of fun outside of the meets.