Erik’s Brain

The reward of a thing well done...

Splitcaster Tip #1: Timing a One Mile Race on a 400m Track

Mile Meters

How should you go about using Splitcaster to time a One Mile race on a 400 meter track? As you know a full mile is 1609m (well, actually 1609.334m), which is a just a hair more than four full laps.

You Have Two Good Options

Option One

  1. Set the lap size to 400m
  2. Take splits every time they cross the start line (not the finish line)
  3. Stop timing at the finish line

In this scenario, Splitcaster will show splits of 400m, 800m, 1200m and Mile. That last split distance from 1200m to Mile will be marked as 409m, which is exactly what the distance from 1200m to one mile is. And Splitcaster will accurately predict finish times for all the other splits. This is probably the easiest way to do it. But if you don’t like having the last split be 409m and you want all the split distances to be the same, you can try…

Option Two

  1. Set the lap size to 440 yard
  2. Take splits every 440 yards, which can be a bit tricky to do accurately if the track doesn’t have 440y, 880y, and 1320y markers. But, hey, we’re hand timing anyway so we aren’t expecting scientific results.
  3. Stop timing at the finish line

In this case, Splitcaster will label splits 440y, 880y, 1320y and Mile. If you aren’t comfortable estimating these just-longer-than-a-lap splits, stick with Option One.

Two Mile Yards

These same ideas work for the rarely run Two Mile race on 400m tracks. Once again, the easiest option is to:

  1. Set the lap size to 400m
  2. Take all splits at the start line
  3. Stop timing at the finish line
  4. Deal with having a slightly longer last split

The best part of Splitcaster is that no matter how you do this, it will give you accurate pace information, which I think is more important than having perfectly even split distances.

Don’t have your copy of Splitcaster yet? Go get it!