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# Effect of wind speed and altitude on sprint times

According to the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) Competition Rules, sprint and jump performances for which the measured wind-speed exceeds +2.0 m/s are deemed illegal, and cannot be ratified for record purposes (IAAF 1998). Performances achieved at altitudes above 1000m above sea level are classed as "altitude assisted".

### Effect on 100m times

There a number of papers (see References 1-5 below) which discuss the impact of wind and altitude in the 100m race. The general consensus of these researchers is that the maximum legal tail wind of +2.0 metres/second provides a 0.10-0.12 second advantage over still conditions at sea level and with no wind every 1000 metres of elevation will improve a performance by roughly 0.03-0.04 seconds.

Correction estimates (Mureika 2008)[3] for 100m at varying altitudes for a male athlete running 10 seconds.

 Wind m/s 0m 500m 1000m 1500m 2000m 2500m 0.0 0.00 -0.02 -0.04 -0.05 -0.07 -0.08 +1.0 -0.05 -0.07 -0.08 -0.10 -0.11 -0.12 +2.0 -0.10 -0.11 -0.13 -0.14 -0.15 -0.16

Correction estimates (Mureika 2008)[3] for 100m at varying altitudes for a female athlete running 11 seconds.

 Wind m/s 0m 500m 1000m 1500m 2000m 2500m 0.0 0.00 -0.02 -0.04 -0.06 -0.07 -0.09 +1.0 -0.07 -0.08 -0.10 -0.11 -0.11 -0.14 +2.0 -0.12 -0.14 -0.15 -0.16 -0.17 -0.18

Linthorne showed that the advantage of a +2.0 m/s wind is 0.10 seconds for male sprinters and 0.12 seconds for female sprinters. The uncertainties in the effect of wind on race times is 10% and 12% respectively. (Linthorne 1994)[5]

### Calculate adjusted 100 metre time

The following calculator, based on a formula identified by Mureika (2001)[4], will provide an estimate of your 100 time at sea level with zero wind.

Enter Altitude (metres), Wind Speed (metres/second) and your 100m time(seconds) and then select the 'Calculate' button to obtain a predicted 100m time at sea level with zero wind.

 Altitude m Wind m/s 100m time secs Predicted 100m time secs

### Effect on 200m times

The information in the tables below assume the wind direction is down the 100 metre straight. The 200m athlete initially faces a head wind out of the blocks, which gradually subsides to its maximum effect as the athlete rounds the bend into the 100m straight. A +2m/s wind at sea level effects the 200m time by -0.12s for men and -0.14s for women.

Correction estimates (Mureika 2008)[3] for 200m at varying altitudes for a male athlete running 20 seconds.

 Wind m/s 0m 500m 1000m 1500m 2000m 2500m 0.0 0.00 -0.05 -0.10 -0.15 -0.20 -0.24 +1.0 -0.06 -0.11 -0.16 -0.20 -0.24 -0.28 +2.0 -0.12 -0.16 -0.20 -0.25 -0.28 -0.32

Correction estimates (Mureika 2008)[3] for 200m at varying altitudes for a female athlete running 22 seconds.

 Wind m/s 0m 500m 1000m 1500m 2000m 2500m 0.0 0.00 -0.06 -0.11 -0.16 -0.21 -0.26 +1.0 -0.08 -0.16 -0.18 -0.23 -0.27 -0.31 +2.0 -0.14 -0.19 -0.23 -0.28 -0.32 -0.35

### Rules of Competition

The competition rules for this event can be obtained from:

### References

1. DAVIES, C.T.M.(1980) Effects of wind assistance and resistance on the forward motion of a runner. J. Appl. Physio., 48, p. 702-709
2. DAPENA, J. and FELTNER, M.(1987) Effects of wind and altitude on the times of 100-meter sprint races. Int. J. Sport Biomech., 3, p. 6-39
3. MUREIKA, J.R. (2008) The Legality of wind and altitude assisted performance in the sprints. New Studies in Athletics, 15, p. 53-60
4. MUREIKA, J.R. (2001) A Realistic Quasi-physical Model of the 100 Metre Dash. Canadian Journal of Physics, 79 (4), p. 697-713
5. LINTHORNE, N.P. (1994) The effect of wind on 100m sprint times, Journal of Applied Biomechanics, 10, p. 110-131

### Page Reference

• MACKENZIE, B. (2009) Effect of wind speed and altitude [WWW] Available from: http://www.brianmac.co.uk/sprints/altwind.htm [Accessed

### Related Pages

The following Sports Coach pages provide additional information on this topic: