100m Progression over past 30 years


The recent slew of WRs in the 100m over the past couple years has given rise to the notion that 100m performances have reached a hyper-speed acceleration. The data doesn’t really support this though. In fact, if there was ever a time warranting suspicion it should have been 1996. I’ve taken some data that I found over at Track & Field News message board and put together some charts and figures. There’s some interesting information here. The most obvious observations are:

  • That there’s been a slight downward trend over the past 30 years.
  • That Olympiad years tend to produce MORE top performances but not necessarily faster ones.
  • The Top 50 and Top 100 times seem to be highly correlated…meaning that they likely aren’t being skewed by either side of the spectrum getting faster or slower.

Take a look at the charts and graphs. What are you seeing?

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Mike Young

Mike Young

Founder of ELITETRACK at Athletic Lab
Mike has a BS in Exercise Physiology from Ohio University, an MSS in Coaching Science from Ohio University & a PhD in Biomechanics from LSU. Additionally, he has been recognized as a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) from the National Strength & Conditioning Association, a Level 3 coach by USA Track & Field, a Level 2 coach by USA Weightlifting.
Mike Young


📈Owner @AthleticLab 🏆Perf Dir @theNCCourage ⚽️Fit Coach @NorthCarolinaFC ➡️Proformance 📚Keynote Speaker & Author 📊Sport Science & Research🏃🏾‍♂️T&F 💪🏼S&C 🏋🏽‍♂️WL
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Mike Young
Mike Young