If you're training to increase your speed, it's crucial to know how to read a stopwatch. Stopwatches are perfect tools to gauge your performance and see where you can improve. There are many kinds of stopwatches now, but the most popular are the digital, plastic models that are about $10. Most of these come with the time, date, split buttons, and the ability to start and stop a recording time. Almost all stopwatches have three buttons, which is what you will need to use if you want to know how to use one:
- Mode. The "Mode" button changes the stopwatch functions. Most, by default, will be on the clock setting. Press Mode to get to other settings. If you want to record your speed, you'll have to press the "Mode" button until finding something that looks like 00.0000. To read the stopwatch, you have to know that the first two 0's are minutes, the second pair are seconds, and the third pair are milliseconds. If you wait for hours, the first pair turns to hours, the second to minutes, and the third to seconds. Pressing the "Start/Stop" button will make this number start going up, recording the time elapsed, and pressing it again will stop the timer.
- Split/Reset. The "Split/Reset" button serves two purposes. If you press it while the stopwatch is running, the timer's display will reset to another split, but the total time elapsed will also still be recorded. When you press the "Start/Stop" button to stop the timer, you will be able to review your splits and total times. This is handy if you're running laps. If you hold down the "Split/Reset" button, however, the recorded time will be set back to zero.
- Start/Stop. The "Start/Stop" button is primarily used for the stopwatch, to start and stop the timer.
If you have further questions as to how to read a stopwatch, you should try to find an online manual for your specific brand of stopwatch. Many newer models have multiple functions, but the basics of all stopwatches are generally the same.