200 Metres: Athletes vs. Commandos!

In 2017, the qualification standard for British athletes for the 200 metres was set at:

  • 21.35 seconds for men; and
  • 24.70 seconds for women.

For military personnel attending the Royal Marines Recruit Course, the Royal Marines Young Officer Course, and the All Arms Commando Course, the qualification standard for the 200 metres was set at:

  • 90.00 seconds for all personnel.

Now, you might think that is not very fast, but you have to consider that military personnel on the Commando course are carrying:

  • Another person, of similar size and weight, over their shoulder – in the classic fireman’s carry;
  • Their own, and their partners, webbing weighing approximately 25 lbs each (50 lbs combined); and
  • Their own personal weapon, and their partners, weighing approximately 9 lbs each (18 lbs combined).

Trainee Commandos who complete the distance in 90 seconds travel at approximately 5 mph, whilst those who complete it in 75 seconds will travel at approximately 6 mph.

Unlike the 100 metre race, which requires pure explosive power, a 200 metre runner must maintain this speed and have “speed endurance”. Commando trainees must, therefore, have both strength and speed endurance to complete the distance in the time required.

Run Hive has a tool which combines both an age-graded calculator and a equivalent performances calculator into one if you wish to know how your 200 metre time (or any other time/distance) compares with other runners.


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