“What’s a good 400 meter sprint time?” is not just a question exclusive to CrossFitters but athletes in general. If you’re not a 400m specialist, but you run or stay in shape otherwise, you’re probably curious how your 400m sprint time stacks up to both average and elite runners.
By looking at 400m sprint times of CrossFit athletes, we can see what the distribution of 400m times looks like for a fairly large group of athletes. And since CrossFitters don’t train to sprint/run, we can probably extrapolate that CrossFit 400m sprint times somewhat reflect sprint times of casual runners, too.
I collected data on 5,376 CrossFit Open participants, 387 of which self-reported their 400m times (299 men, 88 women).
For men, you can see the mean, median, 75th percentile, 25th percentile sprint times here on the right.
If we look at the distribution of men’s 400m times, we get a fairly normal looking distribution of 400m sprint times:
For women, you can see the mean, median, 75th percentile, 25th percentile sprint times here on the right. Women’s times at these marks are about 19-25% slower than men’s.
If we look at the distribution of women’s 400m times, like with men, we get a fairly normal looking distribution of 400m sprint times:
How good are both CrossFit women’s and men’s 400m times compared to specialists? Probably not very good.
Scrounging around the internet, for men, a 55 second time is high school JV level, a 51 second time is about varsity level, and around 47 seconds you’re an elite 400m high school runner. Being a top 5 percentile CrossFit 400m sprinter (54 seconds) is good enough for a position on a high school JV track team, and that’s it.
This reaffirms that running is not emphasized all that much in CrossFit.