What’s A Good 100m Time? Average 100 Meter Times By Age + Sex

In athletics, there are a variety of events such as middle and long distance runs like the 800 meters, 1500 meters, 5000 meters, and the marathon. In addition, there are hurdles, jumps, throws, and combination events like the decathlon. There are also short sprints.

The fastest, shortest track and field event is the 100-meter dash. This event occurs on the straightaway portion of a 400-meter track.

Most runners like to compare themselves with other peers in their sex and age groups to see how they stack up according to different running distances and times. 

Even though the 100 meter dash may not be the most popular race distance for all age levels, it’s interesting to see where we all stand regarding this distance and our current fitness levels. 

This guide will look at the 100 meter distance, current 100 meter world records, and what an average 100 meter time looks like based on age, sex, and fitness level. 

  • How Long is 100 Meters?
  • What are the Current 100 Meter World Records?
  • What Factors Can Impact Your 100 Meter Time?  
  • Average 100 Meter Times By Age and Sex
  • What’s A Good 100M Time? 
  • Tips To Improve Your 100 Meter Time 


Let’s jump in! 

People running a 100 meter dash on a track.

How Long is 100 Meters?

Before we look into the average time for the 100m dash, or what’s a good 100m time for different age groups, let’s get an idea of exactly how long 100 meters is.

100 meters is .1 of a kilometer, 328 feet, or 109.36 yards. On a standard outdoor 400-meter track, 100 meters is one straightaway on the track, excluding the curves.

In the 100m event, athletes begin in race blocks on the track lined up side by side and stay in their designated lane for the entirety of the distance.

What are the Current 100 Meter World Records?

According to World Athletics, the current 100-meter world record is held by Usain Bolt from Jamaica and was set on August 16, 2009, at the Olympiastadion in Berlin, Germany, with a time of 9.58 seconds.

USA’s Florence Griffith-Joyner holds the women’s 100-meter world record with a time of 10.49 seconds. It was set in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA, on July 16, 1988.  

People running a 100 meter dash on a track.

What Factors Can Impact Your 100 Meter Time?  

Deciding what’s a good 100m time depends on several factors, including your age, sex, ability, and current fitness level. 

Regarding sex, most male runners genetically have more muscle mass and fast twist muscle density, which makes them faster runners overall in most distances, as you can see by the world record times listed above.

Age also affects our performance as research suggests that the prime running age category is between 25-35, and our performance begins to decline after age 35. 

Our fitness level will also affect our performance no matter what distance we are running. However, fitness levels are one of the factors that we can actually control, unlike our age and sex. We can improve our 100m time with specific training sessions and exercises. 

People running a 100 meter dash on a track.

Typical 100m Times By Age, Sex, and Ability

Defining Sprinting Ability Levels

Here’s how we’d define each of the levels listed in our table:

  • Beginner: By beginner, we’re not referring to somebody straight off the couch who’s shown up to their first race with no training, as there’s too much variation in terms of baseline fitness and physique to provide a useful guideline time. Instead, in this sense, we’d consider a beginner to be somebody who’s relatively new to sprinting, perhaps entering their first race, but has a decent base level of fitness. However, they lack proper sprinting technique and the knowledge required to build an effective training regime.
  • Novice: You’re still not especially competitive, but you have increasing experience and commitment to training. You’ve completed several races at this distance, and are looking to improve your PB in each one.
  • Intermediate Recreational: You’re taking sprinting increasingly seriously, and it’s getting more difficult to beat your previous PBs. You might have joined an athletics club or started training with a qualified coach, and while you’re unlikely to be competing for local race victories, you’d be hoping to finish high up the field.
  • High-Level Recreational: You train seriously with a professional coach, and are among the top-performing sprinters in your athletics club competing for victories in local meets. You are likely approaching the peak of your potential performance, with a substantial time investment in training each week.
  • Sub-Elite: You are one of the strongest sprinters in your region, and may even compete nationally, although you’re unlikely to fight for the top positions.
  • National Class: You are one of the finest sprinters in your country, competing for victories against all but the very best athletes in the sport. You likely train either full-time as a professional, or you make a flexible job fit around your training.
  • Elite: You are at the pinnacle of the sport, competing for victories at the most prestigious races and representing your country at major international events.

Typical 100m Times for Men by Age and Ability

Age GroupBeginnerNoviceIntermediate RecreationalHigh-Level RecreationalSub-EliteNational ClassEliteWorld Record

Typical 100m Times for Women by Age and Ability

Age GroupBeginnerNoviceIntermediate RecreationalHigh-Level RecreationalSub-EliteNational ClassEliteWorld Record
* We’ve used Elaine Thompson-Herah’s Olympic Record set in Tokyo in 2021 for our calculations, rather than Florence Griffith Joyner’s 1988 World Record of 10.49.

How We Produced This Data

The tables above have been carefully created to give our readers performance benchmarks and to enable comparisons of relative performance adjusted for age and sex.

We drew on a wide range of sources to decide on our benchmark times for different ability levels in the 18-39 age range (which we used to calculate the rest of our data).

These included data presented in scientific studies, race results across a range of standards of competition, reference to the IAAF points standardization charts, and our own judgment as a community of highly-qualified running coaches within Marathon Handbook.

For the age-graded world records, we’ve used the official records ratified by the World Association of Masters Athletes (WMA), correct as of 18 March 2024.

To translate the times for ability levels across different age grades, we used our 18-39 benchmark times to establish each ability level as a percentage of the world record for a given age group.

For example, our “elite” men’s 100m time for the 18-39 range was 10.1 seconds, which is 105.43% of Usain Bolt’s world record of 9.58.

So, when calculating the “elite” times for other age grades, we multiplied the respective world records by 105.43%. We replicated this approach across all of the listed ability levels.

It should be noted that this method does create some inconsistencies, with the performance gaps between certain age groups being larger than others because a particular world record happens to be an outlier.

However, we found the resulting data more reliable and with a more accurate representation of performance drop relative to age than we achieved when comparing our results to existing age-grade calculators.

A track warm up with cones.

Tips To Improve Your 100 Meter Time 

#1: Train Your Top Speed With Short Sprints

Short-distance, high-intensity interval training will help improve your top speed, turnover, and running form. 

For the 100 meter event, you will want to train even shorter distances in your interval sprinting workouts. 

Perform these short interval workouts on a track, or if you do not have access to a track, on a flat surface where you won’t need to stop for traffic or any other obstacles that could get in your way. 

Focus on good form, a powerful leg drive, and a strong arm swing while performing these sprints. You don’t want to be careless with your form and end up pulling a muscle! 

Also, ensure you warm up thoroughly before working on all-out sprints.

A person warming up on a track.

Flying Sprints

  • Warm-up: 10-15 min jog with 5 x 10-second strides
  • Run: 6 x 40 meter-Flying Sprints with 3-5 minutes of recovery between each one. 
  • Cooldown: 10-15 min jog

50-Meter Repetitions 

  • Warm-up: 10-15 min jog with 5 x 10-second strides
  • Repeat 4x: Sprint 50m, rest 60 seconds, sprint 50m, rest 3-5 minutes.
  • Cooldown: 10-15 minutes 

#2: Include Hillwork 

Including short, powerful hill repeats in your training program is an excellent way to increase your speed, power, and overall running economy.

Try some short hill sprint workouts to get started: 

  1. Warm up for 10-15 minutes with an easy jog
  2. Sprint 5 seconds uphill at an effort of 9+ on the RPE scale. 
  3. Walk back down to your starting point. 
  4. Rest completely for 1-2 minutes at the starting point until you are ready to go again.
  5. Repeat 8-12 times, depending on your fitness level.
  6. Cool down for 10-15 minutes with an easy jog.

As your fitness improves, you can increase the uphill sprint time to 10 seconds.

For more hill repeats, check out my complete guide here.

Butt kicks.

#3: Add Track Drills To Your Warm Up 

After your 10-15 minute warm-up, add some track drills to get your nervous system firing on all cylinders, your mobility and range of motion in check, and prepare you for your workout.

Here are some specific drills you can include in your warm ups: 

  • A Skips
  • Butt Kicks
  • High Knees
  • Bounding
  • Carioca
  • Single and Double Leg Hops
  • Strides 
  • Fast Feet
  • Skipping
A person doing a box jump.

#4: Add Plyometrics To Your Strength Training Sessions

As you have undoubtedly heard over and over, strength training is essential for runners to improve strength, power, and mobility and reduce the risk of injuries. Especially when performing short, powerful, all-out sprints like the 100 meter dash.

Plyometrics, or jumping exercises, are excellent for improving your muscular power. Add bouts of plyometrics to your strength training sessions with exercises such as: 

  • Jump squats
  • Jump lunges
  • Box jumps
  • Single-leg box jumps 
  • Jumping jacks
  • Jump rope
  • Long jumps
  • Skaters
  • Bounds
  • Depth Jumps

Ready to get training to improve that 100-meter time? To start, click here for more information on plyometrics for speed and power.

A person bounding.
Photo of author
Katelyn is an experienced ultra-marathoner and outdoor enthusiast with a passion for the trails. In the running community, she is known for her ear-to-ear smile, even under the toughest racing conditions. She is a UESCA-certified running coach and loves sharing her knowledge and experience to help people reach their goals and become the best runners they can be. Her biggest passion is to motivate others to hit the trails or road alongside her, have a blast, and run for fun!

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