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400m Predictor Test

Testing and measurement are the means of collecting information upon which subsequent performance evaluations and decisions are made but, in the analysis, we need to bear in mind the factors that may influence the results.


Frank Horwill's 40 yards (36.6 metres) test is used to predict an athlete's potential 400 metres time.

Required Resources

To undertake this test, you will require:

  • Flat non-slip surface
  • Measuring tape
  • Stopwatch
  • Cones
  • Assistant

How to conduct the test

This test requires the athlete to conduct 3 x 40 yards time trails.

  • The athlete warms up for 10 minutes
  • The assistant marks a 40 yards straight section with cones
  • The athlete takes up a sprint start position
  • The assistant gives the commands “On Your Marks, Set, GO” and starts the stopwatch
  • The athlete sprints the 40 yards
  • The assistance stops the stopwatch when the athlete's torso crosses the finishing line and records the time
  • The athlete conducts 3 x 40 yards sprints with a 5-minute recovery between each sprint
  • The assistant uses the fastest time to assess the athlete's performance


I have been unable to locate any normative data for this test.

The athlete's potential 400 metres time, in seconds, can be calculated as follows:

  • Male athletes = (Time for 40 yards × 10) + 2
  • Female athletes = (Time for 40 yards × 10) + 4

Enter the 40 yards time, Gender and then select the "Calculate" button for an analysis of the athlete's potential 400 metres time.

40 yards time secs   Gender     400m time secs


Analysis of the result is by comparing it with the results of previous tests. It is expected that, with appropriate training between each test, the analysis would indicate an improvement.

Target Group

This test is suitable for middle distance athletes but not for individuals where the test would be contraindicated.


Test reliability refers to the degree to which a test is consistent and stable in measuring what it is intended to measure. Reliability will depend upon how strict the test is conducted and the individual's level of motivation to perform the test. The following link provides a variety of factors that may influence the results and therefore the test reliability.


Test validity refers to the degree to which the test actually measures what it claims to measure and the extent to which inferences, conclusions, and decisions made on the basis of test scores are appropriate and meaningful. This test provides a means to monitor the effect of training on the athlete's physical development. The degree to which the test actually predicts 400-metre times is low.


  • Minimal equipment required
  • Simple to set up and conduct
  • Can be conducted almost anywhere


  • Specific facilities required - non-slip surface
  • Assistant required to administer the test

Free Calculator

Page Reference

If you quote information from this page in your work, then the reference for this page is:

  • MACKENZIE, B. (2004) 400 metre Predictor Test [WWW] Available from: [Accessed

Related Pages

The following Sports Coach pages provide additional information on this topic: