People don’t sprint, but they should…
Did you know that less than 5% of the human population actually sprints after the young age of 30? We're saying the huge majority of the population never goes above the gentle effort of a leisurely jog. In fact, not all elite athletes sprint. Mo Farah, one of the greatest middle and long-distance runners ever, recently got beat by a dad in jean shorts in a footrace at his kid's elementary school field day. And he's only 40! I bet jean-shorts dad is also more jacked, has more STRENGTH, and can react better to an emergency situation because he trains his body to a blood-boiling effort... he SPRINTS! On his feet, on a bike, a rower, and probably in life, too.
Did you know that sprinting can increase testosterone production sevenfold for several hours afterward? That means whether you're a world class marathoner, a dad in ugly trousers, or anyone else striving to be their FITTEST version, you should probably join that ELITE 5% of people who clearly know what's good for them... and SPRINT!
Don't know where to begin? Here's a beginner's sprint training protocol:
- Start with a dynamic warm-up routine to prepare your muscles and joints for sprinting. Include exercises such as jogging, high knees, butt kicks, leg swings, and lunges.
- Perform stride runs to work on your running form and stride length. Stride runs are longer than regular sprints but not at maximum effort. Run at around 70-80% of your maximum speed for a distance of about 50-100 meters. Take a 1-2 minute recovery between each stride run.
- Choose a distance that is challenging but manageable for you, such as 100 meters. Perform a set of interval sprints at maximum effort, followed by a recovery period. Start with shorter distances and gradually increase as you progress. Here's an example workout:
- Week 1: 4 x 100 meters with 2 minutes recovery between sprints.
- Week 2: 6 x 100 meters with 90 seconds recovery between sprints.
- Week 3: 8 x 100 meters with 1 minute recovery between sprints.
- Find a hill with a moderate incline and perform hill sprints. Sprint uphill for about 30-50 meters, focusing on driving your knees and pumping your arms. Walk or jog downhill for recovery. Start with 4-6 hill sprints and gradually increase the number as you improve.
- Incorporate tempo runs to build endurance and speed. Run at a comfortably hard pace for a longer distance, such as 400-800 meters. Aim to maintain a consistent pace throughout the run. Start with shorter distances and gradually increase the duration and distance as you progress.
Rest and Recovery:
- Allow yourself at least one or two rest days per week to recover and prevent overtraining.
Remember to cool down with some light jogging or walking and stretch your muscles after each training session to aid in recovery and reduce the risk of injury. Additionally, gradually increase the intensity and volume of your workouts over time as your fitness level improves.
Want more help with your sprinting form, breathing, or anything else? Email our performance experts. They're fast AF!