Hats off to those who are consistent runners and joggers but for many people, it is flat-out boring! If you are like me and need more than a neighborhood run or the mindless chit-chat that comes along with a running group …try Sprinting. Yes, Sprinting!
When people hear “sprinting” they automatically associate it with something that only elite athletes perform or they associate it with pulled muscles!
When I was in high school, we had a volunteer sprint coach who designed a lot of our tough workouts. He ran every session with us, no matter how tough and he was in his early 70’s! That dude is still alive, looks amazing, is still sprinting and is currently a well decorated senior Olympian in his late 80’s! I haven’t stopped sprinting since I met him and I will continue to do so!
Here is an intro-sprint format:
Find a local track, football, soccer or open field and measure out your sprint distance for 100 yards or meters, depending on your surroundings. Near work, I have a great artificial field that I do all of my sprint workouts on. Near my home, there is a school with a great rubber track. Look in your area and I am sure you can find something like that near you. If not, hit a wide open field and you’re good to go!
For a warm-up, jog for 10 minutes around the field or track, stretch all of your major muscle groups then perform these pre-sprint drills:
All of these drills are to be performed for 10 yards then back to where you started, for a total of two times each movement.
- 10 yard high-knee drill (Slowly covering the 10 yards while bringing your knees as high as you can)
- 10 yard butt-kickers (Running at a slow pace yet trying to hit your rear-end with your heels)
- 10 yard back-pedals (A slow run backwards, really reaching back to get full range of motion in your backward stride)
- 10 yard shuffle (Shuffling your feet side to side with controlled form and technique)
The 100 yard Sprints:
Perform 6-12, 100 yard sprints at half speed, working on fluid motion and getting “the feel” for going faster than your normal jog.
With one hand on your starting line, begin your sprint in controlled fashion at about half-speed and then at about 50 yards, build up to about 3/4 speed and hold that until the finish. It is NOT about going as fast as you can, start by working on getting to a decent speed and maintaining it with body control and technique. Rest no longer than 20-30 seconds between sprints and repeat!
After you have performed your 6-12 sprints, finish off the workout with another 10 minute jog, stretch out again and you’re done!
After a few times, this basic workout will increase your comfort and confidence in your sprinting. You can then increase the number of sprints you do, their intensity and vary the distances you sprint by performing different combinations of short, mid-range and longer sprints.
Quite often, I will perform a warm up and stretch at work or home, run to the field/track and straight from my jog, go right into the sprint session, jog back to the starting line between sprints and then jog back home or to work…all without stopping. I just freelance and make every workout different. It gives me a very high level of conditioning and is way more fun than a simple run.
I am convinced you will enjoy sprinting as well, it is without a doubt one of the best forms of physical activity you can perform.
Anyone can sprint, even you! So, mix in a sprint workout once or twice a week in addition to your current activities and you will notice a sharp increase in both your conditioning and your performance.