Running is one of the most popular fitness activity. It can be divided into two main categories: distance running and sprinting. Distance running works a wide variety of muscles, is an extremely effective cardiovascular workout, and provides many mental health benefits. Sprinting on the other hand, is often thought of as an activity that is not beneficial for all-around fitness. As it turns out, this is far from the truth.
The advantages of sprinting
Some of the health advantages of Sprinting include increased power, speed, and coordination, as well as a number of metabolic benefits. Sprinting works a wide variety of muscles from the legs to the core to the arms. Regular sprint training will benefit athletes participating in any sport. In addition to the increased power and speed, the metabolic benefits of sprint training are diverse. A number of studies have shown that sprint training is more effective at reducing subcutaneous fat than endurance training. In addition, sprint training has been shown to significantly lower insulin resistance, as well as increase glucose tolerance. If you are running with the goal of burning fat, in many ways sprinting is the way to go.
Is it for everyone?
But even for distance runners, sprint training can have a number of beneficial effects. Anybody who has watched an elite distance runner is well aware of the fact that these runners not only have a powerful aerobic engine, but they also run with an elegance and efficiency not seen in your average jogger. One of the best ways to develop this efficiency is through sprint training. It requires your body to maximize efficiency, and this improved coordination will have lasting effects in your distance running form. So if you are new to sprinting, what is the best way to go about starting a sprint training program? As with any type of training, it is important to remember to ease into it gradually. In addition, sprint training generally requires more recovery than distance running, so it is important to make sure to take rest days between sprint workouts. It is also important to remember that you do not need to always be running at full speed to gain the benefits of sprint training. In general, it is a good practice to change the distance and speed of each sprinting workout.
Typical sprinting workouts
Workout A: 4 x 200 meters at 75% effort with with 3 minutes rest between each sprint.
Workout B: 5 x 100 meters at 90% effort with 2 minutes rest between each sprint.
Workout C: 8 x 50 meters at 100% effort with 1 minute rest between each sprint.
During the sprints, focus on pumping your arms, lifting your knees, and running with the most efficient and relaxed form possible. During the rest periods, it is good to walk or jog lightly until you feel fully recovered before beginning the next interval. If you don’t have a track available, as a rough estimate you can use 30 s, 15 s, and 7 s time intervals instead of the 200 m, 100 m, and 50 m distance intervals. Depending on your current fitness level and fitness goals, you may want to do more or less of each distance. In general though, it is advised to start a workout slower, gradually increase your effort towards the middle and decrease it at the end of the workout. This will allow your body to warm up at the beginning and reduce your risk of injury through the session.
And don’t forget to cool down after your workout. A light walk, jog and some stretching will help increase circulation through your legs and help you recover more quickly. After your workout, you can also massage your legs with natural cream like Arnica for quicker recovery.
Finding a sprinting buddy: Axir
Sprinting isn’t just for the aspiring Usain Bolt. The beneficial effects of sprinting are diverse, and they can provide benefits to athletes with any fitness level or goal. On Axir, you can find people to train with, join and create your own sprinting events.