T Nation

Fitting Sprinting In, Some Questions

I’ve been inspired by various articles (sprinting towards single figure digits etc) to incorporate sprints into my routine, but I’m not totally sure how to ‘fit them in’. I’m not a big fan of having a rigid weekly structure of each day having an allocation, and I much prefer having a pattern to repeat, i.e. a 3 day cycle, one day off, then back on. My goals mainly building some lean tissue whilst maintaining my strong athletic routes and staying fit. Currently I’m around 180 lbs at 5 foot 10 (~10% BF).

So I have some questions:

(a) Sprint splits. Which would you say was optimal here, either (1) Push - Sprints - Pull - OFF - (Repeat), or (2) Upper - Sprints - Lower - OFF - (repeat)? I worry that number (2) won’t have enough work for the upper body to grow, only working the upper body 2 x per week?

(b) Leg work. I hear all the time that regardless, it’s essential to be doing leg work. How would this kind of sprint-intensive routine affect that though? Is it realistic/sensible/helpful to be doing 2 ‘lower’ sessions a week in addition to sprinting (see workout option 2 above), as in will my legs just stagnate and tire and performance will drop off or will the leg sessions actually be helpful?

© Weekly sprint frequency. In the routines above, I’d be sprinting every 4 days or so, so usually 2 sessions a week (with one week out of 7 having just 1 sprint session). Is this frequency enough/too much/not enough in your opinion? Sticking with my preferred routine cycling approach, I also thought about increasing the sprint frequency like follows:
Weights - Sprints - Weights - OFF - Sprints - Weights - Sprints - OFF
I.e. over 2 cycles, there’s actually equal weights:sprints instead of 4:2.

Thanks for any feedback guys.

Hi Mr Hamster.
Im glad you have asked me these questions.

(a) I would recommend having a day in between sprinting and leg weight lifting. That day could be a chest day or shoulder day etc.

(b) Sprinting can be hard on the hamstrings. If you were to include sprinting in your weekly routine, I would cut down to 1 “lower” session a week.

© Could be possible. I would maybe limit sprinting to once every 5 days. I would be cautious and work into the sprints easily.

bump- anyone else?

I kind of disagree, Heres my standpoint, during track they would (even sprinters) get out on the track for 2 hr practices at least 6 days a week. Besides that the guys were lifting 4 times a week and still hitting records in either gym or track by all means these guys werent huge except for the gymnast and the 5’3 180 guy but that being said my point was. if you do sprints 3X a week or so you should still be able to lift regardless of you weight lifting schedule. I mean lift as if you didnt run, then every other day or so do sprints.

There is nothing wrong with frequency as the last poster also mentioned. One thing you can do to add a little bit more in is to do a quick set of sprints with a focus on a certain aspect. Like do 6 40 yd sprints where you are at max speed from 20 to 30 yards. Or you can do change of direction sprints. Stand ready spin 180 to one side and sprint for 20 to 40 yards. There are a ton of different drills you can use, it’s more a CNS imp. so it doesnt have to be time consuming. Make it short and intense, but with ample rceovery from sprint to sprint

I usually do 2 sprint days a week.

sat - sprint
sun - chest/tri
mon- sprint
tues - back/bi
wed - squat
thurs - shoulders/traps/abs
fri - off

Based on what you seem to prefer I would think something like this might work for you.

day 1 pull
day 2 sprint
day 3 push
day 4 legs
day 5 off

As stated above you should work your way up to all out sprints. I would start with some short distance runs 1-3 miles for a couple of weeks. Once you start sprinting go 80% then 90% the next time to get used to it. Also make sure to stretch well and jog some to warm up before sprinting. I sprint at the high school track. I run a mile (4 laps) to warm up and then walk the turns and sprint the straight part. Usually 4 or 5 laps - 8 or 10 sprints. Good luck.