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How Often Should I Be Doing Sprints?


I am wondering how often I should be doing speed, quickness and agility work, things such sprints, quick feet exercises and agility runs. I am training for hockey and rugby so speed and quickness is important but I am confused as to how frequently I should be doing these. Right now my workouts are based around the Designer Athletes article by Mike Robertson with some slight variations. My week looks like this:

Day 1
heavy squat (front, back or box)
heavy post-chain (deadlift, RDL)
single leg (split squat variations, single leg squats)
hanging leg raises
standing cable twist
back extensions

Day 2
heavy bench press (normal or incline)
barbell or t-bar row
push press
accessory vertical pull
face pulls
wall slides

Day 3
I am thinking this is the day I should do speed and agility work. I was going to start off with small sprints working towards longer ones. Some agility work using an agility ladder and some power work using medicine balls.

Day 4
heavy vertical pull
single arm bench press
accessory horizontal pull
vertical press

Day 5
heavy pull (clean, snatch)
post-chain (deadlift variations, RDLs)
single leg (split squat/lunge variations, single leg squat)
hanging leg raises
russian twists

Day 6
conditioning work

Day 7
rest day

My workouts vary a little but this shows the general template. Basically I was wanting to know if once a week is enough for speed work. As I get closer to the season I am going do speed work 2-3 times a week. Any help is greatly appreciated.


What exactly do you mean by "speed work"? Are you going to just work on mechanics? Or are you going to run hard sprints? If you run hard during these speed sessions, you might want to do them on the same days as your lower body lifting sessions to reduce the weekly accumulated stress on your nervous system. Try to take advantage of your opportunities to rest or do low level stuff. Alot of the time, it's what you do when you're not training that can make all the difference. Just my two cents...


I would say do you sprints only twice a week. You could have an agility speed day and a linear speed day. I suggest only doing sprints twice a week because you are playing 2 sports that require you to sprint alot, You will find that if you sprint all the time it no longer feels like a sprint, you dont have that pop so to speak.



Are you saying that when Usain Bolt runs the 100m this no longer feels like sprinting to him?


No not at all. Im saying he doesnt have to do 5 sprints workouts a week because he plays 2 sports. More is less with sprinting. To get the most out of sprinting or jumping, its quality over volume. Do you get that?


I think its pretty safe to say the Usain Bolt does considerably more than 5 track workouts a week.


Yes because usain is a track athlete who runs 100m/200m and doesn't need to go to work. what is your point? Hockeylife plays rugby and hockey. These two sports actually involve lots of sprints. To improve his speed (not conditioning) you would have maybe 2 specific speed workouts a week, with very low volume. Defranco doesn't have his athletes sprint all year round. He, unlike you knows how to train athletes. Sprints, like depth jumps have a very powerful training effect. Therefore to train in high volume is stupid.


Im not saying Hockeylife should sprint that much, im just pointing out that depending on how you manage your volume and nutrition you can cope with a fair volume of work. I totally agree that training purely for speed is all about quality rather than quantity so what Id suggest is for Hockeylife to guage what sprinting he does by how intense his hockey/rugby commitments that week are.

For instance if he had an easier training session or a game called off then that would be a perfect opportunity to bring in some extra sprint work. If he has had a hard week with his sports, then maybe some technique work and extra restoration would be more appropriate.

Personally during the rugby season id play x 1 a week and train an additional 3 times with the team. Thus I see no point in sprinting in season since I sprint x 4 a week. Id rather squat and do single leg work.



Check out Tom Shaw's website. In your situation, training to sprint faster may be more appropriate than just sprinting. Resisted sprints, overspeed, etc Chip Smith also has some good articles that would apply to you on Stack magazines' website.


How long until the season starts? Sorry I forgot that your not in season as im playing summer RL at the moment. Id say do a more agility based workout on the same say as one of your workouts if you can and then sprint for speed on your 'conditioning' day, before you do any conditioning.

That way you still get 2 days totally off and still get in 2 sessions of speed/agility.


This leads me to think you have never done any sprinting in your life....

Feel free to explain, what you meant by this?

I understand and agree that well playing two sports, dependent on what level, it is a good idea not to be sprinting every day. However throwing in a few sprints after sport specific training sessions will not hurt.


Trust me speed is my game. I was a national level SPRINT swimmer and and now play quite high level football (soccer). At a time where I was 200m sprints and i was doing say 20 reps and doing this near enough every day in pre season training I felt I was running fast but not sprinting.

it got me conditioned but No matter how much effort I was putting in I felt like I wasnt sprinting, just running hard because I had a low power output. Recently i have been playing lots of 5 and7 a side games for match related fitness and have been doing low volme speed sessions. E.g. 10 x 10-40m sprints and have never been faster.

All im saying is you should be getting enough match related fitness through your sport and game related training. And sprints should be incoprated as speed and power only if you want to get fast and powerful.


Good advice. A sprint session for speed shouldnt be more than 15 sets at the very most. I find that doing around 10 shorter sprints to start with and then several longer ones at the end works well for me.


Thank you all for the help. My hockey season doesn't start tell early september but I have found a solid sprinting program that should help. Thanks.