T Nation

No Track for Sprints

So I’m currently running 5/3/1 as well as training in combat sports. I’d very much like to do something fun and high intensity of my off days such as sprints.

I searched a bit and I found a sport complex at about 20 minutes from where I live with tracks, 100m 400m etc etc.

The only problem is that it costs like 50$ a month to attend to the complex but that catch is that I can’t even go when I want to, I have to be there when there’s running classes and what not, which is kind of a downer for my cause I’d like to do my sprints when I want to. Of course there’s and instructor there and that’s great, but after all I’m not trying to outrun usain bolt, I just want to run sprints for my health and conditioning benefits.

To all who says that run sprints, do you actually go to a sports complex and run on an established track or do you just sprint outside, regardless of the distance and what not?

How do people go about this?

I vary between sprinting in my yard (several acres big) and the road I live on. So far, everything I’ve done has been for specific amounts of time, rather than distance. I have a real cool timer from gymboss.com that I can program for intervals. It beeps at the end of each specified time period, so I don’t have to try to see a watch. However, if I wanted to do specific distances, it would be easy to measure and put up some cones. I have some cheap ones from one of my kids’ games that work well.

That reminds me, I have set up a course with those cones to do a prowler workout. I set them at 15, 30 and 45 yards and did them like you would do suicides in basketball. IE, go 15 then back, go 30 then back, go 45 then back, that’s one set.

I have done them on tracks, and streets. If there’s no women at the track it’s actually more fun in parks, paths and streets. No I don’t have a specific interval but I’m no Olympian either. Sometimes I pick a telephone pole, a car, or just go as far as possible. I find going as far as possible the most rewarding nothing like knowing you can run your hardest for longer than you did yesterday.

You can pace off the distance on the street or in a parking lot- hell, we measured out 100 yards in 10 yard intervals on one of our piers, and used that. One of the local high schools should have a track, go talk to the front office (who will probably refer you to the athletic office) about using it. You would probably have to avoid school and practice times, but its still there. Those are usually available to the public (within reason) because they are paid for with public funds.

Football Fields, flat grassy areas, hills, I’m sure there is somewhere nearby that you can sprint.

I personally would never do it on concrete though…
I feel like my shins and feet might explode.

Yes sprint outside!

If you want to know distances, then google map or runkeeper the area you want to run in.

How far are you thinking of sprinting? Distances under 100m are pretty easy to pace off and mark with cones, rocks, sticks stuck in the ground whatever, or use existing landmarks as others have mentioned. You can do timed intervals with a $20 sports watch (i.e. 10s, 20s, 30s etc.) and ignore distances all together. HS track is a good resource too. I hit that one up at 0 dark hundred sometimes and nobody’s ever questioned me about it.

For 200-400m distances close to home, I mark them off with the trip odometer on my car. I’m Canadian so the number to the decimal represents 100m.

Improvise, adapt and overcome.

Why not find a local highschool and run there? Most I’ve seen keep their track open after school hours.

Well as far as I know there no school around here that I know of with a track, and I was looking for an interior track because its getting cold and i feel as its gonna start snowibg soon where i live but till then ill sprint outside i guess, sorry about spelling im on my phone at work

[quote]batman730 wrote:
How far are you thinking of sprinting? Distances under 100m are pretty easy to pace off and mark with cones, rocks, sticks stuck in the ground whatever, or use existing landmarks as others have mentioned. You can do timed intervals with a $20 sports watch (i.e. 10s, 20s, 30s etc.) and ignore distances all together. HS track is a good resource too. I hit that one up at 0 dark hundred sometimes and nobody’s ever questioned me about it.

For 200-400m distances close to home, I mark them off with the trip odometer on my car. I’m Canadian so the number to the decimal represents 100m.

Improvise, adapt and overcome.[/quote]

I thought car odometers were innaccurate to measure stuff such as run distance

[quote]BruteWithGlutes wrote:

[quote]batman730 wrote:
How far are you thinking of sprinting? Distances under 100m are pretty easy to pace off and mark with cones, rocks, sticks stuck in the ground whatever, or use existing landmarks as others have mentioned. You can do timed intervals with a $20 sports watch (i.e. 10s, 20s, 30s etc.) and ignore distances all together. HS track is a good resource too. I hit that one up at 0 dark hundred sometimes and nobody’s ever questioned me about it.

For 200-400m distances close to home, I mark them off with the trip odometer on my car. I’m Canadian so the number to the decimal represents 100m.

Improvise, adapt and overcome.[/quote]

I thought car odometers were innaccurate to measure stuff such as run distance
[/quote]

Well it would probably be inaccurate if I was super concerned about the exact distance, but I’m not. Mine feels close enough to a similar distance on the track that I’m satisfied for my purposes. If you have a smartphone you can get an app that will measure distances to within fairly narrow margins. Or as someone else suggested, use Google maps if you’re looking for more accurate distances at no cost.

TBH, time intervals are much easier to do and, for general conditioning, they are just as useful as distance intervals, if not more so.

Okay and where can I get one of these Gym Boss thing? Considering I’m living in laval/CA

I’d just get a Timex Ironman or equivalent watch. Should have a countdown/interval timer function with an alarm built in. It’s cheaper, more readily available easier to carry than the Gym Boss.

gymboss.com It clips onto my shorts and weighs practically nothing. I don’t remember the cost, but it couldn’t have been too much, or I wouldn’t have tried it.