T Nation

Sled Sprints - Optimal Distance?

What would be the optimal distance to use, when using Sled Sprints for Conditioning/ Extensive Tempo type workouts? Could you utilize a distance of up to 60m or more?

Or maybe 30m sled sprints with shorter recoveries e.g 30sec -1min?

It depends on the goal you are after.

If you are using sled sprints to improve maximum power output, then sprints of about 6 seconds with a moderate load are appropriate. If that is your goal, you should use complete, or close to complete rest so that power output remains stable (or even increase) throughout all your sets.

If you are using sprints to build acceleration/speed then you should use a lighter load still for sets of no more than 6 seconds. Again, using significant rest periods is important.

If you are using sprints to improve metabolic conditioning you can either do…

  1. Anaerobic power: this is what I explained earlier

  2. Anaerobic capacity: either sets lasting about 12-15 seconds with 45-60 seconds of rest or ones lasting 6-9 seconds with 30-45 seconds of rest

  3. Lactate tolerance: sets lasting either sets lasting 30-45 seconds with about 90-120 seconds of rest or sets of 20ish seconds with 45-60 seconds of rest

Coach, which training modality would be more efficacious, in terms of achieving a conditioning effect. Sled Sprints performed at Extensive tempo pace with more reps e.g 2x6x60m or 2x10x30m @ 75% or faster sprints with shorter rest periods e.g 6x30m or 6x60m @ 90%. I mainly use Sled sprints at the beginning of my Sled workout, before the heavier,slower pulls.