T Nation

Sprint Workout


#1

As part of my current routine, I do a couple of sprint sessions a week. I've read a few articles about the massive benefits, but I'm unsure about how much I should be doing, what distances etc, in order to get an awesome workout but not overdo it.

Currently, I'm keeping it fairly basic. Obviously with a warmup (including stretching), I tend to set out a 100m distance and put 30 minutes on the clock. Sprint 100m, walk back to the start, repeat until 30 minutes is up.

How does this strike you as a workout, in terms of volume, time, distance? Should I be varying the distances, should I be jogging back (i.e. aiming to never be walking), is walking between sprints OK? My past has seen a lot of steady state running, so I'm used to sessions of 30 mins where I finish feeling absolutely drained and pouring... is it OK/normal to not be feeling the same 'drain' after sprints?

Thanks for any guidance!


#2

Hi ShutUpAndSquat. Im glad you asked this question.
But the answer depends on your goal and where you are in progess of achieving your goal.

In general though; I would think 2 sprint sessions a week is too much. Cut down to 1 session a week. I would reccommend sprinting a distance between 60-80m. Aim for 10 repetitions, but you may have to work up to this. I would suggest walking in between sprints, remembering you are putting 100% effort in each sprint. This advice may vary depending on your goal.

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#3

Thankyou theBird, I appreciate your reply.

I hope you're having success building a nest for winter :stuck_out_tongue:


#4

I have to disagree with thebird, how he can say what you're doing is too much without details of your other training I dont know.

I think what you're doing sounds good. If you are doing this to improve your speed then walk back between sprints to keep the "quality" of your sprinting high, but if you're doing it for general fitness you could jog back to keep your heartrate up.

There's so much scope for progress on a routine like this:

Keep the number of sprints equal and increase speed or reduce rest
Increase the number of sprints keeping all other variables equal
Shorten the sprint distance, add weighted vest, pull a tyre, add hills etc

The variations are endless. Sprinting is one of the best conditioning exercises you can do and complements lifting so well. Keep up the good work and don't "overthink" it too much.


#5

It really depends on what your specific goals are. If you wish to do a real sprint training session to improve speed then it should look something like this

Warm ups
1 lap warm up slow pace

Stretches (Glutes, hamstrings, lower back, groin, hip flexor, quads, calves)

Drills(high knees, lunges, butt kicks x 3 per drill out to about 10 meters)

3x100m stride throughs focussing on form

12x100m
Walk back rest


#6

After trying out the sessions for a couple of weeks I've concluded that 12 x 100m sprints is just a little too much for my recovery (in line with my weights workouts and heavy bag sessions), so I've modified it to include some shorter sprints too. I.e.

5 min jog warmup, with loosening exercise (i.e. ankle bum kicks)
Stretching
7 x 100m sprints (with walk back to start)
8-10 x 50m sprints (with walk back to start)
5-10 min jog warm-down
Stretching

I feel this is manageable but still creates adequate training effect.


#7

See. I told you so. Your trying to do too much, too early.
My new sprinting day routine consists of;
1km warm up run
5 minutes of drills(ie ankle bum kicks)
10 x 15m hill sprints(with a gradient of about 40-45 degrees)
5 x 70m sprints.

I do all of this after my shoulders workout.

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#8

My sprints sessions are about as basic as it gets:

  • head to local highschool football field (fieldturf is the TRUTH)
  • thorough warm-up (hips, especially)
  • 110-yd sprint (back of one endzone to front of other)
  • walk back and repeat x 10-12 (or 14-20, if I've had a Finibar or sweet potato beforehand)
  • eat like a horse (you'll still wake up leaner the next morning)

#9

Wow you really understand how to manipulate volume and intensity don't you? (sarcasm)

12 x 100m = 1200m

7 x 100m + 8-10 x 50m = 1100-1200m

The volume is still more or less the same and assuming you run your 50's at a higher pace than your 100's you've slightly upped the intensity too. I doubt you'll feel any difference after these changes at all.


#10

Thanks for the replies. @FarmerBrett, whilst I appreciate the distance might be the same, I definitely feel the difference and feel less 'run down' after the new style. I think the whole 100m sprints take a lot more out of me, and breaking them down into more, shorter ones, really allow me to keep the intensity and effort up without the draining, loss of performance that comes in the last 15-20m of the 100m sprints towards the end.


#11

I dont understand how people can sprint 100m 10 times.
I do 70m sprints, and by the 7th sprint I can hardly sprint anymore.
How long dd it take you guys to be able to do 10 repetitions of sprints? I fond if I miss one week of sprinting it puts me back 2-3 weeks.

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#12

Didnt you say that you do sprints after regular weights sessions though? Might explain why you're a little puffed out by the 7th set or so!


#13

Good point. I'd say its taken me ~2yrs/~100 sprints sessions to rebuild my training capacity to respectable levels.

For someone without a football/track background, I would say the learning curve goes something like this:

1 - become a pull runner (hams, glutes are the prime movers and not the quads. Think of "sitting back" while you run, hips should NOT be bouncing up/down AT ALL, keeping the transverse abdominus engaged etc. I know that "sitting back" comment is vague so def check out Minor and Boyce's sprint articles on this site)

2 - build up cardiovascular capacity thru repetition and proper preworkout nutrition (Finibar or good ole sweet potato work best for me)

3 - get lean (I'm really starting to think this is more important than #2. Or at least achieving this will allow for RAPID improvements in #2. In other words, now that I'm as lean as I was in highschool (read: no longer drinking beers semi-frequently), its no wonder I've regained most of that training capacity that I had way back when


#14

Thanks for the help T-Nationers.
Im about to to get ready to start my comeback for next years soccer season. Im about to add 400m runs in my program aswell. Its amazing how much cardio capacity you lose after cncenrating on lifting heavy weights for 3 months. Ill keep you all updated.


#15

I should add one more tip:

4 - just do the damn thing - assuming one is doing this for general conditioning, fat loss etc, don't make excuses and skip out on those days when you're only feeling 80% or 60%. Just get out there and get 80% or 60% done and you WILL still make progress. As usual, its all about consistency over the long haul


#16

Thats a very good tip. Lately Ive been skipping workouts, especially towards the end of the week, just cause I feel tired. Time to bird-up!

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