Before I give you the details on exactly the sprinting workout I did, I also want to stress that sprinting can return a youthfulness to our bodies. When we are young we naturally have fast-twitch reactions so can easily jolt using all of our energy and sprint at lightning speed. As we get older these fast-twitch mechanisms die out (especially as we stop using them like a muscle) and get replaced with slow-twitch mechanisms. Slow-twitch is great for running 20 miles, but wouldn't we rather have that quick burst of energy still in us? Sprinting can bring this back just like weightlifting brings back our biceps from our twenties. By challenging our bodies with explosive actions, we can return to the energy levels of children and be able to get more results in our workouts.
So what did I do once I hit the track?
Well first, I think sprinting is a lot more fun and easier when you go with someone else. But, alas, I was all alone so I tried to push myself as hard as I could.
I like to do warm-up exercises before sprinting. This includes the following:
1. Do high-knees for 100m.
2. Do Butt-kicks for 100m.
3. Repeat 1 and 2.
4. Do lunges for 100 m. x2
5. Do side shuffles one way 100m, then back. (These should begin to get your heart rate up). I usually do a set of 4 of these.
6. Do two sets of 20 tuck jumps. Yes, they suck, but they are so good for getting that explosive motion going for our bodies.
7. Do two sets of 20 rocket jumps. For these you don't have to move, but again they get the explosive action replicated.
9. Finally, get on the starting line and do anywhere from 20-50 starting sprint bursts. This exercise has helped increase my starting speed tremendously.
10. After all that, I was all warmed up and ready to sprint. I sprint 400m 4 times trying to make my time faster each time. The first time I try to do it in under 2 minutes. Then gradually by the last one I try to get it down to 1min30. In between the sprints I take a break by either doing 20 push-ups, holding plank for a minute, or doing a light jog backwards. I never sit down and make sure to keep exhaling and inhaling deeply in through my nose, out through my mouth.
Overall, this workout takes me about 30 minutes and I leave feeling rejuvenated and my calves feeling a bit activated (nothing gets those leg muscles working better than vibrams!). Through sprinting, I have seen strength gains in my muscular work as well. I think it is an important tool to include in one's workout regimen, even if you only sprint for 10 minutes one time a week!
Do you sprint at all? If so, what is your sprinting warm-up, distances, and times?