Sprinting requires power from the lower body and abs. It also feels amazing to run with everything you have, to test your lungs, heart and explosive force.
Benefits of Sprinting
- Increases metabolism for a longer period after exercise than jogging.
- Develops great hamstring muscles. I do my sprints in the sand at the beach and have been complimented on my hamstring development.
- Improves heart and lung recovery time.
- Improves endurance for long distance running.
- Sprints intervals within jogging sessions, aid weight loss.
Sprinting is all about speed. The right way to sprint is with your body slightly leaning forward at about 4-6 degrees from the feet, not the hips. Arms should be relaxed, swinging from the shoulders and flexed at a 90 degree angle. Feet should be hitting the ground heel to toe. Don’t run on your toes because it provides no stability and can cause injuries.
While sprinting, your stride should start under the centre of gravity. Basically, don’t let your feet come too far in front of your body. This is called over striding. Similarly running in baby steps is called under striding. Both under and over striding will slow you down. Throughout the sprint always stay relaxed. Tensing you body not only slows you down but it will also tire you out more quickly.
I find the best way to work sprinting in to your runs is to to jog 2 minutes and sprint for 30 seconds-1 minute. Progress by changing the time intervals to 1 minute jog, 30 second sprint or any variation where you are jogging or walking longer than sprinting.
If you use a 400m track, sprint 50-100 metres, then walk at a brisk pace or jog the rest for recovery and repeat 5-10 times.
Start by adding sprints in to your runs 1-2 times a week. The impact caused by sprinting requires about 48 hours of recovery in between runs.
Sprinting can be done on a track, treadmill or outside. It can be performed on pavement, the grass, the sand and even in water. Adding sprints to your running sessions will enhance performance and improve lower body physique. Start small and work your way up to being a fast and powerful runner.