The Simplicity and Strength of the Sprint (& 5 Ways to Add Them To Your Workout)
If you’ve been following me for some time, you know that I’m a big proponent of sprinting! I love it because it requires shoes and about 100 meters of empty space. That’s it! It’s fast and super effective for fat burning! I feel them them all over my body and especially in my ABS the next day. Crazy, right?!
I ran sprints in high school track so that’s probably another reason that I tend to feel comfortable with them, but it’s not been until the past 18 months that I’ve re-incorporated them into my routine and I know they played a big part in my body change!
I understand that sprinting can be a little intimidating to some of you so I wanted to give you some very easy ways to incorporate it into your routine.
FIRST off, ALWAYS warm your body up before hand! You don’t want to just go hard with a cold body! Jog a little bit and do some stretching!
Second, time spent sprinting can be anywhere from 10-30 seconds, but I don’t recommend much longer than that unless you are a seasoned runner.
Third, you need to “recover” after the sprint. You can walk or jog depending on your preference. (I almost always walk with the exception of the light pole runs below) The stronger your heart gets, the quicker you’ll recover but take the time you need.
Here are some of my favorite ways to sprint!
1.) Lightpole Runs
Go to a side street and jog to the first light pole, then sprint to the next and repeat. When you run out of room turn around and do it back!
Bump up the speed and go for it! I prefer to keep the treadmill running at the high speed and just step off the side of the treadmill (like this) to recover, then I get back on when I’m ready again. Saves the time of slowing down and speeding up!
Hill sprints are another awesome way to switch things up! I do it both on paved roads or on grassy hills! Sprint up, then jog or walk back down and repeat.
I love the track especially for early mornings when I need a safe, well lit place to run. There are a lot of options here!
- Do a pyramid. 4-100′s, 2-200′s, 1-400, and then go back down
- Sprint the straight and jog/walk the curve
- Stay on the straight and do 6-8 80′s
Here is a sample track workout that I did Monday morning!
I’m sure you can do this with a regular bike, but I do these on stationary/recumbent ones in the gym when I want to do something other than the elliptical and want to cross train. Start out where it’s easier and interval through 15-20 sec of “sprinting” and 15-30 sec of recovery. Halfway through, amp up the resistance!
BONUS: Sprinting is pretty conducive to kids! I’ve had to bring my kids along before while at the track and since we are in a confined area, outdoors, and not there terribly long, it’s a perfect option for the busy mom! Here is my daughter and I this spring. She joined along–except she got the better end of the deal with the free ride! (Here is a great option for new moms! Stroller sprints from my friend Kate at BeyondFit!)
Now I know your next question–when and how often do I add them in? Great question!
I like to add them for my “cardio” on my strength training days. Others of you may enjoy them on your cardio only days (if you have them) or maybe tack them onto a 30 minute run or elliptical session.
You can totally be effective with a mere 10-20 minutes of sprints. I wouldn’t recommend doing them much longer because of the intensity of them. (You shouldn’t WANT to do them much longer either!) Sprints work well on days you may need to split up your exercise routine!
I leave you with this thought. You really can’t mess up sprints! So if you can only get them in one day a week for 10 minutes. Great. If you love 100′s but hate hill sprints, fine! I just want you to go FULL SPEED each time that you do them! Make them count, even if it means you can’t do as many! Play around with them in your routine and have fun with it! I like them because they make me feel young(er) again! I mean, granted, my heart is pumping and my muscles are spent, but the feeling afterwards is fantastic and you will love the results!
Do I have any sprinters out there?!