You set up at the starting line. You are focused on your foot placement, your breathing, your reaction time. You lean into the line, pull back your arm, and… GO!
Sprinting is something that we often avoid. When you leave work for the night, it is taboo to explode out the door and SPRINT to your car – even though that’s what you may want to do.
When you see someone running on the sidewalk and then begin walking, you might think to yourself, “That’s too bad – that person can’t finish their run.” Perhaps that person was running so hard, that they could not maintain that pace and needed to rest before sprinting again?
Shift your mindset on sprinting. If you have the physical capacity to do it, I think you should. Sprinting doesn’t necessarily mean maximal effort, but you should be pushing it. Because sprinting is very taxing on the body, remember to warm up with some moderate running and dynamic stretching first. Preparation is key. Why sprint? Here’s why:
Sprinting is Primal
Remember recess as a kid? I may be speaking for myself, but I was always sprinting – Playing tag, basketball, football, soccer, racing each other, etc. As kids, we value our ability to play games and run as fast as we can.
If you want to get scientific, in the past, your ability to sprint was correlated with your odds of survival. Outrunning predators and chasing down food are historically important to the survival of the human species. Sprinting is a part of our natural biomechanics. Our ability to sprint is as old as walking upright.
Tapping into your primal running abilities can have dramatic effects on your conditioning. Have you seen Olympic sprinters? They are some of the most ripped, athletic people on Earth! I believe there is a lot to be said for using the body as it was designed and not letting today’s modern luxuries separate us from what makes us strong and fast.
You Will Use More Muscles
Sprinting requires nearly every muscle in the human body to be used in unison. I’m in Week 3 of my new sprint program and I can tell you that Week 2 was brutal. In Week 1, I felt strong in my sprints, but afterward I was VERY sore.
While I stay in pretty good shape and conditioning, I was not sprinting on a regular basis. Tapping into that last gear really activates more musculature in a different way than normal. The intensity is much higher than moderate, steady-state exercise. In my experience, being in ‘sprinting shape’ is a different level of conditioning.
Best Bang for Your Buck
Crunched on time? Perfect, your 100m sprint only takes 10-20 seconds. Do it, rest, and repeat a few times. Sprinting does not take long, but it is incredibly effective at ‘blowing out your lungs.’ Research is telling us that it is so important to push your cardiopulmonary system – Not just for performance benefits, but to live a long, healthy life as well.
Sprinting does require a fairly extensive warm up and proper cool down, but your whole workout will still be relatively short compared to a typical trip to the gym.
How many people do you know run sprints? I would guess that it’s not very many (unless perhaps you are still a competitive athlete). As we age, we tend to lose the ability to run quickly. It’s not that we’re not capable – it’s that we don’t do it. Let’s change that.
I plan to share more about my sprint workouts, but this is a bit of a teaser to sell you on the idea. When was the last time you ran some SPRINTS? Tell us more about your last sprint workout below!
Until next time, stay moving!