Running is not generally considered a power activity. That is because their execution is often associated with a long and slow distance travel. That is, as a resistance or jogging race.
However, running is an ideal way to develop power if we give it the speed race format instead of a constant-pace maintenance workout. When it comes to the development of energy, a more effective method is sprinting, which also offers a more efficient workout and increases your metabolism more than traditional cardiovascular exercises (think about the 30-minute elliptical trainer sessions). And as an added bonus: the sprint will make you feel like an athlete.
As with any high intensity activity, it is important to move gradually to avoid injury.
Here we show you some of the advantages of speed racing, along with good warm-up for a sprint session, as well as how and when you should enter the sprints in your weekly schedule, and some example exercises to do so.
The benefits of sprinting.
Sprinting offers a number of advantages:
It is excellent for energy development, because it requires you to produce and apply force quickly and explosively. "Muscle activation in the lower muscles of the body - including Buttocks, hamstrings, quadriceps and calves - reaches very impressive levels, which produces an increase in muscle mass and energy, "says Arizona biomechanics expert, Bret Contreras, CSCS.
Sprinting is superior for fat loss, since it is essentially high intensity, requires multiple short bursts of effort and increases your metabolism after training. You will continue to burn calories at a higher rate of hours after your training is over. Although sprinting is often thought of as a cardiovascular conditioning activity (which it undoubtedly is), it is actually an effective activity for the construction of lower body muscles, as it employs the muscle fibers of type II threshold high. This is the reason why Olympic sprinters have those buttocks and quadriceps well developed.
For adults concerned about bone density, sprint training is a great program to follow. Says Contreras: "Overcoming the inherent reaction forces of the soil involved in the sprint, running in places of considerable load on the bones, causes the body to remodel and increase the density of the bones." The sprint is much more stimulating and efficient in time than traditional cardiovascular exercises.The long and slow cardio workouts can be boring and quickly reach the point of diminishing performance. In addition, most people prefer to have the slender and powerful physique of a high-level sprint athlete rather than the skinny appearance of a marathon runner.
Just like you do not try to take your car from 0 to 60 without heating it before, you also need to warm up your body. "If you would not do it with your car, why would you treat your body with less respect?" says Tony Gentilcore, CSCS and co-owner of Cressey Performance in Hudson, MA.
Sprinting is a high intensity activity for which you need to prepare or, otherwise, you run the risk of injury, especially in the hip flexors, hamstrings and Achilles tendons. Do the following before:
Roll a foam roller on your illtotibial (IT) band, hamstrings, quadriceps, buttocks and calves, for 30 to 60 seconds in each area.
After passing the foam roller, perform a series of dynamic stretching exercises aimed at the hip flexors, the hamstrings, the quadriceps and the calves.
Following the warm-up dynamics, do some static stretching of the hamstring muscles, the hip flexors, the calves and the quadriceps. Dedicate about 30 seconds to each zone.
Before starting the actual sprint exercise, perform three to four "flying sprints" with the elliptical bike placed 50 to 75 percent of your maximum speed for 20 to 40 yards to get your muscles acclimated.
How and when to introduce the sprints
Those who are starting in the sprint should start once or twice a week and work up to three times. Some prefer to run at full speed on days of strength training, either immediately after hitting the weights or later during the day. The benefit of performing sprints immediately after training is that the temperature is already high and your muscles are active, so that your warm-up can be much shorter. If you choose to do a training sprint later in the day, you should do a series of warm-ups.
You can also perform your sprint exercise as an independent cardiovascular routine on days when you do not do strength exercises.
Regarding the intensity, I never recommend running until you run out. In strength training circles, it is often advised to leave one or two reserves in your tank and avoid full muscle fatigue. This is also true for sprints, so think only about reaching 90 percent of your maximum speed, especially during your first two weeks.
Time is a big topic of debate when it comes to speed racing. Some advocate sprints of 20 to 30 seconds, but the sprint is more effective in the second range of five to 12 seconds.
For most people, this means going from 30 to 90 yards. The sprints must be of high intensity and short burst efforts.
If you go beyond 10 to 12 seconds, then you will work the energy of another system, you will be too tired and you are likely to get injured.
Regarding recovery between sprints, it is good to use a work-rest ratio of 1: 3-5. If you do a 40-yard sprint in six seconds, then you should rest 20-30 seconds (or more) between sprints. If you walk back to the starting point after each sprint you will be adjusted with this recovery range.
The idea of speed training is power and performance. If you run for an excessive amount of time or distance, you will not let there be enough recovery and, therefore, the power and performance will decrease.
Regarding volume, beginners must start with five races, once or twice a week, and progress must reach up to 15 sprints up to three times a week. This may not seem like a lot, but it is important that the sprint is progressed little by little in order to avoid injuries. A sprint workout does not have to exceed 20 minutes, including periods of work and recovery.
Fifteen 50-yard sprints that take 8 seconds each, with 40 seconds of recovery, would take only 12 minutes to complete. The great thing about speed training is that the maximum result occurs with a minimum time commitment.
When it comes to the surface, try running at full speed on field grass, grass, or on a good runway for any season to do sprints on flat ground. If you want to use the stadium ladder or do sprints on a hill, you probably have to run them on concrete or asphalt, which is inevitable, unless you can find a good grassy hill. Try to avoid asphalt and concrete, as these are the materials that cause the most stress in your joints.
Summing up everything
Let's look at a sample sprint program:
Week 1 • Warm up. • Five sprints of 30 to 40 yards with five times the recovery time (ie, if you reach 40 yards in six seconds, rest 30 seconds between sprints). • Take it out one day a week.
Week 2 • Warm up. • Eight sprints from 30 to 40 yards with five times the recovery time. • Do it two days a week.
Week 3 • Warm up. • Ten sprints from 40 to 50 yards with five times the recovery time. • Take it out three days a week.
Week 4 • Warm up. • Twelve sprints of 40 to 50 yards with five times the recovery time. • Do it three days a week.
Week 5 • Warm up. • Fifteen sprints from 50 to 60 yards with five times the recovery time. • Do it three days a week.