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Jurre

Beginning sprinting.

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Jurre

Hello everybody,

 

I'd like to start doing some cardio. For both the joy of cardio and second perhaps some fat loss.
I like to sprint occasionally. Allthough I still have some questions before i'll start with sprinting.

 

First of all:
I know sprinting is very technical. Of which I know close to nothing. Because you are being so explosive I'd reckon the technique is very important. But I also know it takes a long time to get the perfect technique and timing down.
What do you guys encounter while sprinting? Do you just sprint, or do you focus on technique? And how dangerous is improper sprinting.

 

Also, 
I've been told proper warming up is very important due to the explosive nature and the stress on your body. 
A friend of mine who is a sprinter told me a 30 minute warm up is not a bad idea. 
What kind of warm up do you use? What should you look for in a warm up?

 

Since i'm a beginner any other things I should think about?

 

Thanks in advance.

 

Jurre

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Jesus Rojas

First look up for some videos in youtube about technique there are tons of them, and always when you are sprinting think about the technique and focus on that. My sprinting sessions looks like this: First I do some joint rotations you know the classic stuff, next I do some high kick to the front and to the sides, then I do some high knees for a couple of meters (3x times), then a butt kicks(3x times) next some kind of running with my legs straight(3x times), next I run backwards(3x times) and then I do some sprints at low intensity like 50-60-70% and then I practice my starts, when I feel ready and everything in my body is going well I start my training session that is 8-60m sprints all out with a tire tied at my waist, I do the first 60m and rest 48s then I do the second one and rest about 1-1:30m and repeat the process

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Jon Douglas

I do hill sprints after my HS workouts, so my legs are pretty warm. A very light 5min jog around to ny hill is fine for me to warm up the ankles etc. I haven't encountered any problems, although I have worked through F oundation leg strength so there is the possibility I am getting away with it a little :)

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Tristan Curtis

Hi Jurre,

 

Sprinting can be technical (like all sports), but it doesn’t have to be. If you imagine something is chasing you to eat you, the body’s instincts will kick in.

 

In fact, if you’re sprinting for cardiovascular benefits and fat loss, an unrefined technique may actually be an advantage. Sprinting technique is designed to use biomechanics to maximize speed and minimize effort. If you have good technique, you will put less effort into it, and to an extent improvements will come from improved mechanics rather than greater cardiovascular capacity and a leaner body (which is what you’re going for).

 

For example: Frank Medrano, a crazy-lean calisthenics guy, did a Youtube video about interval running to stay lean. Someone left a comment “your sprinting form sucks, dude” - which is accurate, it does! Frank has so much movement going side to side, instead of focusing his energy on moving forward. But, that “inefficient” extra energy that helps him stay at 4-5% bodyfat!

 

Warming up is hugely important. Even world-class runners “blow-up” out of the starting blocks if they’re not warm enough. Personally I do passive and ballistic stretches similar to what chuchodani describes above, and then run moderately for five minutes before I get into it.

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ForzaCavaliere

Hi Jurre,

 

I have an athletic background so I can help out a bit.

 

Sprinting is very technical. Anyone can sprint, but it takes practice to sprint well. Unless you really want to achieve your fastest, you don't need to learn the perfect of perfect technique. However, to be standard you should try to maintain 90degree angle with the arms and have high knee drive when running forward. Also, sprinting should always be on the fore-foot (so the front half of your foot, the ball of your foot pretty much). Focus on those three things and you will have a solid technique base for sprinting fast. You can look up some videos on youtube for visual demonstration and tips, there are plenty of tutorials.

 

Improper sprinting... not sure how dangerous it is. I know it's very inefficient. But regardless, even when people are sprinting improperly, it still feels natural to their body, so the body is seemingly OK with it.

 

On warming up, you don't need to do 30min. I wonder what kind of warm-up your friend did, it must be very extensive!

Just run a light lap of the oval, and do some dynamic stretches. Should take around 5 minutes or so. Then you can do some technique drills as part of your warm-up and then you're good to go.

 

If you want to lose fat, any sprinting is good, but hill sprints especially.

 

 

 

In fact, if you’re sprinting for cardiovascular benefits and fat loss, an unrefined technique may actually be an advantage. Sprinting technique is designed to use biomechanics to maximize speed and minimize effort. If you have good technique, you will put less effort into it, and to an extent improvements will come from improved mechanics rather than greater cardiovascular capacity and a leaner body (which is what you’re going for).

 

For example: Frank Medrano, a crazy-lean calisthenics guy, did a Youtube video about interval running to stay lean. Someone left a comment “your sprinting form sucks, dude” - which is accurate, it does! Frank has so much movement going side to side, instead of focusing his energy on moving forward. But, that “inefficient” extra energy that helps him stay at 4-5% bodyfat!

 

I'm going to disagree with the usefulness here. Yes, it may help with fat loss but at the cost of slower top speed. Inefficient technique uses more energy per run hence aids fat loss. However, you can easily use just as much energy with proper technique. All you have to do is sprint a couplextra times with the energy you saved by sprinting properly, then the fat loss benefits are the same - however, at the added benefit of actually having increased top speed and being to outrun potential assaulters. Also, overall it's better to be able to run with proper technique than improper, the benefits go beyond fat loss.

 

 

First look up for some videos in youtube about technique there are tons of them, and always when you are sprinting think about the technique and focus on that. My sprinting sessions looks like this: First I do some joint rotations you know the classic stuff, next I do some high kick to the front and to the sides, then I do some high knees for a couple of meters (3x times), then a butt kicks(3x times) next some kind of running with my legs straight(3x times), next I run backwards(3x times) and then I do some sprints at low intensity like 50-60-70% and then I practice my starts, when I feel ready and everything in my body is going well I start my training session that is 8-60m sprints all out with a tire tied at my waist, I do the first 60m and rest 48s then I do the second one and rest about 1-1:30m and repeat the process

 

Dude you sound serious. How fast is your 100m, 200m, and 400?

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Jesus Rojas

 

 

Dude you sound serious. How fast is your 100m, 200m, and 400?

My 60m PB is 8.10s and 100m is 11s I never tried 200m or 400m.

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Jurre

Cheers guys. Lots of great information.
Since I live in a very flat part of Holland. It´s actually quite hard to find a hill. Will start doing regular sprinting. 
Thanks for the tips on warming up and technique.

From the looks of it, my ´technique´ seems to be decent. Will give it a try soon! 

Thanks again.

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Blairbob

When I go to the track and do sprints and intervals I do this. It's about a 3mi bike ride of which about 1.5 of it seems to be uphill at a grade that makes me tired enough to want to just sit a bit once I get there (to put my shoes on

Some passes of lunges. Some air squats. Some cossack squats. Leg swings side to side and front to back. Knee circles, standing and in squat. Some arm swings and rotational twisting.

Passes of butt kickers, high knees, and straight leg bounding. Need to remember how to do an A-step again.

Generally 5 passes of stairs up the bleachers with passes of one foot hopping. I haven't gotten into doing one leg bounding/jumping/sprinting again but will do so in a few weeks.

I used to do punching across the dance floor but I don't do it on the track. Mainly because people are often watching the football players practice and I'd rather look silly in a private room of the gym.

After that I'm good. Generally I'll do sprint work and move on to intervals afterward for longer distances such as the 200 or 400.

 

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fsalas2006

Hi,

 

I really love mixing my training routines with sprints, I try to do them ~ times a week, I do not recommend you to do it as much as you can because you may injure yourself, I just recently wrote an article about the benefits of sprinting and even created a routine. I was very specific about the sprinting reps and intensity. This may help your, but to be honest with you I didn’t thoroughly cover the bodyweight training. Probably I’ll cover it in another post…

 

How to get ripped with HIIT

 

Fausto

 

 

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Jurre

Thanks for the article.
It says your sprints should be under 30 seconds. 
Previously doing sprints I found 30 seconds to be a great time for sprinting as I could really exhaust myself in those 30 seconds.  Would that be insufficient though?

Another questions, I don't have access to a track. Will a grass field be good enough?

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fsalas2006

I totally agree with chuchodani…..grass will be even better….regarding the time, it’s up to you….. depending on what you are looking for… I rather to sprint less than 30 seconds, this way I may increase the intensity….

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Jon Douglas

Thanks for the article.

It says your sprints should be under 30 seconds. 

Previously doing sprints I found 30 seconds to be a great time for sprinting as I could really exhaust myself in those 30 seconds.  Would that be insufficient though?

Another questions, I don't have access to a track. Will a grass field be good enough?

Depends what you want to do it for :)

That sort of distance is my absolute nemesis, and as I am learning more and more with GST, the harder you work on things you are terrible at the faster your average quickly improves. So all out 30s plus hills it is.

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Jacob Morsbøl

Thanks for the article.

It says your sprints should be under 30 seconds. 

Previously doing sprints I found 30 seconds to be a great time for sprinting as I could really exhaust myself in those 30 seconds.  Would that be insufficient though?

Another questions, I don't have access to a track. Will a grass field be good enough?

 

There exists a lot of litterature on the field of sprinting and HIIT for cardiovascular training and so on. I do have read some of it. The overall conclusion is that sprinting and HIIT is superior in many aspects. However whether you sprint 30 seconds or less (or more) or whether you sprint 100, 200 or 400 m is some how of less importance. Of course there is advantages and disadvantage of sprinting 100, 200 or 400 m. But you should put your focus elsewhere as long as you don't compete in sprinting.

 

My suggestion for you is to do sprinting once or twice a week. Start out slow! Not only your warm up should start out slow but you should also keep a moderate intensity and pace yourself during the sprints. Try out some different ways of sprinting. Try sprinting for times, for length, different intervals and so on. You may find that you prefer some types over others, but as Jon Douglas says, you should not neglect your weak side.

 

A grass field is good enough if it isn't too 'bumpy'. You risk twisting your ancle if it's too 'bumpy'. (maybe there is a better word for this).

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Jurre

Great stuff guys, lots of good information.

Indeed I´ll start off experimenting with sprinting for times, length etc. See what my weakness is and where my strength is and make my program according to that.
Once/twice a week is indeed what i'm aiming for.
Sprinting is nowhere a primairy objective for me, strength training is.

Again thanks a lot everybody that has contributed!

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ForzaCavaliere

However whether you sprint 30 seconds or less (or more) or whether you sprint 100, 200 or 400 m is some how of less importance. Of course there is advantages and disadvantage of sprinting 100, 200 or 400 m. But you should put your focus elsewhere as long as you don't compete in sprinting.

Take note of what he said as it is very important. If you are not competing, there's no point in getting specifically better at just a 100m race, or a 200m race, etc. Just get better at running!

 

Good luck with your training.

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fsalas2006

You are more than welcome!!!!

If you’ll be training twice a week, I’ll recommend you to use the following plan….I’ve been following it with really good results, probably you’ll find the rest period to long, but it’s necessary to perform the sprints with proper form and intensity….

 

ScreenHunter_11-Aug.-30-12.33.jpg

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Jurre

Having trained with a sprinter before I've had those long rest periods and quite liked it. Will give it a go!

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Jake Lawrance

My 60m PB is 8.10s and 100m is 11s I never tried 200m or 400m.

That is either reaaaaally weird or you don't actually know your 100m time. When i started sprinting my first 60m was 7.6s and my 100 was 12.3, 11 seconds would be unattainable with an 8.1 60m PB as after 60m you'll be at your fastest and if not carried through a whole year of conditioning you would slow down, try to get in a competition and it'll reveal the weak points e.g. speed endurance, power (I like to think of this as springiness out the blocks because you certainly do not actively slam your foot to the ground) and tension.

 

A lot of the responses here have come out with what workouts you should do and not so decent technique advice. 

 

Anything I say hear has been taught to me by my coach with a strong background (Olympic GB Trails + Coached by GB's Hurdle coach + PB of 10.4s in the 100m).

 

I'm going to give pointers rather than a huge paragraph, but they are important so take them seriously.

 

Technical - ish blabla

- Sprinting is a skill not a full on bust your ass out effort

- Only ever sprint at 95% effort or below, your legs should not feel heavy but as if they are springing you forward stride by stride.

- Stay upright, as if a balloon is pulling at the top of your head (this improves that springiness feeling)

- Posterior pelvic tilt but do not flex spine (Improves glute activation, but, do not force the glute activation)

- Actively use your rhomboids and lower trapezius to keep the shoulders back, a protracted pair of shoulders = flexed spine = poor arm movement.

- DO use your arms. Flexibility in the shoulders for sprinting is not the same as general jogging or performing dips, do lots of dynamic drills to get those shoulders back. You'll know when you've developed the flexibility (trust me).

- Dorsiflexion - dorsiflexion is frowned upon in long distance running but for anything up to 400m it is essential as it reduces the contact time as when the foot lands it will end up in a dorsiflexed position anyway so landing your foot in a plantar flexed position in time wasting and inefficient.

- Develop your hip flexors, you will feel them working nicely when your form is decent.

I'll leave technique there as I'm definitely not a coach nor a national champion. Although I am willing to analyse videos of your sprinting form (Received full marks on my assignment for this and it was photocopied so students would attempt to acquire new standards) and I will also happily share videos and photos of proper sprinting and comparisons if need be.

 

And YES improper sprinting can be dangerous for mainly two reasons, lack of conditioning and mechanics. The lack of conditioning means you're unprepared e.g. Have you gone through a beginners phase working on increasing volume gradually over 200m+ runs at 70% of effort. Mechanics is important. Anterior pelvic tilt means a lot more hamstring activity and lack of glute engagement which would eventually result in your hammies getting overused (has happened to a female athlete I train with several times who has a PB of 12.7 at age 17. To be honest she does not take technique seriously and so repetitive injuries...

 

I'll post something later on as I'm busy again and don't want to risk timing out and losing this whole paragraph  ^_^

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Jesus Rojas

That is either reaaaaally weird or you don't actually know your 100m time. When i started sprinting my first 60m was 7.6s and my 100 was 12.3, 11 seconds would be unattainable with an 8.1 60m PB as after 60m you'll be at your fastest and if not carried through a whole year of conditioning you would slow down, try to get in a competition and it'll reveal the weak points e.g. speed endurance, power (I like to think of this as springiness out the blocks because you certainly do not actively slam your foot to the ground) and tension.

 

I use a GPS for calculate the distance but maybe it was a mistake, I'm going to measure the distance again, and also I did my PB in a soccer pitch running barefoot, running from the end line to the box line in a 120m pitch but maybe the pitch was 100m instead of 120m making it actually a 84m sprint, don't get my wrong, I do not think I'm fast or something I just enjoy sprinting,

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Jake Lawrance

Right basically all I had to say left was spend time building up volume and do not make all your sessions hill sprints, but rather spend 100% of your time on the track or field for about 2 months while you build technique and condition yourself then begin to add 1 session of hills a week (providing your doing 3 sprint sessions a week, if not then do 1 field session and then a hill session).

 

Example-

First month: session 1 (and 3) - 200m, 150m, 100m, 250m, 150m x 1-4 @ 70% effort 2 mins rest between sprints 5 mins between sets.

Start with 1 set and increase by 1 each week until second month.

                  : Session 2 - 180m, 150m, 120m, 90m and 60m x 1 @ 95% effort 5 mins rest between sprint (this is a speed session)

 

Second month: YOUR CHOICE e.g.

session 1 - 400, 300, 200, 100, 200, 300, 400 w/ 3 mins rest (favourite winter session)

session 2 - 3-6x60m hill sprints w/ walk down rest between sprints for 3 sets (start off at 3 reps per set if its steep, if not start at 5)

(session 3) - 4x150m w/ 8 mins rest between sets (speed session)

 

Obviously for a competitor like me we would spend longer on the first month sessions to prepare us for the outdoor season, and wait until as late as June to begin pure speed e.g. 4x150m and we will spend september through to early May doing fitness based work (like first month example above)

 

Lastly, if I can be of service of analyzing your technique in decent detail let me know and post a video or snap shots.

 

:lol:  :)  ;)  :P  :D

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Jake Lawrance

I use a GPS for calculate the distance but maybe it was a mistake, I'm going to measure the distance again, and also I did my PB in a soccer pitch running barefoot, running from the end line to the box line in a 120m pitch but maybe the pitch was 100m instead of 120m making it actually a 84m sprint, don't get my wrong, I do not think I'm fast or something I just enjoy sprinting,

I wasn't trying to be rude or anything, I promise  :) but it didn't make sense. Yeah you'd have to be a strong sprinter to run 11 seconds flat especially on grass. If you enjoy sprinting why not join a club, and as you progress you'll get addicted to sprinting (I sure have). You'll also meet some great people that'll inspire you. The sprinting community is much closer than you think too, my coach has trained and raced with Dwain Chambers, Harry Aikines and commonwealth youngster Leon Reid.

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Jake Lawrance

Forgot to also mention, a 30 minute warm up sounds decent enough, (we do 1 hour warm ups at track).

 

Here's a reduced warm-up of what we do.

 

-1 lap jog

-Arm swings + circles (loosen up shoulders for proper hyper extension) 10 reps per swing motion.

-Leg swings (forward + backwards and side to side) 10 reps each leg.

-Ankle prep (roll onto side, calf raise etc.) 

-Glute activation drills (standing, bridges, standing single leg extensions behind body w/ resistance bands) 5 reps per each.

 

Drills

-A skip (marching version w/o jump or skip for beginners) over 15m

-Chicken runs (straight legged runs focusing on hip extension and landing foot under centre of mass w/ dorsiflexion) over 15m

-Wall drill (to develop angles for the first 20-30m)

Sprint

- 2 strides (basically build up speed and make the second stride faster)

- 2 '3 point' starts over 20m

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ForzaCavaliere

Jake you seem to have a lot of experience with athletes in general. 

 

How do you think a 12.19s 100m for a 17y.o male run on a standard athletics track without block start or sprinting shoes compares to the general population? I ask cos when I was 17 that's what I ran, then I was surprised to find that some 15y.o that I know ran the 100 in 11.5s lol.

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Jurre

Jeez, that's some a lot of great knowledge. Thanks a lot.

Nice pointers for technique those are of great help. Also a nice program. I'm liking the building up volume and technique phase. Seems like a good and safe way to get to know sprinting.

 

I don't think i'll go for a full 30 min warm up, as i'll do it either after my strength training or after a bike ride of 10-20 minutes. And will go for a shorter warm up. 

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