Sprinting requires three things: strong muscles in your legs and arms. A good cardiovascular system to help transport oxygen to the muscle groups that are doing all the work and some endurance so your muscles don’t cut out after that first, initial burst.
When you work at your maximum speed (which is what sprinting is) there is no comfort zone to break out. A sprint is constant hard work from the get go. Training for a sprint you need to, well, sprint flat out which is why we put together six different types of sprint for you.
Each of the six sprints does something totally different. Here’s how to choose:
Walk / Sprints
Walk / Sprints push your speed button. You have plenty of time for your muscles to recover so each sprint is as fast as the one before. You end up with one that’s double the length of the two previous ones which pushes your muscles to exert themselves further to maintain the speed and makes you stronger.
Choose this if: You already have good endurance and you are interested in developing more speed.
1 & 1 Sprints
1 & 1 Sprints build up speed & endurance. You are active here for as long as you are not. This means your muscles have time to recover but the prolonged burn uses up your glycogen levels fast which means you push your endurance and tax your cardiovascular system.
Choose this if: You want to build up your endurance levels so you do not tire as easily.
HIIT Sprints build fast twitch-action muscle fibre. You’re on for just 20 seconds at a time so there’s not even a lot of time to get tired. This is the kind of sprint you need to simply pour yourself into.
Choose this if: If you want faster starts when you sprint and greater acceleration.
Touchdown sprints burn up fuel reserves and push your endurance. The secret to great sprinting is to be able to sustain a high-burn muscle output for as long as possible. This exercise pushes your speed and endurance. The touchdown at the end bleed off all your speed forcing you to start from zero every time. The engagement of the different muscle groups for touching down is an additional muscular distraction.
Choose this if: To get fitter for sprinting, push your aerobic performance (VO2 Max) and your cardiovascular system.
Speed-up sprints get your muscles working and give you explosion. Warmed up muscles in motion can deliver an incredible punch when asked to. The Speed-up sprints get you working slowly and building up. The explosion at the end is designed to help your acceleration by pushing warmed-up muscles into high gear.
Choose this if: If you’re training for sprinting and are building up or, if you’re new to sprinting and don’t know where to start.
Speed Drills force your muscles to sustain their output making you faster and training your body for endurance. As you go up and down the scale of distance sprints you force your body to perform at a high output level regardless and begin to load your cardiovascular system.
Choose this if: You’re fast sprinter already and just want to get faster.