Tuesday, March 31, 2009


I got to the gym yesterday, and all the treadmills were full. (Don't you HATE that?) So to kill time I got on the elliptical for twenty minutes. When i finally did get on a treadmill, Dancing with the Stars was on...nothing better than looking at those ladies' perfect toned and lean bodies to make you wanna run a little faster! I decided to walk while the show was on, and spring during the commercials. I did this for forty-five minutes and BOY was it a workout....

It wasn't until i looked it up at home that i realized how good sprinting really is for you. Sprinting not only burns HUGE amounts of calories while sprinting, it also keeps your metabolism flying for days after. Here are some of the advantages and tips for sprinting:

Benefits to sprinting:
Sprinting is an amazing exercise period. It is a great tool to help in fat loss, kill stress as well as increasing your metabolic rate for days. On top of all this, sprinting is a great exercise for your hamstrings and can help sculpt and tone those muscles you would kill to have.

How far should I sprint?:
50m-100m sprints to start out. Do upwards of 10 sprints per session. Beginners should probably cut that in half and work their way up to doing progressively more sprints.

How many days a week should I be sprinting?:
The suggested spring time is twice a week. It is imperative you leave enough time for recovery between each day as your muscles will need time to grow and heal. Not only will spreading it out help you recover faster it will also keep your metabolism peaked more evenly and prolong the effect.

Body Lean:
Your body should have a slight forward lean (no more than 4-6°). It is important to note that the angle of lean comes from the ground and not from the waist. The lean is caused by displacing the your center of gravity in the direction they are running and leaning and bending from the waist will interfere with the correct mechanics of sprinting.

Foot Contact:
DO NOT RUN UP ON YOUR TOES!!! The toes offer no power or stability to the runner and if they run on their toes, they will not be able to run fast. Instead, stay on the balls of your feet and push against the ground, but don’t reach and pull toward the ground; this strategy will result in injuries and poor sprinting mechanics and slow times.

This is the worst and most often misunderstood element of sprinting. Don’t reach and overstride to increase stride length, but rather push against the ground and let the foot land underneath the center of gravity. Any placement of the foot in front of the center of gravity will cause "braking forces" that will result in the body slowing down.

Try to prevent being too quick because too much turnover will cause you to run fast in one place and not much ground will be covered. Remember that quality sprint speed is a combination of stride length and stride frequency and one does not replace the other.

Don’t try to power through a race or sprint effort. To run fast, stay relaxed, running tight will result in slower times.