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Is Sprinting Worth Including In Your Weekly Plan?

February 24, 2010

The Winter Olympics are on right now and I would be lying if I said I haven’t watched them.  Heck, I can’t remember the last night I didn’t watch them!  I love competition and watching the human spirit be all it can be.  The one downside to the Winter Olympics though is simply this:  where’s the Track & Field?!

OK, I get it.  Running on an icy track may be entertaining to watch, but not too suitable for the athletes.  So it is at this time that I have to improvise and do a little track and field of my own.  And that, my friends, includes sprinting.  In the wintry and snow-filled lands of South Dakota, you have to improvise a little more by running indoors on a track or treadmill.  Me, I went with the treadmill last night and I have my achey calves to show for it.

So, should you include sprinting?  Without hesitation, I strongly recommend it.  And here’s why:  name a muscle that you’re not using when you sprint.  I could seriously name a few, but more times than not, I’m going to have a LONG list of those muscle I would use.  Obviously your calves, quads, hamstrings and glutes are involved, right?  But as you sprint, your upper body is used as well with your arms pumping and your pecs squeezing.  Your core is engaged as well along with your hips.  Is it any wonder Olympic sprinters look like bodybuilders?  Sprinting also involves recruiting those fast twitch muscle fibers – the same ones you use to explode up during squats or deadlifts.  Who knew weight lifting could equate so closely to “running?”

Here is my own Sprint workout from last night:  I started off running around 8 min/mile pace and did so for about 1/2 mile.  At that point I kicked up the belt speed so that I was running close to or below 6 min/mile pace.  I did this for 45 second intervals followed by a 45 second rest.  I simply kept the treadmill going and I straddled the belt.  Yes, I did fear the belt was going to explode and slap me or my manhood, but I persevered – and luckily so did the belt.  I did 9 intervals in this fashion and then on my last sprint I went a full minute at 5:30 pace so that I could leave it all on the track/treadmill.  I cannot wait until Spring thaw – taking this out on the track is going to be a great time!  I concluded my workout with a light jog for a 1/4 mile at 9 min/mile pace.

I would not repeati this on a treadmill too often but perhaps once a week.  I was wearing my Vibrams and as I am still in adjustment phase with both sprinting and wearing my Vibrams, my left foot was pretty beat up.  The calves still feel the burn!  And, it turns out, sprinting is a 100% Primal activity.  Of course cavemen sprinted – to get food or to run away from “said food” that turned out to be a little too big for the spear.

My Sprint workout took right about 20 minutes which was perfect for me. 

More time to watch the Olympics.

One Comment leave one →
  1. February 25, 2010 1:31 pm

    Once that snow melts make sure you are getting at it outside! Nothing like going all out, lots of stimulus going on there.

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