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Exercise: Sprinting
23rd Sep

2015

Sprint your way to more free time

In today’s high-pressured, time-poor society exercise can seem like it detracts from much needed ‘you’ time. Why exercise when the couch is right there? We all know the importance of exercise on overall health. I’m here to tell you how to exercise in the smallest amount of time and still achieve the results you want.

What is it?

The word ‘sprinting’ conjures up images of Olympians running unbelievably fast for 100 metres or so. I don’t know about you, but that’s pretty daunting. That couch is looking pretty good right now. But take a step back from that image, and think about what else sprinting can mean. You can do sprints running, cycling or swimming. Pretty much any physical activity can be sprinted if you’re able to safely complete the action as fast as you possibly can. Here’s the key: as fast as you possibly can. Now comes the mental resistance: That just sounds exhausting! You’d be right. It is exhausting. But you only feel exhausted for the immediate time afterwards. And then you feel awesome, because you just did a sprint workout.


What you need

  • Running gear/cycling gear
  • Mental strength, persistence and motivation
  • Clearance from a doctor if you haven’t exercised in a long while. Book an appointment here.
  • An adequately long space to complete the sprints (a street, park or oval)
  • A timer/watch/distance marker if you’re into that sort of thing


How it works

  1. Warming up is absolutely essential to sprint training. Not only does it help you reach 100% capacity faster, but it also reduces your chances of injury. When choosing such a high-intensity workout you really need to look after yourself.
    Warming up for a running sprint session may include adequate stretching (dynamic: leg swings, high knee jumps; or static) and 5-10 minutes of light jogging to get your running muscles warm.
  2. You should aim to sprint for 8-10 seconds each time, and rest between each set with some light movement (such as walking) until you feel completely rested. Aim for 8-10 sprints to complete a workout. It’s important you take the time to rest as each set requires 100% effort, and you don’t want fatigue from the last set impacting your current set.
  3. To begin your session, sprint for 8-10 seconds at around 60% of your full ability. Focus on completing each sprint safely! If you can’t make it to 8 seconds at full effort, don’t worry. You’ll notice your body will start to slow down while you try and maintain 100% – this is the time to stop that set. Endurance will improve with time.
  4. Build up over two or three sets from 60% to 100% capacity, again resting between each sprint. Keep pushing yourself; keep fighting the mental resistance we’ve all encountered. Once you’ve done 8-10 sprints you can call it a day.
  5. Cool down – equally important to warming up. This can be in the form of a walk, some stretches, whatever you would like.


Why do it?

  • This workout can be completed in about 20 minutes, and has been shown to be more effective than jogging at burning fat. Imagine all the time you save!
  • Sprinting is great for your heart and lungs – they become more efficient and effective at their jobs and you’ll notice your maximum heart rate will increase. The short duration allows your body time to recover, but the impact of sprinting remains.
  • Metabolism is improved, and you’ll continue to burn calories after the workout is finished.
  • Muscle is built – sprinting works like weight lifting. It’s really hard work over a short time, and that builds muscle like weight lifting does.


What do you think?

I’d love to hear your thoughts and opinions on sprinting. Drop me a line below or through our Facebook or Twitter pages to tell me about your sprinting experience.

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