Sprinting Exercises and Top Tips
When it comes to sprinting, people often think that it’s only a case of running fast from one point to another. But in reality, just as there is a skill with learning to jog, there is also a technique in learning to sprint. So what are the important sprinting techniques you should keep in mind? Read our blog below to learn our 4 sprinting exercise essentials that will help you build your confidence and strength over time.
- Speed and Strength
A great way to condition yourself for longer runs is to practice some sprinting exercises. A popular sprinting technique tip is to do reps of short sprints. Dina Asher Smith uses this sprinting exercise to build great speed endurance. Of course, this is a raw speed session. But you know what, do it once a week and quickly you’ll be running over 10k in your local road race or doing hill sprints in no time! Dina runs three sets of 5x150m fast, with a 45-second break between reps. Take about 5min after each set of 5.
- On the beach
One of the best sprinting exercises to improve your endurance is beach sprints. By running on sand, you increase the resistance, and this activates all the muscles in your lower body. This sprinting tip not only improves your overall strength but also your form. Emily Diamond, an Olympic bronze medallist as part of GB's 4x400 team, has this cracker for you that lends itself to the beach. Mark out about 50 metres in a straight line then sprint the 50m. Rest 30-seconds and sprint back. Repeat until you’ve done 400m. It’s super tough, but really good fun. This works well in the gym as well, although over a shorter distance. Try to get 20 or 30m in and reduce the rest to about 20 seconds and run over 400m as the longer session.
- Short and sharp
Change of pace is a great sprinting exercise to improve your running. This sprinting technique tip is a great way to warm up for long runs or to improve your conditioning. If running very fast is your goal, then 100m runner Harry Aikines-Aryeetey has this power session for you. It sounds a little complicated but this involves running pretty quick for a short distance to give yourself a rolling start, then flying as fast as you can. So, next time you practice this sprinting exercise, run 4 sprints where you cruise 30m, then fly as hard as you can for 30m.
- Add this to the mix
A great way to compliment your sprinting exercises is to incorporate other sporting disciplines into your routine. Varying your workout will benefit your overall strength and conditioning. Sally Gunnell the former world record holder for 400 hurdles and the 1992 Olympic champion, who is now a super fit 50-year-old, has these wise words of advice for all of you who think speed is best left for the youngsters. "Keep surprising your body… swimming, cycling, a Pilates session, then the cross trainer or a 5k run. If you just do the same exercise, week-in, week-out, your body will work out the minimum amount of effort it needs to expend for that activity. But when the body is confronted with something new, it has to work that little bit harder."
If you are interested in learning sprinting technique tips and other general running advice, then visit our tips and advice page. We have compiled useful exercises and advice from top runners, and these articles are available for runners of all abilities! You can also get involved with a running group near you, by visiting our main overview page.