Fitness Magazine

Sprint Running Facts and Advantages

By Spunder

“Sprints are short running events in athletics and track and field. Races over short distances are among the oldest running competitions.” That is the technical definition of Sprints according to Wikipedia. I am not an athlete nor I am writing this article for athletes. The information and the conclusions written in this article are based solely on my personal experience.Before I start telling you about my personal experience, I want to point few advantages of sprint running:

Sprint Running Advantages

- Burn more fat than normal jogging (who doesn’t want to burn more fat?)

- Helps developing leg muscles ( quadriceps, hamstrings and gluteus)

- Stimulates the secretion of testosterone and growth hormones

- They increase speed, agility and movement efficiency

- You look sexy while you are doing it and it makes you feel powerful

- Sprint running is one of the most natural forms of movements

- Sprints require less time than regular jogging while it burns more fat. So in conclusion the burned fat / required time ratios is higher for sprinting, but also intensity vs. time ratio is much more higher when compared to jogging.

Personal experience with sprint running

Until recently I was only going out for a simple 30-40 minutes run. Lately I have been trying to lose some belly weight and I was on a weight loss nutrition plan and my training included a lot of cardio exercises.  Although I did not lose as much belly fat as I would have liked, I managed to get into a stage where I am satisfied. I was a little angry because I lost almost 6 kilos, but not very much from my belly, which was not too much to begin with. Let’s just say I had a 4 and a half pack instead of a 6 pack ( the third pack was not so clearly visible). Anyway, and after that, I started my weight gain plan and in two months a gained 7 kilograms, only muscle. Two weeks a go I felt the need to go for a run, but I was getting bored of the classic running for 40 minutes. SO I decided to run like Forrest Gump. At the beginning I ran for 10 minutes pretty slow, to warm up and after that I was walking for 2 minutes. After that I released the dogs. I sprinted I think for 30-40 seconds in which I could not hear anything because of the wind in my ears. I was racing cars and trams. It feel really really good. My heart rate was really high, but I walked for 3-4 minutes and continued with slow running for another 5 minutes. I did this whole thing again another two times. Every time I was pushing myself and giving the best I had in me. It felt incredibly good and I could actually feel my leg and back muscles really tight. It is a great exercise. The heart rate was high for a pretty long time, much longer than after jogging. The intensity was far beyond any cardio exercise I did before. Be careful though with your hearth rate, it is going really high. If you know you have problems, take it slow. As you noticed I warmed up with 10 minutes normal running. After my first sprint day I got interested in it and did some research on the internet and then applied these things on me.

Here is what I applied from what I found on the Internet and recommend to you:

Sprint warm up exercises

1) Start with a few minutes of low intensity normal running

2) Do a couple of series of Lateral Shuffles

3) If you are in a good shape try Cariocas

4) A-Skips

5) Stretching

Correct Position when Sprinting

Your arms play a very important role when you are sprinting. You are using your arms to balance your body while you push the ground with your legs. Your whole upper body will be tight. Your arm should have a 90 degrees angle at the elbow. Your arms should be synchronized with your legs, more precisely your front arm is synchronized with the rear leg.

When you start the sprint you should lower your body a litthe forward like you would be in a fall. With big steps and using your hands for balance start accelerating and slowly your upper body should move into a straight position. While you accelerate, your upper body will have a tendency to move to the back as if it was pulled. Actually, this happened to me, it is because of the speed and the flow of air hitting you. I always tried to bend my body a little forward. Remember to breath. Take deep breaths as you need a lot of oxygen. Your heart has a very high bpm at this point. After you decelerate do not stop. Keep walking.

Sprint running facts.

1) Mass is related to speed

In the article “Running Performance Has a Structural Basis,” published in July 2005 in The Journal of Experimental Biology, the authors looked at the physical characteristics of the world’s fastest 45 runners at eight distances (100 to 10,000 meters) run in international competitions from 1990 to 2003. What they found was that those who excelled in the shorter distances “were generally more massive than those in longer ones,” and those runners with the most muscle were those in the sprint events of 100, 200 and 400 meters.

Exactly this is what happened to me lately. As I gained more muscle mass recently, especially my leg muscles, I noticed a significant change in my speed and my acceleration performances. If you think about it, it is also logic. If you have more muscle in your legs, you have more force to actually push the ground behind you.

2) The key to a good sprint start is strength

This is useful for athlete sprinters, not for normal people like us. Sprinters must develop impressive strength to be able to overcome inertia during the start. Overcoming inertia is also a goal of weightlifters; in fact, the strength training weightlifters do often enables them to have sprint starts that match up with sprinters.

3) Acceleration begins from the upper body

Hence the need for sprinters to develop upper body strength to have a good start. Further, upper body strength and abdominal strength will help the sprinter maintain good sprint mechanics, and the upper body will help counter the torque produced by the lower body. This is also true for all short-term speed events, from bobsleigh to speed skating.

Biological factors for runners

Biological factors that determine a sprinter’s potential include;

- Muscular strength (we already determined that)

- Adrenaline use ( Adrenaline release is triggered by a series of factors, among which one of them is physical effort)

- Anaerobic respiration capacity

- Breathing

- Footspeed

- Proportion of fast twitch muscles ( Find details here)

- Leg length ( That is I can run so fast. I have 1.92 m height)

- Pelvic width.


Sources: Wikipedia, SportsMedicine, CharlesPoliquin, Personal Experience and Knowledge


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