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Triathlon Articles by Local Coaches

Running sprints

Running Sprints


10 Second Running Sprints (4 x RS)

The main reason for incorporating speed training in your program is to improve how fast and efficiently you run.   By adding speed training to your program, you will improve race times, gain motivation, increase concentration and refine technique and form.  Generally speaking, there will be 5 different types of speed training in your program – Running Strides, Tempo Runs, Fartlek Runs Hill Intervals and Track Intervals.

As a word of caution, increasing intensity can increase the occurrence of injuries. However, with proper preparation involving muscle and joint strengthening, stretching, warm-up and cool-down you can avoid most, if not all, possible problems.
           
The first type of speed training you will encounter in your training program will be Running Sprints (RS).  Running Sprints, commonly known as “running strides” are short bursts of speed at the end of Foundation Runs or Recovery Runs.
           
End your Foundation Run or Recovery Run in a flat to slightly down hill area or a running track. If you are running on grass, be sure that the footing is even and that you are not at risk of twisting your ankle by stepping in a hole. Also, make sure you are fully hydrated at this point. 

Begin your Running Sprints right away. You don’t want your body to cool down and tighten up.  Run fast for 10 seconds. It is recommended that you run for 10 seconds, any longer that that you may not generate the speed you are trying to achieve.  As you run, keep your head up and concentrate on your posture.  Keep your arms relaxed in a 90 degree angle and pump them vigorously.  For every action there is a reaction.  Therefore, the faster you arms pump the faster you legs will turn over.
           
Run fast for 10 seconds, jog around slowly for 1 minute or until your feel fully recovered.  If you are training by RUN Kinetic Loop Training System Heart Rate Ranges jog around until your heart rate drops to below 75% of your RUN KLTS Field Test average Heart Rate or Lactate Threshold.      
           
If your workout calls for 4 x Running Sprints, accelerate throughout the set so that by the end you are running at your full speed.  Again, be sure to take full recovery between each one. 
           
At first, you may feel a variety of things, clumsy, tight, uncoordinated.  This is normal.  If you judiciously incorporate Running Sprints into your program you will enhance your speed development, improve your range of motion and coordination.  Be consistent – be patient. Always remember that technique and proper run mechanics is the key in becoming faster and more efficient