Do you want to have superhuman speed? How about running so fast your friends who nicknamed you tortoise are left with your mouths gaping open? Fear not, these six tips, combined with your pure, raw determination, will teach you how to train like a sprinter and give you superhuman speed. Okay, maybe not quite, but you get the picture.
1. Warm Up
It doesn’t matter how young and spry or old and rickety you are; warmups are an essential sprinting technique for success, both for achieving maximum speed and for preventing injury. Twisted ankles and cramping muscles are common consequences following a cold-muscle sprint (or any intense exercise, really). So what’s a good warm up? Preferably ten minutes of graduated intensity exercises, including burpees, jumping jacks, squats, lunges, and a set or two of pushups to target the upper body.
2. Integrate the Whole Body
Sprinting involves so much more than just your leg muscles. When you first start the sprint, lean one leg forward at a forty to forty-five degree angle, relax your shoulders, keep your core straight, and point your hips and toes outwards. The starting stage of the sprint is one of the most crucial aspects of the whole sprint if you want to achieve maximum speed. Play around with it and try leaning your torso angle forward by a couple degrees to see if that helps maximize speed.
If you are doing sprinting as a form of HIIT (high-intensity-interval training), make sure to treat it like what it is: INTERVAL training. In other words, resting between sets is vital. According to this study, sprinting in intervals boosted levels of human growth hormone more than those who sprinted without intervals.
4. Targeted Training
If you’ve wondered how to train like a sprinter, this could be one of the most important tips for you. Training for speed requires more than just practice sprinting. Incorporate fast-repetition strength-training exercises into your training routine. Barbell squats, weighted jump squats, bench presses, dips, and backwards running are just some successful sprinting techniques.
If you live in a hilly area, you’re in luck. Running up hills is one of the best ways to train for sprinting. Hills push against your natural center of gravity and use a dynamic set of muscles, so find lots of hills and run up them!
6. Eat Properly
Avoid eating a big meal before sprinting. Besides that unpleasant, lumpy feeling in your stomach that makes you feel like you have rocks in your belly, eating a big meal pre-sprinting has other negative effects. If your body is using energy to digest a heavy meal, you aren’t going to have the max amount of speed available to you. If you are hungry, eat something high in healthy, simple carbs, like dates, bananas, or a little honey. Avoid the slower-digesting, complex carbs like beans and brown rice till after your sprint. Post-workout, mix up some vegan protein powder or plant-based BCAA powder for immediate recovery fuel, then incorporate a meal with moderate amounts of protein to help repair muscle tissue. Wild-caught salmon and sustainably sourced meats are packed with amino acids to reenergize you.
How long have you been training for sprinting and what are some of your favorite techniques? Have any pre-workout snacks you love? Share in the comments below!