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How to Get Faster at Sprinting: Top Tips from Running Coaches

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Ask any runner what it means to sprint, and the words “run very fast” will come up. Anyone who has been to a track meet will describe the sprints as races where the runner is going at 100% effort. Since the intensity of those efforts is so great, sprints are short in distance and duration. 

The question that often remains is what role does sprint play within the workouts of us mere mortals. After all, most of us are no sprinter or Usain Bolt.

However, when you read up on how to improve your running, there is always a common denominator. That common factor is the implementation of speed work. 

There are indeed many different facets to speed training. One part of this equation is truly fast efforts for short distances. 

Wondering how to get faster at sprinting? 

7 Reasons You Should Add Sprints To Your Workout

There are many reasons to add sprint training to your workout.

Here are the top seven reasons. 

  1. Builds Muscle: Sprinting helps you build muscles in ways that going the long, easy, slow distance does not. 
  2. Increases Strength: Sure, slow running for hours is one strength; however, sprinting is another strong type. Get outside of your comfort zone and see how powerful you can be. 
  3. Cardiovascular: Implementing any type of HIIT (high intensity) cardio training is good for your heart health. 
  4. Improved Endurance: This may seem counterintuitive, but hear us out. Running fast for shorter distances is a great way to see endurance improvements. It doesn’t get easier; you get stronger. 
  5. Metabolism Boost: If you want to burn calories, plodding along at the same steady pace is not always the way to go. Mixing it up will help get your metabolism revved up. 
  6. Release of Endorphins: Speedwork turns the happiness on inside your head. Give it a try. 
  7. Mental Strength: Running can be hard, no matter what type of running you are doing. Sprinting is a great way to challenge your mental strength. 

How Do I Increase My Sprinting Speed?

If you want to sprint faster, it is important, as always, to warm up properly. Trying to run fast without warming up can result in injury. Spend time on strength training, especially working on your core if you want to get faster because taking care of your power chain is an essential component. 

Don’t forget to pay attention to form. Believe it or not, running “better” can improve efficiency, which can shave off seconds.

When working on running form, it is important to keep your shoulders, jaw, and neck relaxed when you sprint. Do not shrug your shoulders and bob or twist your head because this will lock your hips, breaking proper form.

You should also make sure your arms are in the proper position. Keeping arms bent at 65-90 degrees, don’t cross or swing your arms across your body. 

Learning about footstrike and how to land efficiently is also important: land on your forefoot and pay attention to the force pushed off from your toes to propel yourself forward while remembering to keep your feet flexed up toward your shin.

Long strides will waste your energy. Focus on running speed rather than distance when you sprint. You will run faster and more efficiently by shortening the stride. 

Just like the warm-up is important, the cooldown is equally so. To prevent injuries and reduce the chances of being in pain later, after every sprinting workout, you should spend a few minutes doing some light exercises such as jogging or the last 5-10 minutes to stretch your muscles.

How Can I Sprint Faster in 2 Weeks?

For beginners and runners looking to improve top speed over two short weeks, you can do a few simple things. To be clear, some of these are mentioned above.

These are just the down and dirty top requirements if you are looking for some quick changes. 

  1. Cadence: Increase your steps per minute to get faster running under your belt.
  2. Plyometrics: Incorporate squats, box jumps, lunges, skipping, and hopping into your workouts to get faster, quicker. f
  3. Toe Running: Focus on sprint mechanics, which include forefoot running 
  4. Twice a Week: Don’t try to sprint every day. Two times a week is enough to give your body the balance to improve speed while avoiding injury.

How Can I Run Faster and Longer?

Believe it or not, sprinting will help you improve when running long.

First, sprinting will help to increase your endurance. Over time, you will be able to run at a faster pace for a longer period of time.

The key to running faster and longer is to do just that: run faster and longer. Let’s go through an example.

If you are gunning for a faster 5K,  start out running the first mile at a moderate pace, the second mile faster, then take the third mile a bit easier. After doing that successfully a few times, try stretching that center chunk to 1.5 miles, then 2 miles. 

Another key to running faster longer is to do some interval training.

After warming up properly, run 2:00 minutes hard, then 2:00 minutes easier. Alternate the 2:00 hard x 2:00 easy for a set distance. After a few weeks, you can switch to 3:00 hard x 2:00 easy. Guess what comes after that? 4:00 hard x 1:00 easy. 

Who Should Try Sprinting?

Honestly, incorporating some speed into the weekly workout regiment is good for all of us. Running at the same steady pace all of the time causes an athlete to plateau in his or her running, as well as experiencing less cardiovascular benefits.  

If you are looking for improvement in performance and mental clarity, give it a try. Even if you don’t have specific goals to get faster at sprinting, adding speed to your running will be good for you. You can trust us. 

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