31 Easy Tips to Sporting Excellence #26: Sprint!

I am a firm believer in efficiency and effectiveness in training. I don’t have the time, energy or attention span to plough away for mile after mile racking up insane training volumes. I want to do what I can to get faster and stronger in the time that I have – and then proceed with my social life. Sign me up for those things that allow me to achieve more in less time.

“31 Easy Tips to Sporting Excellence” is a series of those tips that will kick your performance to the next level, without any inordinate expenditure of time or money. With one month down so far this year, what are you doing to improve your performance? How are you going to reach your goals?

Today is #26: Sprint!

The assumption for triathletes is that you have to do huge volumes at aerobic pace in order to be ready for a race. While being able to sustain a pace for long periods of time is important, and aerobic training provides the base for your season, sprint training plays an important role in triathlon.

Studies have shown that sprinting helps strengthen your muscles and increase the power and efficiency of each stride or stroke. This goes for all three of the disciplines.

For runners, one of the benefits of sprinting is muscle fiber recruitment. Increasing your fast twitch muscle fibers and enabling them for work will help with maintaining a hard pace when your slow twitch fibers fatigue.

On the bike as well as in the pool – sprinting develops the intensity and power of each allowing you to get more out of each stroke. Translate some of that power that to slower speeds and allow yourself to get more out of each stroke.

And if nothing else, sprinting offers variety to your workout. It’s great as part of a warm-up progression, after a long main set or the core of a shorter more intense workout. Recruit your teammates and do relays. The competition is fun and will encourage you to maximize your training speeds!

A sprint workout involves shorter distances at higher speeds with longer rest intervals. Total volumes in a sprint session will be lower due to the increased rest.

There are injury concerns with sprinting given the high intensity and a relative lack of experience. Do a longer warm-up and build into the sprints. Do not do sprint workouts back-to-back, allow yourself to recover.

Get sprinting and give yourself stronger muscles and an extra couple of gears.

What tips would you add to the list? What have I not covered yet?

“31 Easy Tips” thus far:
#1: Drink Water First Thing in the Morning
Write Down Your Goals (Now!)
 Ask an Expert
Start Stretching
#5: Track your progress towards your Goals
#6: Take a Cold Shower
Incorporate Drills into your Workouts
Superfoods for Superperformance
#9: Get Some Rest
#10: Cross train
Reward Yourself
#12: Don’t Breathe in the Pool
Take a Bath
#14: Do Squat!
#15: Get Yourself a Mentor
Do Yoga
#17: Be on Time
#18: Leave Your Bucket of Troubles at the Door
#19: Stay Healthy!
#20: Do LESS Freestyle
#21: Grind it Out on the Foam Roller
#22: Engage Your Core
#23: Don’t Break the Bank!
Be Persistent and Patient (Like Skyscraper Builders)
#25: Kick!

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