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Old 06-03-2014, 05:55 PM   #1
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Advice needed for beginning sprints

Hi,

Having been lifting weights and running 5k's for a year now, I am in pretty good shape, but still carry about 40 pounds extra. I'm 39 and male BTW.

I want to start doing a couple of sprint workouts a week, but this is new to me. Any advice on getting started. I don't know whether to sprint then walk, jog, or stop. I'm not sure if it would be best to to pick distances or times to sprint, how much rest, etc...

Please help me to get started. Thanks!
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Old 06-03-2014, 06:24 PM   #2
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Hey, I'm just gonna bookmark because I want to hear what other people say. My trainer has me do sprints after we finish the workout and I love it. Now, we're only doing a few, not an entire routine which I think is what you're asking about? I do think HIIT is the way to go but sometimes I just want to hit the pavement and run and I do whatever keeps me interested. AND sometimes my quads don't let me sprint.
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Old 06-16-2014, 01:54 PM   #3
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You could do fartleks (that's always fun to suggest). While you are out for a run pick something in the distance (lamp post, mailbox, branch sticking out, not a bird) and run to it as fast as you can. Take it slow until you get your breath back and pick something else. After a while you will notice it takes less time to catch your breath and you start picking further mailboxes.

If you want something more structured you could set a timer or use a running program. I run with my phone and use an app called Runkeeper. You can set any intervals you want and it will give you an audio cue to change speeds. You can also use a watch like a Timex Ironman.

when I started running the speed work did the most for my fitness I think.
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Old 06-18-2014, 07:59 AM   #4
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I love the name - fartleks!

I put in 4 of these in my 35 minute run this morning, about 70 yards each - thanks for the suggestion! It's amazing how only 2 minutes or so made my run so much harder. I can see how this would send a message to your body that it needs to make metabolic changes to get energy out of your fat stores immediately compared to an endurance run!

Thanks!
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Old 06-18-2014, 08:14 AM   #5
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You're welcome. I'm glad it is working out for you.
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Old 06-19-2014, 05:26 AM   #6
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X2 to FARTLEKS! Easy to do and push your thresholds. Regarding structured workouts, if you have access to a track that is pretty easy to do. The key is to warmup properly, then it's speed followed with an active recovery and do it again.
My personal favorite is trail running for strength and speed work. The beauty of trail running is that it has the fartleks built into the trail. Hills, flats, downhills, etc. All present opportunities to push yourself.

ETA: What exactly are you trying to accomplish by doing "sprint" workouts? What is your current mileage per week for running?
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Last edited by batlou; 06-19-2014 at 05:33 AM..
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Old 06-22-2014, 01:00 PM   #7
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My goals are to simply be in better health in a more well-rounded way - I already think I'm a decent endurance runner, and decent is good enough for me. But, I am not a good sprinter, as I found out playing baseball and kickball with my cousins on Easter. It wasn't that I didn't perform well, it's that I was sore for a whole week because I hadn't developed that type of muscle. Also, I want to keep losing weight -- I started at 233 and I'm down to 188, but need to drop another 20 to 30 pounds.

I probably average 10-15 miles per week, spread over 3 to 4 days. But I also lift weights 2X per week. I don't have access to a track that I know of, I just use my neighborhood which is a good place to run because I can pick flat courses and hilly courses within the neighborhood.

If there's any particular thing I am training for -- I really want to do obstacle runs, and feel good about my performance. My son is autistic and I plan on doing the obstacle run for Autism Speaks this fall.

Thanks!!!!!
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Old 06-23-2014, 12:49 PM   #8
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OK, that helps. When you said 'sprinting' and included a reference to endurance I was assuming speed work for a 5K. Sprinting to 1st base is a different animal entirely. Training with heavy weights would be a good start. Also find some hills and sprint up them. If you have a partner you can do resistance band work. Your partner wraps the band around your waist and holds you back while you sprint 50M or so. Then switch, include forward, backward and side sprints. I promise that you will feel this one.
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Old 06-23-2014, 05:17 PM   #9
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Thanks batlou,

I should clarify that I want to be able to sprint to 1st base, as well as speed work for a 5k event. I just want to be all-around fit with no gaps, but not needing any particular area to be exceedingly strong.

That being said, I appreciate your advice - really great stuff!
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