Sprinting is a short-distance race that can be completed in under a minute. It usually focuses on running a segment of a race track or a field over a short period. Sprinting is also featured in the list of competitions included in the Olympics. The 100m, 200m and 400m are standard sprinting formats where expert athletes touch the finishing line in the wink of an eye. Popular sprinters like Usain Bolt, Yohan Blake and many others are known for their records in the field.
How to Sprint?
Sprinting has a score of benefits when inculcated in daily routine, and it is one of the most popular forms of race. Not only do sprint fans enjoy this kind of sport today, but they also enjoy online gambling.
From slot games featuring a sports theme to betting opportunities on athletics, there are diverse ways in which they can engage. Also, they can try pokies as free play or with real money at top-rated online casinos.
Sprinting is a skill, and athletes train their bodies to meet the challenges on the field. It typically starts on one end of the track marked by a block in the form of foot frames. The sprinters use these to set themselves up before beginning the race.
Sprinters should stay confined to their respective lanes until the sprint is completed. With relentless practice, runners master the art, develop muscle strength and cover set distances at unimaginable speeds. Sprinting is more than just fast running and demands appropriate techniques. An athlete applies force on the ground to sprint well.
Sportsmen who start early training will likely reach their peak performance faster than others joining the league relatively later. However, maintaining performance beyond 30 years could look challenging for many sprinters.
Just as the training is essential, so is rest for adequate recovery. The capacity sprinters build to absorb high-intensity training depends on how well they adapt to training levels. While you can’t overlook talent and passion, the training mode is equally important.
From training durations to endurance building, intensity, resting, running surface, and footwear worn by sprinters, every factor has a crucial role in the quality of training and runners’ performance.
Risks of Training Overload
While intensive training is beneficial, it can also pose injury risks, such as hamstring injuries. Excessive physical loads can also trigger soft tissue injuries.
Some common risks could involve:
- Muscle and cardiovascular strain;
- Joint strain;
- Sprinting causes your body muscles to contract to their maximum potential. Pushing your muscles at a high intensity, even for the lowest time, could cause them to tear.
Hence, listening to your body and avoiding sprinting daily is essential to ensure enough time for the affected muscles to recover.
Sprinting is pushing your body to its limits. Hence, the technique does matter. As the practice raises your heart rate, it is vital to keep a check. People with high blood pressure or cardiovascular disease should avoid or only practise it under doctors’ supervision.
Role of Running Surface
It is typically considered that the harder the surface for running, the higher will be the load that your leg muscles will have to bear. Thus, the kind of footwear you wear when sprinting plays a vital role.
Advanced sprinters typically opt for high-intensive running sessions and prefer shoes with spikes. Such shoes are great for rubberised tracks. On the other hand, if you are planning low-intensive sessions, you can choose cushioned shoes for running that are meant for grass or turf.
Sprinting is used for different types of training. Sprint training workouts usually follow this practice:
- A warm-up session that could stretch up to 10 minutes;
- Sprinting action;
- Setting into recovery mode for some time to allow yourself a comfortable pace;
- Performing the following sprint where you increase the maximum intensity.
This process is usually followed with a second and third repetition and recovery session.
Depending on your fitness goals, you can structure your sprinting routine. It will help you plan the intensity, duration, and number of sprints that should be performed. At the beginner level, you can start slowly and gradually build up. One cycle of four sprints and rest should do good. As you progress further, you can add more sets of sprints. However, get adequate rest as you escalate your training levels.
How Can Sprint Benefit You?
Here are ways in which sprinting in your everyday routine can be beneficial:
- It can strengthen the heart muscle, lower blood pressure, and stabilise the resting heart rate.
- Help in achieving lower body fat. The power and intensity required to sprint can work as a foundation for muscle building.
- It can enhance metabolic function as high-intensity workouts can increase your body’s metabolic rate.
- It provides improved running endurance.
- It may enhance your focus and concentration levels.
Regarding focus, it isn’t just the physical games that need practice and attention; even popular skill-based online games such as poker demand full concentration to pack a win.
Akin to running, sprinting activates your glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, and calves. The slow twitch muscles come into play as you sprint, followed by the fast-twitch fibres. You can use the following strategies to sprint well:
- Master the start, as this is crucial to your performance. Try to distribute your weight on both legs evenly.
- Employ your arms to provide your body with the required power. Try moving them vertically while maintaining a bend at your elbows. Ensure that your arms aren’t just thrown around casually, as that can lead to energy loss.
- Lift your knees to derive the required power and speed.
- A slight leaning towards a manner that assures the upper body to lead the sprint can add to the overall performance.
- Lead with your heels.
Experts suggest combining sprinting workouts with swimming, cycling, or other cardiovascular exercises. Moreover, practising in groups can keep you motivated.
Some studies indicate the role of genetic attributes that favour athletes in building on their sprinting skills. For instance, good sprinters are said to have shorter tendons in proportion to their long toes, enabling their calf muscles to perform better for accelerated take-offs. However, whether you have a sprint gene or not, appropriate training can go a long way to help you reach your fitness and performance goals.