Top Five Tips for Safer Sprinting
Most people want to know which sprint programs to perform and how to progress quickly in their speed and power training. While this desire is needed to achieve a faster and more explosive body, what is most important is following common sense training guidelines that will keep you safe, allow you to see gains and more importantly, allow you to sustain your training.
One of the things that makes me frustrated with many of the general sprint program design information available in fitness magazines and online is that the programs tend to focus on lots of volume and distances that the average person has not business doing.
Sprinting be definition is a ballistic full body movement that puts huge forces through the body. Those forces have to be dialed in gradually yet consistently to allow your biology to adapt and prepare for future sprinting sessions. Before you rush out to sprint, please read and consider learning from the following five guidelines.
1. Quality First
The most important aspect of sprinting is proper technique. Proper technique will allow you to get the most out your sprinting, will yield great results and will also keep you safe. Form, above all things, must be the focus.
Take your time to learn the pre-requisite drills first.
In fact as you improve in your sprinting practice you will frequently use the drills as a neural warm up for technique enhancement and general conditioning. Many technical issues and problems can be addressed with the correct applications of the Primal Speed Sprinting Drills.
2. Less is More
Do not be concerned with quantity in the beginning. Too many newbies believe more is better and rarely is that ever the case. High Intensity movements like sprinting must be introduced to the body slowly and gradually, especially if you have little to no background in sprinting and explosive type of sports.
Sprinting is the ultimate expression of human power and because of this must be taken seriously.
The faster you run the more recovery you will need. There is a direct correlation with higher speeds and longer recovery periods. Elite level sprinters will often take 10 to 25 minutes recovery between sprints.
New sprinters will rarely take extra long recovery times between runs primarily because they are not fast enough yet but they will take more time between sprints than they are probably used to.
3. Softer Surfaces are Better in the Beginning
I recommend you find a nice grass area like a park or soccer field that is free of big holes and hazardous objects. The softer surfaces will be easier on your connective tissues and joints in the beginning and over the long run not beat up your body as bad as a hard surfaced track.
4. Wear Shoes
Yes I said the evil word “shoes.” I am not a big fan of big running shoes nor do I support having people wear shoes all day.
I think all humans should spend plenty of time without shoes to develop the feet and allow the feet to learn how to operate as they were intended to function. However, when learning to sprint I do recommend that you do wear some shoes for safely purposes.
A light weight running shoe or minimal shoe is probably best but always use common sense and listen to your body.
When running at top speeds it is quite dangerous to land on a jagged small rock you cannot see as it can create tremendous damage to your foot or worse severely injure you. That is why I prefer that most people wear some shoes when sprinting. The only exception would be when sprinting on sand.
5. Relaxation Versus Tension
Tension is the body is needed for absolute strength. Tension is utilized differently while sprinting and performing explosive movements. The tension you find in the body during fast running is to keep the torso and upper trunk stable and to preserve postural stability.
The proper amount of tension will naturally be reinforced when one learns to maintain the sprint position.
Too much tension will make you slower and not efficient. I recommend that when practicing you do not sprint more than 90 to 95% of your maximum intensity. The problem with sprinting at 100% effort is that you will tighten up. If I say sprint at 90% intensity, you will be more relaxed and might actually run faster.
It is ok to run fast but you must be intentional about staying relaxed Keep the hands, mouth, face and jaw relaxed and never clench those body parts.
If you find yourself clenching your hands tight shrugging up your shoulders towards your ears you are in danger of injuring yourself and most definitely will not run fast. Relax and let the speed naturally come at it will. Do not force yourself to go faster…..relax.
I will soon share some beginner training templates that are appropriate starting places for the every day Athletes and fitness enthusiast. Thanks for reading.
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