Metabolic Conditioning With Sprints: Get in Shape Fast

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Since sprinting is such an integral part of game time performance, metabolic conditioning with sprints is commonly used to get athletes in shape for sports. However, despite its efficiency, sprinting as training has some challenges.

First, most sprints are run at less than maximal speed. This is a problem because it trains athletes to run slowly. Another issue is that the volume may be too high during these sessions, leading to bad form, slow sprints, and higher likelihood of an injury, such as a pulled hamstring. Also athletes will pace themselves during the sprints, which is counterproductive.

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Sprint Training

Since sprinting is such an integral part of game time performance, metabolic conditioning with sprints is commonly used to get athletes in shape for sports. However, despite its efficiency, sprinting as training has some challenges.

First, most sprints are run at less than maximal speed. This is a problem because it trains athletes to run slowly. Another issue is that the volume may be too high during these sessions, leading to bad form, slow sprints, and higher likelihood of an injury, such as a pulled hamstring. Also athletes will pace themselves during the sprints, which is counterproductive.

Below are some sample conditioning workouts that you can use to help get past these challenges. Before you begin, however, keep the following things in mind:

  • You have a timed amount for each distance. This is the time you have before the next sprint starts. Say you have 10 seconds to run 10 yards. Once the 10 seconds are over, it's time to begin the next sprint.
  • You'll need a partner, because you're not supposed to know which workout you are running. This makes you less likely to sandbag it and try to pace yourself. Your partner will chose the workout, call out the distances for you to run and take charge of the stopwatch.
  • Good sprinting technique is critical for both speed and injury prevention.
  • Running each sprint at maximal speed is important; otherwise, you learn to run slowly.
  • You need to recover. Getting too tired means learning to run slowly and with bad technique.

Remember to warm up thoroughly before running the first sprint.

The workouts are written as follows: distance (time), where the distance is the length of the sprint in yards, and the time is the number of seconds you have before the next sprint. The workouts are divided into two levels: Level One is the first four weeks of the program, your "get-in-shape phase"; and Level Two is something you can do after completing Level One. Each level has three different workouts.

Level 1

Workout 1: 10 (10), 20 (20), 40 (30), 60 (40), 80 (50), 100 (60)
Workout 2: 100 (60), 10 (10), 100 (60), 10 (10), 100 (60), 10 (10)
Workout 3: 100 (60), 80 (50), 60 (40), 40 (30), 20 (20), 10 (10)

Level Two

Workout 1: 10 (10), 20 (20), 40 (30), 60 (40), 80 (50), 100 (60), 200 (90), 60 (40), 100 (60)
Workout 2: 20 (20), 40 (30), 80 (50), 3x100 (60), 80 (50), 20 (20), 60 (40)
Workout 3: 10 (10), 20 (20), 40 (30), 20 (20), 10 (10), 40 (30), 60 (40), 80 (50), 60 (40), 40 (30), 60 (40), 80 (50), 100 (60)

Check out more challenging conditioning workouts.


Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock

Topics: SPEED WORKOUTS | WORKOUTS | RUNNING | ASICS GENERAL | SPRINT | INJURY | CONDITIONING WORKOUTS