Lockdown has forced our hand when it comes to finding different training modalities and honestly, doing something, anything will be better than nothing, but if you’re already doing something, or you want to do something that is the absolute best you can do; well then combining a bodyweight strength program with sprinting, jumping, bounding etc. is the best thing you could probably do in our opinion.
Getting started with sprinting for a lot of strength athletes is kind of like turning back the clock or restoring some old skills as most of us got into strength training because of other sports. Iain and Khrys because of rugby, Samantha because of volleyball, track and field, Leah and Krys from being former track and field athletes.
Remember Where You're At
As much as we all love to have confidence in our athleticism remember sprinting is something we’re built to do, but it’s also super stressful, in a good way, unless you do it wrong and then I can be very bad.
This blog is about preparing you to sprint with some nice and easy tips to break you in for you first few weeks.
Follow these principles
Slow to fast
Soft to hard
Simple to complex
Short to long
SlOW TO FAST
This seems like common sense, but too often we suspend common sense in favour of jumping gung ho with very little warm up into sprinting.
Start off with some nice and simple yoga flows, activation drills, dynamic stretching, same as you would for gym.
Then progress into some running form drills and then you get into your sprints.
Soft to hard
Don’t go straight into three points starts on hard ground.
Start off with soft starts, this further reduces the high impact on your body so you can properly recover and adapt to the new novel stimulus sprinting will provide.
Start with walking starts, then hit some rolling starts, then a falling start, then a half kneeling start, and THEN, we go to a proper dead start sprint.
If possible start sprinting on grass and/or up hill, it doesn’t have to be a big hill, but a incline is much kinder on your joints when starting out, it also promotes proper acceleration mechanics naturally.
Simple to Complex
Start with simple drills and simple sprints. A Marches, High Knee Runs, Walk in starts.
There’s a lot of cool novel drills, bounding, skipping, wicket runs, band resisted sprints etc.
But keep it simple, use these tools by gradually introducing after you’ve been sprinting in a focused systematic fashion for a few months.
Short to Long
Short sessions, short sprints, low volume. Start off with this only sprint for 10-15 meters, with 100-150 meters of value (only count your actual max effort sets), make the sessions short and sharp. As you get more conditioned and your skill improves then you can sprint further each rep, for more sets per session and have longer sessions as you will be ready for it.
Your First Session
Primal Flow Warm Up - options for this are to move through it for a solid minute or two or do 10 reps per side for 2-3 rounds and do some static stretching in the rest periods.
3-5 rounds of
A March 10 meters
A skip 10 meters
A Run/ ankling 10 meters
Backwards sprint x 20 meters
Walk in sprints x 5 x 10 meters, rest 1 minute between efforts
A run/Ankling into sprint x 5 x 10 meter ankling into 10 meter sprint. Rest 1 minute between efforts.
Power Skips (for height) for 3 x 20 meters
Walk in sprints x 6 x 10 meters, rest 1 minute between efforts
A run/Ankling into sprint x 6 x 10 meter ankling into 10 meter sprint. Rest 1 minute between efforts.
Power Skips (for height) for 3 x 20 meters
Jogging start sprints x 5 x 10 meters, rest 1 minute between efforts
Falling start sprint x 5 x 10 meter ankling into 10 meter sprint. Rest 1 minute between efforts.
Power Skips (for height) for 3 x 30 meters
Jogging start sprints x 6 x 10 meters, rest 1 minute between efforts
Falling start sprint x 6 x 10 meter ankling into 10 meter sprint. Rest 1 minute between efforts.
Power Skips (for height) for 2 x 40 meters
As you can see we have a simple, short, sharp warm up followed by simple drills. We then go into some walking start sprints and then into high knee run to sprint for short distances for not a lot of sets.
The power skip at the end again help you slow things down and simplify some of our sprint mechanic practice.
The working volume is low (100 meters of actual sprinting), the skips are sub maximal accessory work. The warm up is simple and brief, it likely wouldn’t take longer than 40-50 minutes from start too finish for this.
The progression of the sessions is very simple, increase volume, increase our skills then upgrade to harder, faster, more complex variations i.e. walking start to jogging start, high knee running start to a falling start.
These progressions don’t seem like much, but do this session 1-2x per week onto of your other training whether you’re in lockdown or not and you’ll notice some good things
A program of smart bodyweight training and sprints and jumps will surpass you and both are something keep in your training once lockdown is done.
Remember as athletes, we’re looking to get better any way and in every we can, being more powerful, being better conditioned, more co-ordinated, more athletic overall is something we can all say we want, it’s something we can get through sprinting. So rather than despairing over the gym being closed, think about getting creative and using tools like sprinting to get better.
Remember the plan has changed but the goal has not, the goal is to get better, change the plan and still get to where you’re going.