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Basement Cat

Sprints for beginners. Is this any good?

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I want to increase my speed and general cardio. The underground parking lot where I live is a little under 100 meters. I want to do it there because with winter on the way there will be too much ice and incompetent drivers outside. :D 

 

Here's the plan: run as fast as possible to one end and walk back to the other. Repeat as necessary. I'm a beginner with this, so I'm planning to do it 2 or 3 times a week at most. I'm not sure how many ''trips'' I will do yet. It will depend on how much my legs, heart and lungs can take. I should mention I quit smoking recently, so my lungs aren't all that great right now.

 

Any advice/tips would be appreciated.

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Should work just fine, I would start with walking back first and after a while slow jog back and add more reps as you go on; that will help with speed. If you are looking to build up to a 5k you will need to add distance during the spring, nice mid tempo you can talk while you run and build up to wherever you want, I personally aim for 10 miles or an hour and a half, whatever comes first. 

 

 

Oh and also ex smoker talking, you will at some point be short of breath and hack up a damn lung with all sorts of ugly yellow/brown/green slime; according to my Doctor this is normal just your body trying to get rid of the nastiness

 

 

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Probably obvious, but I'd also suggest warming up and warming down first, especially if it's cold. Perhaps a very brisk walk or slow jog, rather than going cold into sprinting.

 

I'd also suggest being generous with yourself about recovery time between sprints. Quality as well as quantity is important. One option might be to do a set of x sprints with y rest between, then allow yourself a longer rest and do another set. I sometimes fall into the trap of seeing resting for longer as a sign of weakness, only to regret it a few seconds into the next rep!

 

Have you come across "strides"? They're a lot like 100m sprints, but rather than an all out sprint, they're a more gradual acceleration, holding about 95% effort for a few seconds and then decelerate gradually. I'm often at training early, so I'll warm up with them, and where possible I use them to warm up before races. I'd definitely recommend incorporating them somehow, perhaps as a warm-up, perhaps to alternate with 100m sprints, or perhaps in place of all out sprinting entirely.

 

This article discusses strides in the context of additional training for people who already run a lot and want to improve, rather than in the context of starting running/sprinting, but hopefully is a good explanation.

http://strengthrunning.com/2012/10/what-are-strides/?doing_wp_cron=1510828568.3354449272155761718750

 

Oh, and watch out for cars!

 

 

 

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51 minutes ago, Rostov said:

 

Probably obvious, but I'd also suggest warming up and warming down first, especially if it's cold. Perhaps a very brisk walk or slow jog, rather than going cold into sprinting.

 

I'd also suggest being generous with yourself about recovery time between sprints. Quality as well as quantity is important. One option might be to do a set of x sprints with y rest between, then allow yourself a longer rest and do another set. I sometimes fall into the trap of seeing resting for longer as a sign of weakness, only to regret it a few seconds into the next rep!

 

Have you come across "strides"? They're a lot like 100m sprints, but rather than an all out sprint, they're a more gradual acceleration, holding about 95% effort for a few seconds and then decelerate gradually. I'm often at training early, so I'll warm up with them, and where possible I use them to warm up before races. I'd definitely recommend incorporating them somehow, perhaps as a warm-up, perhaps to alternate with 100m sprints, or perhaps in place of all out sprinting entirely.

 

This article discusses strides in the context of additional training for people who already run a lot and want to improve, rather than in the context of starting running/sprinting, but hopefully is a good explanation.

http://strengthrunning.com/2012/10/what-are-strides/?doing_wp_cron=1510828568.3354449272155761718750

 

Oh, and watch out for cars!

 

 

 

I love this post! Strengthrunning and Strides are two of the greatest things in running!!

 

I sincerely hope you find a way to add in a long run one day a week. Incidentally one of the best ways to run faster is to run more. A quote from Strengthrunning...

 

Quote

 

Makes you faster! Yes, with more endurance you’ll be able to hold a certain pace for a longer period of time. But after a certain level of fatigue, slow-twitch muscles get tired so the body recruits fast-twitch muscle fibers to help out.

The end result? You actually improve speed by running easy for a very long time!

 

http://strengthrunning.com/2016/08/long-run-case-for-running-long/ (WELL worth the read)

 

I will attest it's true. We destroyed a half marathon because we'd been running 18+ mile long runs at 35+ miles per week ( I think we shaved a minute and a half off our previous PR pace)

 

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Thanks for the feedback guys! (and gals?)

 

I'll start with the sprints in the parking lot (no car worries at 3 or 4 am.) :D Running outside will depend on the weather because in the winter we get a lot of ice here so it's kinda dangerous.

 

Thanks again!

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5 hours ago, Basement Cat said:

Thanks for the feedback guys! (and gals?)

 

I'll start with the sprints in the parking lot (no car worries at 3 or 4 am.) :D Running outside will depend on the weather because in the winter we get a lot of ice here so it's kinda dangerous.

 

Thanks again!

No guarantees you'll like them because they can feel weird but check out Yaktrax Run. Pretty good ice/packed snow cleats.

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This was more or less my go-to workout for a good chunk of the last year before I started training for my marathon.  Here's what I found:

  • I always felt like a badass after workouts.
  • It didn't improve my endurance/ability to go fast over long distances, and it's really not a substitute for long distances, but it's absolutely beneficial for sports and probably essential for any sport that requires short bursts of speed (which is pretty much all of them, but I found it made me a better capture the flag player primarily).
  • I was sore after in a very satisfying way.

What are your goals?  Sprints are great, but they're not a one-stop shop for a distance runner.  If you sprint three days a week and do a single long run, I think that's a great way to go if you're in a time crunch, but if you just want to get a good workout in under half an hour, then sprints are probably my favourite thing.

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5 hours ago, TheOtherScott said:

What are your goals?  Sprints are great, but they're not a one-stop shop for a distance runner.  If you sprint three days a week and do a single long run, I think that's a great way to go if you're in a time crunch, but if you just want to get a good workout in under half an hour, then sprints are probably my favourite thing.

On this rare occasion, I find myself needing to disagree with TheOtherScott(I usually agree with virtually everything you post). As a new runner especially, I feel that if you do 3 days of sprints/speed work and a long run you are on a path straight to overuse injuries. That is too much hard running. Most of your runs should be at an easy conversational pace. I would limit the sprints to 1 run per week and then consider hill repeats  on a second night. An easy short run and a long easy run. More isn't always better with running. Buikd your fitness base safely and gradually and then work on knocking it up a notch. Too much too soon will sideline you.

 

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That's probably accurate, now that I think about it.  I was doing it to great success but after about five years of solid running experience under my belt.  Definitely listen to your body and slow the heck down if you're just starting out.

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