Sprint Workouts for Beginners

sprinter stadium start blocks
Sprinter on blocks (Image: filrom/iStock/Getty Images)

Sprinting workouts develop muscle tone and short-term endurance by improving your muscles’ ability to burn glucose through your anaerobic pathways. Sprint workouts improve your lactic threshold, which will effectively allow you to go harder without having your muscles give out on you, according to Rice University. Sprint workouts can improve your performance at both sprinting and long distance running, though the best performance training closely mimics your actual race distance and speed. To avoid injury, warm up with a run and some running-specific dynamic stretches.

High-Intensity Intervals

High-intensity intervals are done at an increased exertion level, usually seven or greater on a scale of one to 10. Short bursts of sprinting -- 80 to 100 percent of capacity -- are followed by recovery periods of equal or greater length, notes the American Council on Exercise. According to IDEA Fit’s Jason Karp, PhD, these targeted sprint workouts have the capacity to quickly increase both your aerobic and anaerobic fitness level.

Walk briskly for two minutes to warm up. For the first interval, jog at 25 percent for 30 seconds, followed by a brisk two-minute walk. Next, run 20 seconds at 50 percent capacity and rest with another two-minute walk. For the third interval, go at 90 percent for 15 seconds and then briskly walk for two minutes. For the next several intervals, sprint at 100 percent for five to 10 seconds, with four-minute walks between. Do your interval training on two to three non-consecutive days each week.

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