Don’t be intimidated to incorporate sprints into your workout; however, it is important to work up your ability and not over-extend yourself.
Here are 5 tips to getting faster at sprinting:
1. Warm-up properly.
Warming up is essential before you start sprinting because your muscles need to be prepared for the short burst of power. Walk or run for 10+ minutes while incorporating high-knees and butt kickers to really engage all your leg muscles.
2. Run with a circular motion and land on your forefoot to propel you forward.
Rather than reaching your legs out to get more distance, move your legs in a circular motion with shorter strides. Landing on your forefoot will help to prevent shin splints as well as other injuries.
3. Use your arms.
Driving your elbows backwards and keeping your arms at a 90-degree position helps to create momentum. The movement should be wider than a normal jog with a fluid action with your hands going as high as your chin and reaching back behind your butt.
4. Start with doing sprints once or twice a week.
As a beginner, start out with doing approximately five sprints total from 15-60 seconds with a one to four minute recovery period — keep in mind the shorter your sprint time, the shorter your recovery time. Keep moving in between sprints so your muscles don’t become cold. A sprint workout should not be more than 15-20 minutes total, including recovery times.
5. Cool down and stretch.
After your sprints, cool down by lightly jogging or walking. It is important to stretch to avoid tightness and sore muscles as well — using a foam roller can also be beneficial post-workout.