How do you get faster at sprinting?

#1
I'm looking to improve my 100m/200m/400m sprints.

Right now, I just do hill sprints thrice a week, and record my times, since I don't have access to a track nearby.

Is this a good approach?

What else can I do to get faster?
 
#2
You have the right idea, Strength training. Incorporate flat ground strides and intervals at the 100m/200m/300m/400m/800m distances.

Strides and hills help build the correct form and posture for sprinting.

Download a GPS running app and find a flat road and measure out approx. at those distances and run repetitions.

Don't be intimidated to train further than your goal distance at 75-85% speed. I ran a 46.7s 400m after training mostly middle distance for an entire year. Its easier to work down in distance than up after building endurance.

Stay hungry for improvement, build a plan and stick with it.
 

RW Staff

Administrator
Staff member
#3
@ACamp0203 made some good call outs here. Downloading a GPS app is really helpful for runners who don't have access to a track. Additionally, running further than your goal will help build endurance making it easier.

Our staff here at Running Warehouse wrote some articles about other workouts you can incorporate into your training regime. This one, titled "How to Run Faster" will include links to specific speed workouts.

I do some of these workouts and they are very helpful. Between Farleks and Tempo runs, I have noticed faster times in my training.

Tyler
RW Staff
 
#4
There's a book's worth of information to answer this question. My 1st suggestion would be to talk to your coach or a local coach. However, I will put a general plan down below that foucses on training energy systems. You can run for time vs running set distances on a track. Hopefully, you have access to a level field or trail. Here is an example of something you could do as general preparedness.

Day 1. 5-6 second sprints all-out. 1-2 sets of 3 reps with 3 minutes recovery and 8 minutes rest. Then you could do 2-3 20 second sprints at near full effort with 10 minutes recovery.
Day 2: Run for 20 seconds at the pace you would race a mile. Then rest for 40 seconds. 10-15 repeats, increasing to 20 over time. This can be down on a football or soccer field where you run end line to end line. You start on every minute. Say if it takes you 22 seconds to run the distance, you then get 38 seconds rest. The run time can vary, but you always start on the minute.
Day 3. 30 second runs at approximately 800m race pace. Err on the side of being slightly slower vs going too fast. 2 sets of 3 reps with 3 minutes between reps and 10 minutes between sets.
Day 4. Continuous, easy 20 minute run. Finish with a few strides of 6-8 seconds at a moderate effort
Day 5. Do your hill sprints

They key is to build progression in over time. Good luck.
 
#5
There's a book's worth of information to answer this question. My 1st suggestion would be to talk to your coach or a local coach. However, I will put a general plan down below that foucses on training energy systems. You can run for time vs running set distances on a track. Hopefully, you have access to a level field or trail. Here is an example of something you could do as general preparedness.

Day 1. 5-6 second sprints all-out. 1-2 sets of 3 reps with 3 minutes recovery and 8 minutes rest. Then you could do 2-3 20 second sprints at near full effort with 10 minutes recovery.
Day 2: Run for 20 seconds at the pace you would race a mile. Then rest for 40 seconds. 10-15 repeats, increasing to 20 over time. This can be down on a football or soccer field where you run end line to end line. You start on every minute. Say if it takes you 22 seconds to run the distance, you then get 38 seconds rest. The run time can vary, but you always start on the minute.
Day 3. 30 second runs at approximately 800m race pace. Err on the side of being slightly slower vs going too fast. 2 sets of 3 reps with 3 minutes between reps and 10 minutes between sets.
Day 4. Continuous, easy 20 minute run. Finish with a few strides of 6-8 seconds at a moderate effort
Day 5. Do your hill sprints

They key is to build progression in over time. Good luck.
appreciate this, will try it out
 
#6
You have the right idea, Strength training. Incorporate flat ground strides and intervals at the 100m/200m/300m/400m/800m distances.

Strides and hills help build the correct form and posture for sprinting.

Download a GPS running app and find a flat road and measure out approx. at those distances and run repetitions.

Don't be intimidated to train further than your goal distance at 75-85% speed. I ran a 46.7s 400m after training mostly middle distance for an entire year. Its easier to work down in distance than up after building endurance.

Stay hungry for improvement, build a plan and stick with it.
thanks, havent done strides before, will try those
 
#7
One of the biggest things you can work on is your running mechanics. Often limitations for speed are not metabolic/physiological but are biomechanical (think "physics"). Check out some of my favorite sprints coaches like Dan Pfaff, Carl Lewis, Loren Landow, and Tony Holler. All have different approaches but each deeply values moving well as essential to sprinting. Here is a link to a lengthy video that highlights some of the basics of speed and gives some drills to work on:
. Some basics are 1) relax. So much speed can be gained by letting go of the tension many people hold on to when trying to run fast. 2) Make sure your posture is good. A cue I often give my athletes is to run with their hips high. Running over wickets (mini hurdles that can be made cheaply out of PVC pipes) is a really good way to work on posture and positioning while sprinting. 3) Address any structural deficiencies. This can be a mobility issue like poor dorsiflexion of the ankles or extension of the hips or a strength issue like weak glutes and hamstrings.

Hope this helps. Have fun and good luck!
 
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