Benefits Of Sprinting

Benefits Of Sprinting: Upgrade Your Cardio Routine!


Cardio is one of the most common ways to support your weight loss goals or to create a proper warm-up routine for your weight training. One common way of doing cardio is running – either outside or on the treadmill. Have you ever tried sprinting instead of running? Learn now how to upgrade your cardio routine and what the main benefits of sprinting are.

So, what is the difference between running and sprinting and what are the benefits of sprinting? Let’s answer these questions step-by-step now!


Before we get deeper into the comparison between running and sprinting, we have to check some basics.


Benefits Of Sprinting – The Basics

Running vs. Sprinting


Let’s clarify the difference between running and sprinting first before we talk about the benefits of sprinting.


Running vs. Sprinting

The exercises themselves are quite similar as the movements are nearly the same and the same muscle groups are used for performing the workouts. The main difference is the speed of performing each exercise.


Running

Running is some form of cardiovascular exercise which is performed for 30 minutes or more on average. It’s an aerobic exercise that’s fueling your muscle cells by using oxygen. There is no defined speed you have to run, but in general you’re running at a speed that makes you breathe quite heavily and sweat quite a lot. Popular running competitions are marathons, half-marathons, 10 km or 5 km races.

Check our in-depth guide on cardio and running here. You will learn how to create a highly effective cardio and warm-up routine in this guide.


Sprinting

Sprinting is another cardiovascular exercise but performed at a much shorter time frame as you maintain the fastest speed you can reach for the entire run. Sprinting competitions are much shorter (100 m, 200m or 400 m) and usually done between 10-60 seconds. While running is an aerobic exercise, sprinting is an anaerobic exercise as you’re using glycogen instead of oxygen to fuel your muscles. Sprinting can’t be held for a long time or long distances because your body will feel fatigue way sooner than it does while running.


So, let’s recap the main differences in a short table:

Running: Sprinting:
Long distances (5 km – 42 km) Short distances (100 m – 400 m)
Aerobic exercise Anaerobic exercise
Long timeframe Short timeframe
Using oxygen to fuel muscles Using glycogen to fuel muscles
Medium speed High speed


Pro Tip:
Do you want to receive a 7-week training plan on running, cycling and swimming? If yes, check our Ironman training guide which gives you an in-depth training plan and much more!


Sprinting – Step-By-Step Instructions

Step-By-Step Instructions

Now, as you know the main differences between running and sprinting, we will talk about common questions, such as the variations of sprinting, the benefits of sprinting and much more.


Sprinting Variations

There are two main variations of sprinting:

  • Flat Sprints
  • Incline Sprints

Let’s talk about both variations now.


Flat Sprints

This is our recommendation for beginners. Flat sprints are easy to learn because you are just run at your highest possible speed an any kind of flat surface. These can include:

  • A 400 m running track
  • Low-traffic streets or roads
  • A sidewalk near to your home
  • Regular jogging paths
  • Flat forest paths

These are just some examples, there are way more possibilities.

Important Tip:

Always make sure to check your surrounding area. Be sure it’s safe for running and it provides ample space because you want to avoid injuries at all costs.


Incline Sprints

This is some kind of advanced sprint sessions which works even more muscles in your body than flat sprints are doing. Incline sprints are awesome because you are working way more effectively with just a little variation. Incline sprints can be performed on surfaces such as:

  • Hilly forest paths
  • A city park
  • Low-traffic but hilly streets or roads
  • Bridges
  • Mountains
  • Stairs

Again, these are just some examples, there are way more possibilities.


How To Perform Sprint Sessions

How To Perform Sprint Sessions


Before we talk about the benefits of sprinting, let’s get even deeper into the basics of sprint training.

First step is to decide on flat sprints or incline sprints. Beginners should start with flat sprints while advanced sprinters can choose incline sprints.

The method of sprinting will be the same, so you will need:

  • Enough water (always make sure to drink enough)
  • Sprinting clothes
  • High-quality running shoes
  • A stopwatch for measuring your time
  • Smartphone with a fitness app or smart watch

Once you’ve prepared everything, it’s time for a proper warm-up session. You can choose between two ways of warming up here:


Regular Warm-Up Routine

An easy way for warming-up is done by walking or jogging for 10-15 minutes at a slow speed on your chosen route & surface. After performing this step, you may add some dynamic stretching and taking a break of 1-2 minutes before starting your sprinting session.

Check some dynamic stretches here!


Upgraded Warm-Up Routine

If you just finished your regular warm-up routine and you don’t feel satisfied warming-up – or you just want an alternative warming-up routine – this step is for you. We’ve created some HIIT routines for you which you can perform for an effective warm-up routine. Check the routines here and perform them for 10-15 minutes!

Tip:
If you want to head over to the benefits of sprinting now, click here. Otherwise, just continue reading this step-by-step guide.

After successfully finishing your warm-up routine, you are ready for your main sprinting session.


Your Sprinting Routine

Next step is your regular sprinting session. Your time will be chosen in dependence of your fitness level and experience.

  • Beginners usually sprint in intervals of 30 seconds followed by a few minutes of jogging and then sprinting for 30 seconds again.
  • Advanced sprinters usually sprint in intervals of 150 seconds – which equals to two and a half minutes per sprint – followed by a few minutes of jogging and then sprinting for 150 seconds again.
  • The rest period between each sprint should be used to get back to your starting position or to prepare for the next sprint both physically and mentally.
  • These constant movements without standing make your body burn more calories and helps your body avoid muscle cramps.

Repeat these movements of sprinting and resting as often as you want or as often as your body is capable of. Increase your intensity and speed with every single sprint to steadily increase the effectiveness of your workout.

Begin with 50 percent intensity of what you are capable of and work your way up to reach 100 percent intensity at your final sprint.


Cool-Down

After a heavy sprinting session, it’s very important to not stop from one second to another. This will stress your body too much. Instead, perform the following cool-down routine:

  • Static stretching: Instead of performing some dynamic stretching during warm-up, it’s now time for some static stretching:

    • Hamstrings: Bend your left knee while holding your right leg straight out in front of you. Reach for the right foot. Hold for 45 seconds and repeat with the other sides of your body.

    • Quadriceps: Pull your heel of your left foot to your left glutes. Hold for 45 seconds and repeat with the other sides of your body.

    • Calves: Lean your body forward and extend your left leg straight back. Keep your left heel pressed into the ground. Hold for 45 seconds and repeat with the other sides of your body.


Important tip:
Again, it’s very important to drink enough water. Your body will sweat out a lot of water, so you have to make sure to stay hydrated by drinking a lot of water.


Benefits Of Sprinting – The List

Finally, we are ready to talk about all the benefits of sprinting. Some of these benefits also apply to running and other cardio activities such as swimming, cycling, boxing and much more. But these benefits are mainly benefits of sprinting which makes this type of cardiovascular exercise one of the most effective ones.

See the complete list below:

Benefits Of Sprinting – The List


Burns More Calories

Sprinting burns more calories than running or any other similar cardiovascular exercise. Even a sprinting session of 30 minutes can burn 700 calories or even more which makes it literally a fat burner.

You can create a calorie deficit way easier with just 30 minutes per day supporting your fat loss goals.


It’s Very Adaptable

Sprinting is mainly known as Olympic competitions such as 100 m, 200 m, or 400 m sprints. But you can integrate it into a variety of disciplines and exercises which makes it very adaptable. Create a sprint HIIT session, choose between flat and incline sprints or create new disciplines such as hurdle sprints which lets you combine the benefits of sprinting and jumping.

There are endless varieties so you will never run out of ideas when creating your sprinting routine.


Your Legs Will Achieve Explosive Power

You will stress your leg muscles a lot which makes them become bigger and stronger very fast. Even when sprinting is considered a cardiovascular exercise, you can still build muscle mass (hypertrophy) by performing sprint workouts on a regular basis.

Running vs. Sprinting Muscle Mass

This will not only help you during your sprint workouts but will also benefit your weight training sessions and make you stronger.


Your Bones Get Stronger

Another of the main benefits of sprinting is that sprinting will strengthen your bones and it will add mass to your bones. This will result in some kind of core workout which is vital for an overall great body strength, power and composition.

See some additional core workouts in our guide here.

As your muscle mass increases as a sprinter, your carried weight will also increase which increases the intensity of your sprint workouts naturally. This is important for your skeleton system and your bones which makes sprinting highly effective in multiple different ways.


Improve Your Endurance

Sprinting is technically the opposite of an endurance event. But sprinting will strengthen your heart and boost your circulation too. This leads to an increase in oxygen transportation giving your body more energy.

This will result in your body being able to perform for a longer time before fatigue will set in.


Good For Your Mental Health

Exercising in general, and also sprinting, is awesome for your mental health. Sprinting is good for your brain as it helps your brain to secrete endorphins, which are chemicals elevating your mood, reducing stress, promoting your sleep quality, helping your body to relax, putting stress aside and much more.

This is the reason you will feel so much better after finishing a heavy workout session or sprinting session and why you should do it on a regular basis.


Your Blood Sugar Levels Will Be Regulated

Another one of the benefits of sprinting is the regulation of your blood sugar levels. High-intensity exercises such as sprinting help your body to improve insulin utilization for your body.

Insulin is another hormone within your body and it’s responsible for shuttling sugar out of your blood stream into your cells. The more sugar will get into your cells, the more your risk of diabetes will be reduced.

Tip:
Consult a doctor to learn more about diabetes and other health-related topics we talk about.

             
Your Lungs Are Happy Too

There is even more when it comes to health benefits of sprinting. Your lung capacity will increase a lot when performing sprints on a regular basis. During exercise, your lungs will learn how to better absorb and utilize oxygen which increases your overall energy level and performance.


Sprinting Can Be Done Everywhere

There isn’t a lot of equipment needed for performing your sprint workouts. You need water, sprinting clothes, high-quality running shoes, a stopwatch for measuring your time and a smartphone with a fitness app or smart watch.

But, as you’re carrying all these tools with you, you can perform your sprint sessions literally everywhere. Just choose your desired location and don’t let anything stop you.


Results With Less Time Spent

As sprinting is an anaerobic exercise performed quickly, you will reach your goals and perform your sprinting session in a short period of time.

Life is busy and we don’t have much time, and this is what makes sprinting perfect for us. Combine sprinting with some rest sessions and build your own effective HIIT routine. Learn how to do that here.


Boosts Your Metabolism

Recovery and resting time are as important as the workout itself. Sprinting makes your body need more time to recover as your body burns calories for a longer time after your workout.

As an anaerobic exercise, your body can’t take in as much oxygen as it will need. This is the reason why it takes longer for your body to recover which is called an increase in your metabolism.

This can be a disadvantage for some people who want to perform sprint workouts more often. But if you are sprinting for 2-3 times per week, this is definitely another of the benefits of sprinting.


Can Be Performed At Any Age

There are a lot of different sports you can only perform at a certain age as it will be too stressful for some age groups. Running and sprinting is something everybody can do – no matter how old or young we are.

You can create your sprint workouts with the intensity your body is capable of so you can always force your body to become stronger and more powerful while strengthening your mind at the same time.


Conclusion

Sprinting Finish Line

As you can see, we easily outlined 12 benefits of sprinting and there are more benefits we could outline. We are focusing on the main benefits here and these will show you why you should definitely consider trying some sprinting workouts.

You will improve your brain health, muscle mass, power, strength, mental health and much more which makes sprinting a real all-round talent.

Give it a try and aim for Usain Bolt’s world records. 😉 You may not break these records, but you will break your own personal records on a regular basis, that’s for sure.

Have fun, enjoy sprinting, burn a lot of calories and share this “benefits of sprinting” guide if you enjoyed reading it.

Thank you so much and all the best to achieving your fitness goals!


Next Steps

We’ve prepared some more guides for you which you don’t want to miss.

Building muscles requires a decent amount of protein consumption. But how much do you need in total and how much of your protein intake should be reached by consuming protein shakes? Find out here step-by-step.

How should your weight training plan be structured? How often should you workout and what exercises should you perform? Check this guide here guiding you along your way to creating a perfect workout routine.

Last but not least, support your sprinting sessions and sprinting goals by adding some bodyweight exercises. These exercises are very effective, and you won’t need any equipment. Therefore, you can perform them everywhere and that’s why you want to check them out now.


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