I just got done with a major league workout and capped it off with some super roadwork – and I be a POPPING, my BROTHER.
Especially after that bit of roadwork I did – whew – sure did leave me feeling like a trillion bucks!
Anyway, I’ve received a load of questions about sprints in general over the last month or so – mostly from those that I’m coaching privately on a one – on – one basis – but also a few that randomly pop in the mailbox from time to time.
My book “Advanced Hill Training” does a pretty good of explaining what hill sprints are, but I don’t cover land sprints in detail in the book for obvious reasons. Although to be honest most of the same routines could be just as easily ported over to land as well …
Advanced Hill Training, by the way is THE course you need if you’ve a) gotten pretty good at the 0 Excuses Fitness System and b) are ready for some MAJOR league fat frying, my friend.
It’s available right here – – http://0excusesfitness.com/advanced-hill-training/
Anyway, the general theme of the questions I’ve received are thus – what exactly are “wind sprints” and what makes them different from sprints in general?
Are hill sprints better than land sprints? Which one should *I* choose? Which one is safer? Which burns more flabola? Which will give me the dude or dudetttttteee of my dreams?
And so forth. Ok, I made the last one up, but you get my drift, and today I’ll attempt to clear up some confusion on the above topics.
First off, sprints in general are an excellent, excellent OVERALL body exercise as I’ve said many times before, and a look at the bodies of most sprinters will be the “proof in the pudding” if any is required.
Sprints done correctly are one of THE most, I repeat, THE MOST valuable training tools in your arsenal. However, with great power comes responsibility as well, and the same is true for sprints.
If the only running and movement you’ve done in years is lurch from the couch to the fridge and then back before collapsing, then I do NOT recommend jumping straight into sprints. Start with slow jogs, and work up to faster jogs – then runs – then test the water with sprints.
I do NOT recommend doing these right off the bat even if you consider yourself fairly advanced – especially not the hill sprints – always include a “break in period”.
Anyway, wind sprints are what I generally do – a form of roadwork basically – which is to alternate the speed of the run. Often times I’ll alternate between slow jogs and sudden, quick, bursts where I sprint all out – or there might be sessions I sprint all out and then jog for a bit and then go all out again.
One of my FAVORITE training “tools” is a truck that is on “clean up duty” in the park I train in.
You know what I’m referring to, don’t you? Those trucks that sweep the place clear of leaves, debris etc – and as that sucker goes by – I run FULL TILT after it, and part of the reason I’m feeling so great today is I actually outran that sucker by a country mile or so. Granted, it wasn’t exactly traveling at the speed of knots – but still!
Wind sprints can be done either on land or hills, but I recommend land when you first start.
Hill sprints, on the other hand are what I referred to in my old “Fast and Furious” fitness book as the “Mecca and Medina” of leg training. They’ll get you in shape – and FAST – but you need to work up to them, my friend.
Think you’re good at regular sprints? Perhaps you could sprint all out for half a mile or so without stopping?
Well – great – try the same thing on a steep hill, and I guarantee you’ll be humbled within less than half the distance you would normally have covered on flat land.
BOTH are great great tools for burning fat, but hill sprints done correctly are in my opinion the ultimate.
Hill sprints are sometimes also safer because the sheer incline makes it hard to get to a point where you accidentally overtrain and pull a hamstring or worse.
I’ve seen that happen before – and trust me, it ain’t purdy, hehe.
Does all that means you shouldn’t incorporate flat land training into your routine?
Not at all, my friend. You should do BOTH – as both tax the body somewhat differently, but the key thing to remember is you aren’t running a marathon. You’re running SPRINTS – and you’re doing them as part of your roadwork, which means your speed is UP there at all times.
Speed, lightning fast, demon speed as “ole Mickey” said in Rocky, and he was spot on, my friend.
Well, my friend, those are a few “general answers” to a lot of “general” questions I’ve received on the subject. If you’ve got more questions, by all means shoot ’em in and I’ll try and answer what I can in my daily emails.
All for now!
P.S. – The saying “eat a bear a bite at a time” is a great one, my friend, and it’s something to keep in mind when working up to sprints. Take your time working up to it.
On that note, and interestingly enough, there are MORE than one ways to skin – not only a bear – but a CAT as well, and sprints done the way “most people” or most “experts” advocate are NOT the only way to fish fry fat off your body at lightning fast speeds. Several other exercises do it just as well if not better. And if you are truly interested in getting the body of an Olympic sprinter – or better – well – BARREL on over here to get the GOODS, my friend – – http://0excusesfitness.com/advanced-hill-training/