Sprint Training – Our Top Tips to get more out of your Sprint Training and increase your speed

If you’re an athlete or a coach involved in Sprint Training, you’re probably always looking for ways to improve your performance as an athlete or watch your athletes grow and get faster.

Sprinting and speed training are core exercises and there are a few simple drills you can do to build your performance.

At 2Madeira, our team of qualified coaches can facilitate your athletics camps and work with your athletes at the Madeira Sports Centre in Ribeira Brava. With its temperate climate, professional equipment and high-quality facilities, your athletes can train throughout the year, on one of Europe’s most beautiful island destinations.

What influences your Sprint Speed?

If you compete at an amateur or professional level or even train in athletics purely for enjoyment, sprint training can benefit your performance across multiple disciplines. Here we’ll look at a few factors that can affect your running and sprinting speed and offer a few tips on getting the most out of your training.

Your Sprinting Form

While running, your form is extremely important. Primarily, your posture should be one of the first things to consider when training to improve speed. Your posture dictates how fast you can move your limbs and is crucial to maintaining a strong core. A strong core will translate into faster running and a reduced risk of strained muscles or injury.

When focusing on your form, maintain a neutral head and neck position and keep your eyes looking forwards. Keep your chin tucked and your posture tall, with a forward lean. As you move, keep your shoulder relaxed and level.

Number of Strides

The greater the number of strides your body can produce, the faster you Sprint. By building on your stride strength and speed, you will see noticeable gains in your sprint.

Stride Length

Like your stride speed, your stride length is one of the greatest mitigating factors when improving your sprint speed. Naturally, the faster you can spring off the ground, reconnect with the ground and transfer that energy forward, the faster you will be. A short and more frequent stride will lead to you becoming a faster sprinter.

Muscle Mass

A larger and stronger muscle mass will allow you to propel yourself from the ground fast and farther, resulting in a quicker start and a faster overall sprint. For longer distances, a leaner profile is more beneficial, focusing on endurance, weight, and optimal energy output.

Fatigue

Stretching prior to training or racing is fundamentally important and should be part of every athlete’s routine. Ensuring you cool down and stretch at the end of the workout, as well as focusing on rest days is equally important. Listening to your body and not pushing your limits can aid performance and avoid injury and stress.

Leaning to Sprint Faster

By optimising your sprint technique, you can train your body to sprint faster. Training frequently and with a specific plan will help you reach your goal faster and see you unlock your maximum speed and performance.

Maintain your technique above all else

The correct sprinting mechanics are the more sophisticated version of your normal running technique. In order to run at your top speed and effectively carry this momentum, you need to maintain the perfect posture, with a straight spine, forward lean and relaxed shoulders. Keep your limbs loose and your eyes forward. Failure to maintain the perfect form can make you slow but also result in injuries that can be easily avoided.

Warming-up

Begin your exercise with some dynamic stretches. A great way to loosen your muscles while building up to intense movement. When sprinting, you are primarily focusing on the muscle groups in your legs, (Quadriceps, Hamstrings, Glutes and Calves) but you are also moving the rest of your body, so a full-body warm-up while slowly increasing your heart rate is very important.

Running on the balls of your feet

Maintaining a running position where you propel yourself from the balls of your feet, as opposed to rolling from your heel will see you improve your speed instantly. Driving forward from the ball of your foot to your toes and making sure your stride strikes the ball of your alternate foot carrying your momentum as you build speed.

Arm Action

While sprinting, what you do with your arms is almost as important as how you move your legs. Keeping your elbows at 90 degrees and swinging them in the opposite direction to your legs will keep you balanced, work with your core and drive you forwards faster.

Shorter Stride Length

It may seem counter intuitive, but a shorter stride increases your stride frequency and keeps you planted on the ground, able to push and drive momentum as efficiently as possible.

Managing your Breathing

Breathing should be a core element of your speed work. Managing and improving your aerobic capacity, feeding your muscles with oxygen, and synchronizing your breaths with your strides will build performance and improve you maximum speed output.

Work on Cardio

Along with aerobic exercises comes cardio exercise. By training with sprinting drills, jumping, high-knees exercises and hill sprints you will improve the function of your cardiovascular system, allowing your blood to deliver oxygen throughout your body as you engage in high-intensity sports like sprinting.

Plan your next Athletics Camp with 2Madeira

If you’re looking for your next athletics camp, or a destination for your athletes to maximise their training abroad, choose Madeira and reach out to the 2Madeira team. Our packages offer you and your athletes quality accommodation, specific training plans based on your goals, transport from Madeira International Airport and to the training grounds, as well as 1-1 coaching sessions.

Speak to a member of the 2Madeira team today and plan your next training camp on the ‘Island of Eternal Spring’.