Do Sprinters Sprint Every Day?
Sprinting is an exhilarating way to become a better athlete and improve one's health. Regardless, it would be best to properly manage how often you sprint to get all the benefits of sprinting while avoiding injury and overtraining.
Using my experience as a competitive sprinter and track coach, I will give you the information you need about why you should not sprint every day.
What This Article Will Cover:
- How Often You Should Sprint
- A Basic Understanding Of Sprinting
- How Often Should You Sprint
- Tips On Designing An Effective Sprint Training Program
How Often Should You Sprint?
Typically, you should sprint once every two to three days, or every 48 to 72 hours.
In between sprinting sessions, you can perform strength training, conditioning, or take days off.
Sprinting involves using explosive power to accelerate the body to maximum speed over a short distance.
There are two main types of sprinting: short sprints and long sprints. Short sprints are typically less than 200 meters, while long sprints can be up to 400 meters.
Sprinting engages several muscle groups, including the hamstrings, quadriceps, glutes, and calves. Sprinting makes you more muscular because it creates high levels of muscle tension and metabolic stress, as it activates most muscles in the body.
Sprinting is also an effective way to improve overall fitness by increasing endurance, strength, and power. It is known that sprinting can increase testosterone levels, increase your speed, and make you an overall better athlete.
You must train appropriately to get these benefits from sprinting, not just sprinting every day like a madman.
Training Frequency for Sprinters
If you want your sprint training to be effective, you must manage your training frequency to avoid injury and burnout.
Sprinting Every Day Vs. Taking Days Off
Sprinting is a very intense activity that is stressful on the body. We only get better from exercise if we can recover from it. With this in mind, you need to ensure that you only sprint as often as you can recover from.
If you sprint every day, you will eventually deal with injuries, central nervous system fatigue, or just get burnt out on training.
To get the most improvement out of your sprinting, you need to take rest days so your muscles can repair and your body recover.
When in doubt, take one or two days off from sprinting after performing sprint training. If you still want to train in between sprinting workouts, go to the gym or do something slower instead of sprinting.
Factors Affecting Sprinting Frequency
How often you can safely sprint will depend on factors such as:
- Athlete's level of experience
- Competition schedule
- Training goals
Athletes who have sprinted for years will understand how their body responds to training, and they can determine what sprint training frequency is best for them. Beginner athletes should stick to the guidelines I mentioned above.
When competing, sprinters will typically sprint less often as they need to be well-rested when they go to compete. Also, sprinting workouts during competitive phases will usually be done with less volume than during non-competitive periods.
Sprinting Too Often Causes Injury
If you sprint too often, you will likely get injured. While injuries can be painful and inhibit your training, they can also have long-term negative effects even after you have healed.
Sprinters who have been injured often experience movement inhibition even after the injury has gotten better. The brain remembers your old injuries and will try to avoid anything that could cause them again.
Additionally, injuries hold back your progress and can take weeks or months before you can sprint again.
Because of these dynamics, sprinters need to be patient and let themselves heal from workouts before returning to sprinting. Being too eager to train and getting injured could cause you to lose many sprint sessions when simply waiting a couple of days between workouts could have prevented the injury.
With all this in mind, stick to best practices when it comes to sprinting, such as:
- Sprinting 48 to 72 hours apart.
- Performing other forms of training when you are not sprinting.
- Taking extra days off when you feel sore.
- Avoiding high-velocity movements if you feel excessive levels of tension in muscle groups like the hamstrings, quads, glutes, calves, and hip flexors.
Designing an Effective Sprint Training Program
To keep things brief, training for sprinters needs to incorporate the following:
- A proper warm-up for sprinters.
- Sprint drills and running to work on sprinting technique.
- Acceleration training, speed training, or speed endurance training.
- Strength Training
- Plyometrics Training
Sprinters should not sprint every day.
Sprinting every day can lead to hamstring injuries, tendonitis, and overtraining.
Instead of sprinting every day, athletes should sprint every other day or every two days, so they can ensure that they are well-recovered before they perform another sprint workout.
While we obviously want to train as often as possible, we should focus more on getting the highest number of good-quality workouts over a long period rather than jamming a bunch of workouts together into one week.
Improvement in sprinting comes from honing your technique, conditioning your body, and developing the skill of sprinting. These qualities can only be developed if you show up to your sprint training sessions fresh and ready to go.
By properly sequencing your training and only training when you are in good shape to attack the workout, you can have better sprint sessions, you will run faster, and you will have the best chance of continuing to get faster over a long period.