Strengthen your legs to win the race.
Whether your goal is to intensify your workout, improve your athletic ability or compete in track and field events, with a bit of effort you can improve your sprinting speed. Training for sprints can be mentally and physically tough. However, with benefits like fat loss, muscular strength, improved endurance and greater agility, it can be well worth the challenge. Developing top sprinting ability requires strength combined with explosive power. Fine-tuning your form and running drills can help you to run faster.1.
Warm up with five to 10 minutes of brisk walking or light jogging; stressing your muscles before they are properly warmed can cause an injury. Follow the warm-up with a lap or two of dynamic exercises, such as skipping or high-knee marching, which will help to activate your hip flexors.2.
Run with proper posture and form, which can help you to generate more speed. Land on your forefoot, rather than the mid-foot as is done in endurance running, and immediately roll through and push off with the toes. Use your arms for momentum, swinging them back and forth with your elbows bent to 90-degrees.3.
Shorten your stride. It may seem as if the bigger steps you take, the faster you'll reach the finish line, but the opposite can actually be true. Your goal is speed and longer steps help with distance, not speed. Short and quick steps, while keeping your feet rotating in a circle like pedaling a bicycle, can help you get to the finish line faster. Match your breathing to your foot strikes.4.
Balance and build your power muscles, which for sprinting are the hamstrings, quadriceps and glutes. The hamstrings and quadriceps are counter-balancing muscle groups; if one is significantly stronger than the other it leaves both muscle groups open to injury. Perform complex exercises, which requirs multiple muscle groups to work together, such as squats, lunges, deadlifts and step-ups.5.
Strengthen your core, which keeps your body stabilized when running. Perform bridges, planks, supermans and side planks. Train your core three to four days per week with three sets of each exercise. Spend two to five minutes on each exercise.6.
Run sprinting drills two days per week to increase your speed, power and endurance. For example, perform eight 200-meter sprints with two minutes of rest between runs. Aim to complete each sprint in 30 seconds or under.7.
Rest for at least one to two days per week. Overtraining muscles can actually cause your running speed to slow down rather than improve. Your muscles need time to rest and repair in order to come out faster and stronger at your next training session.
- Consult with your doctor before increasing the intensity of your training sessions. Let your doctor know if you have any injuries or conditions that may interfere with running or sprinting.