Wednesday, October 3, 2018

On Sprinting as an Adult

When was the last time you really ran? I mean ran like you were being chased.  Outside of sports adults don't really run anymore.  Sure, we jog, some of us for miles and miles and hours and hours - but there's a big difference between running and jogging.

If you decide to really run, be prepared for some weird looks.  People may get offended, like you're disturbing the natural order of things.  Sure, jogging is ok...but running? As an adult? Running is for kids!

And running at a sprint is hard.  Go try it. Run, as fast as you can, for 30 seconds.  Run like a dinosaur is chasing you.  If you haven't done it in awhile, you'll be surprised at how hard it is.  Within 20 seconds you'll be gasping for breath, ready to stop, and reconsidering your life choices.  It sure wasn't this hard to run when you were a kid, was it?

Running is a skill most of us lose at some point.  Probably shortly after we stop having recess at school.  If you're not playing a sport in high school or college, you probably never run.  Maybe, at some point you take up jogging to get back in shape, but it's not the same.

But sprinting is also fun.  When you run, when you've built up the ability to do it for more than a few seconds, you'll feel it in your bones - this is what you were meant to do.

There's a lot of medical reasons to take up high intensity interval training with sprints, but not a lot of places describing how to get back into it.  Some will advise running for 30 seconds then resting for 4 minutes, or running for a full minute and then resting for two, jogging for 15 seconds and then resting for a minute. Depending on your current activity level, maybe one of those levels is right for you, but it can be impossible to know until you go out and do it.

Sprinterval is meant to get you into sprint interval training and increase your work capacity (the amount of time you can run vs the amount of time you need to rest) over time.  Day 1 starts at running for 15 seconds, then resting for a full minute (a 1:4 work capacity).  By the end of week 6 you'll be running for 30 seconds and resting (a 1:1 work capacity). Each session takes around 15 minutes, but you'll feel the result all day long.

If you've ever done a Couch-to-5k program, you can think of Sprinterval as being the next step.  Complete the Sprinterval program and you'll see a huge decrease in your 5k time.  Of course, you may decide that jogging for 30 minutes isn't your goal anymore, because you've already found something better.

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