Avera Race Training: Sprint Workouts

I am not a sprinter. I’m guessing that is clear if you’ve been following my blog. I’m tall and lanky and have never been built for speed. However, last week I went out and ran eight sprints. Of course I didn’t do this voluntarily; I had to be coerced by Marne, a trainer at the Avera McKennan Fitness Center. She said it would be good for my training.

The sun was not even up when I rose to attend my first ever 5K class at the Avera McKennan Fitness Center. I was sure that very few would attend since it was so early. Imagine my surprise when I drove into the parking lot and it was almost completely full! If you haven’t been to the center at 6 a.m., it is a sight to behold. There are truly motivated people in Sioux Falls.

The class members were gathered in the gym warming up. It was 25 degrees and we were going to go outside for the main session. We did the type of warm-ups that I vividly remember from track (ie. high knees, goose walk, etc). There were 12 people in the class of all ages, but many were new to distance running.

Changing Up the Workout

Outside, Marne alerted us that we would be running sprints. After a grumble from the crowd she laid out the rules: the 5K runners would do 100-meter sprints and the 10K runners would run 200-meter sprints. I thought it would be easy since I’m more used to running miles than meters.

The first sprint was easy; it was number eight that was tough. The people I was running with were energetic and excited about the challenge of running a race, so they helped to keep me motivated. I asked Marne what the rationale was to running sprints since we are training for distance. She said that varying your workout with occasional sprints would help you to increase speed overall.

By 7 a.m., my workout was complete and I was able to go home and shower for work. It felt great to go out early and accomplish something. I also met some very nice people and am looking forward to training with them. For full disclosure, by 5 p.m. I was incredibly sore. Evidentially those short distances do much more than you realize! Marne told me the best way to get through stiff muscles was to give yourself a day to rest and stretch and then go out for a short jog the next day. So, if you’re training, I highly recommend switching up your routine. I know the sprints definitely taught me there are muscles I am not using with my usual run. Happy training!

By Lindsey Meyers

Director of Communications at Avera McKennan

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