Tuesday, 30 June 2009

10-Minute Sprint Session - True Value for Effort

Location: Outside My Apartment, Birmingham, UK
Date: 30th June

4 x 10-15 second sprints. 30 - 90 seconds rest between.

Total time: 10 minutes.

Post Workout Meal: none - I fasted until dinner.

It's about 800 metres round our block. After a brief warm-up indoors, I sprinted for 10-15 seconds, then walked while I rested, then sprinted some more. I did this until I got back to the start. Turned out this was 4 sprints.

I am reading The Primal Blueprint at the moment and it inspired me to do a bit of sprinting between Body by Science sessions this week. The great thing about sprinting is the sheer value you can get from such a short time and the fact you can do it anywhere, anytime. I had 20 minutes spare this morning and I turned the whole deal around in that time.

Of course the thing that makes sprinting so good is the high intensity. I find it helps me to imagine I am being chased by a wild animal or dangerous human. During the final 5 or 10 seconds I try to give it absolutely everything I have, which often results in some audible grunting. Fortunately it is usually too early for anyone worth worrying about to be around.

I also make a point of stopping before my legs become exhausted. For years my legs were in a permanent state of semi-fatigue from assuming that unless I ran until my legs were like rubber I would not get fitter.

Recently I have preferred swimming between BBS workouts because it does not leave my legs as weakened and threaten recovery; but I am going to omit the leg press from Thursday's BBS session as
on Sunday I am taking part in a mountain run (Skiddaw in the English Lake District.) So it was an opportunity to sprint yesterday without worrying about recovery for a Thursday leg workout.

In previous years I have run Skiddaw - but this this year I will be walking, now that I eschew steady state cardio. I still think I can perform relatively well given the terrain - I will explain more about that when I post an account the race and hopefully some good photos.

Depending on how I feel afterwards, I may also skip leg extensions on the following BBS session. Whether running or walking, ascending and descending 931 metres over a 9-mile course in under 2 hours is going to cause some damage.

...and since Doug McGuff & John Little talk about much longer periods of rest that a week sometimes being necessary, I am comfortable with that. It will be interesting to see how I perform when I return to the exercise.


Chris said...

hope the fell race goes well. A decent walking pace will see you through ok I am sure. Running down is sometimes really good fun though!

Asclepius said...

Sprinting - I like to view it as metabolically 'uncorking the champagne'.

Nothing in my opinion gives the body as big a message that 'showtime' has arrived.

One or more 5-15s sprint is usually at the root of every one of my workouts.

Methuselah said...

Thanks Chris - I will probably run downhill - both because it's fun and because it's so easy. In that respect equivalent to walking rather than cardio. Leg impact can be an issue - there is a long, steep-ish section where it's possible to really let go and fly down...but it absolutely hammers your legs because it's hard ground. So I am thinking of experimenting with some sort of walk-run gait that's low impact but still fast. Might look quite stupid - but at least be able to walk the next day!