Since we’ve been children the lives of superheroes have been relevant— what it would be like to have their powers? Even now we see them on the big screen more than ever: being bigger, stronger, faster than the average human. Athletes nowadays have evolved so much that they seem to possess almost superhero-like qualities with speed taking the top spot of dominance.
Enter the world of an Olympic Sprinter! These athletes are the total package of strength, power, speed and explosiveness wrapped up into a lean mean running machine; but what does it really take to compete on the national stage when all you really see is a sub 10sec race every so often on TV?
Everyone thinks about running faster than the next and with the next games right around the corner in Rio that will take center stage, but I’m going to do a little track math for you before you start saying I want to be a sprinter on that level.
Here’s the trade off:
- The Olympics are every four years
- The average really competitive sprinter trains about 20 hours a week for just seconds of a race
- Out of the billions in our nation they only take 30 athletes for each event that qualify for the trials, and only the top three from there make the team.
Still like those numbers and odds? Then let’s put some surefire elements together to get you on your way!
Start building some sprinting strength by adding these much needed movements:
- Power Cleans – 5×5
- Bar Bell Squats – 6×3
- Bench Press – 6×3
Plate and Body Weight Complex Finisher 3x (90sec rest)
- Chin ups – 10
- Jump Squats w/plate – 12
- Hanging Knee raises – 20
- Reverse Lunge w/knee drive – 8 each leg
- Dips – 10
- 40 foot sled drag
On the track….
Always start with a dynamic warm up to prime the nervous system for fast movements.
Dynamic Warm up
- Skips 50m
- Backward skips 50m
- High Knees 50m
- Butt Kicks 50m
- Backward runs 50m
- Leg swings front and back x10
Now you should be nice and fired up, ready to turn it loose on the track. The two track sessions below are devised to target different aspects in a sprinter’s training, both being vital to their competition prep.
8x200m walk back in 2min for rest, target time 30sec or under
Race Modeling Run
250m, 150m x 2 Rest 90sec in between reps and 8min between sets
Now that you’ve had a taste of what a sprinter’s day can be like physically, don’t forget expending that much physically requires you to put back in double to recover. Unlike distance runners’ diets comprising of mostly carb loading for longer periods of running, sprinters lean more towards higher amounts of proteins and fats for the short amounts of explosion their events require. Some easy guidelines have been listed below.
Protein Sources and Amounts: 1g per pound throughout your day – 60%
- Chicken Breasts
- Fish (Salmon, Tilapia, Mahi mahi, Tuna Steaks)
- Lean Beef (Ground chuck, London broil, Flank Steak)
Fruits and Vegetables (the darker the better) – 30%
Fats – 10%
- Natural Peanut Butter
- Almond Butter
- Oils (Flax seed, Fish oil)
Supplementation can be added to your diet but there is no better way to receive all your macronutrients than a solid meal. Many top sprinters rely on only consistent eating and enjoying their favorite cheats on the weekend such as high fatty foods and even fast food to charge their systems. Find your formula… Now get out there, strap on the spikes and head to what we call “The Oval Office.”