Getting fit takes time, but time is often in short supply. Fortunately, there’s a method to increase your overall fitness without going for long runs or engaging in long workout sessions. Research has shown sprint workouts can accomplish the same fitness goals as regular endurance training but require less weekly workout time.
At Union Park by Hillwood, a new home community in Little Elm, Texas, we have many amenity areas where you can do any number of sprint workouts, whether you’re a runner, swimmer, or even aspiring ninja!
How to Do Sprint Workouts
Most people think of running when they hear the term “sprinting,” but you can use this workout style for swimming, cycling, agility training, and more. The main concept is to do short bursts of intense activity followed by a quick cool down. With each sprint, you increase the intensity a little until you get to 100%.
1. Warm Up
First, you’ll need to warm up your muscles to prevent injury. A few minutes of light jogging, stretching, or walking are all good ways to warm up before you start sprinting. If you’re in the pool or on the bike, start with easy activity to get your muscles warm.
Once you’re all warmed up, it’s time for your first sprint. Go for about 30 seconds to a few minutes of intense activity, depending on your fitness level and tolerance. Don’t go full blast at the start—begin at about 50% to 60% of your full effort for your first sprint.
After sprinting, take a minute or two to cool down. Slow your activity to a more comfortable speed and let your heart rate get closer to normal while still maintaining movement.
4. Increase Intensity
After you’ve recovered, increase your intensity by about 10% to 20%. Go a little faster than your first interval for the same amount of time, then slow down a few minutes to recover.
You’ll keep repeating the process until you complete your workout. Starting out, that might just be four intervals, while more experienced sprinters might do as many as eight in a single workout.
Progressing Your Sprint Workouts
In general, you don’t want to go too hard too fast with sprint workouts. It’s best to build up your endurance over time and get plenty of rest between intense exercises.
Starting out, your sprints should generally be on the shorter end, typically between 30 seconds to a minute or two (depending on the workout). Recovery periods between sprints should be a little longer as well (one or two minutes). At this point, you probably shouldn’t do more than four sprints total.
As you get more accustomed to this workout style, you’ll want to start pushing yourself a little. You might try doing more sprints, sprinting for longer periods, or shortening your recovery periods.
More advanced sprint workouts might increase intensity in various ways. For instance, you might try biking uphill, running with ankle weights, or using techniques designed to exercise specific muscle groups.
Sprint Workout FAQs
Where can you do sprints at Union Park?
Union Park has many places for sprint workouts. The Rec at Fitness Park has a 40-yard dash, a rubberized walking track, a lap pool, and a ninja-style fitness course plus an indoor workout area with cardio equipment, a stretching area, and more. And of course, there are many outdoor trails and green spaces that are perfect for unstructured park exercises.
Is sprinting better than jogging?
Sprint workouts have been shown to be as effective as jogging, if not more. For instance, one study showed that you can actually burn more calories with sprinting than with moderate intensity exercise.
Should I run before sprinting?
It’s a good idea to warm up with jogging or lighter running before you start sprinting. Dynamic stretches can also be beneficial.
How long should you do sprints for?
A 20-minute sprint workout is often sufficient. As you build more strength and endurance, you might go longer while also spending less time cooling down.
Enjoy an Active Life at Union Park by Hillwood!
If you’re looking for a new home community where you can enjoy an active lifestyle, Union Park by Hillwood in Little Elm is the perfect place to be! Our community offers an abundance of places to work out including a 30-acre Central Park, Fitness Park & The Rec, an ADA-accessible Exploration Park, a resort-style pool, numerous trails, and pocket parks throughout the community. Add to this many weekly community fitness classes and we have everything you need to keep yourself fit and active. To learn more, drop by for a visit, take a virtual tour, or get in touch!