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BOB240 SparkPoints: (6,131)
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Posts: 359
1/11/13 8:24 A

In my late twenties I ran 400 m (and had a 400m runners body).

I trained for two years in a sprint squad - a squad that produced a 200m Olympic finalist (in Korea). I saw elite sprint training first hand.

Although sprinters have "bodybuilder" type bodies they train in very different ways, WHilst body builders use heavy weights to do the big four lifts our coach was adamant that we didn't develop this type of slow muscle. Sprint training was largely track in summer and substantial body weight exercise combined with Russian plyometrics (not American plyometrics) in the winter.

When I say body weight I mean things like rope climbs, pull ups, pressups.

The attention to nutrition was paramount - the coach all but chewed the food for us. The only supplements used were cod liver oil tablets. Rest was emphasized.

The training session were short and very intense (typically 45 minutes). When I say intense - I mean intense. Try climbing a 10 m rope 12 times in three minutes WITHOUT coming off the rope. Pull ups were too easy. From hanging we had a 2 inch bar which we were required to pull up on, then do a muscle up on and then stand up on the bar. A real test of explosive strength and balance.

Plyometrrics were hard - this is the rebound type not the jump up and down type. I saw many injuries...

I wouldn't every train as a sprinter again but the body can be won far more easily simply by body building...

Cardio was also deemphasized. Sprinters work anaerobically. We did ocasionally do a short run but it was used as a rest day - to reduce lactic buildup /stiffness. Indeed the Olympic finalist was very very poor at distanced over 1 km. I would regularly beat him over that distance - and I am no good at middle distance..

I'm not a fan of cross fit but in retrospect many of the routines we used were the precursors of modern cross fit.

Edited by: BOB240 at: 1/11/2013 (08:27)
1/11/13 8:17 A

Check out some high-intensity workouts like Crossfit or You do a lot of strength training, but FAST so you get the cardio at the same time.

KNELKINS SparkPoints: (0)
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1/11/13 8:00 A

Sprinters typically have hypertrophied muscles that are developed for power, and they are usually quite lean. Marathoners typically have less overall muscle mass but that they do have has been developed for efficiency and endurance, and they are usually extremely lean. If you really want to look like a sprinter, you should focus on serious strength training in which you lift really heavy weights and consider eating at a caloric surplus until you gain a significant amount of lean body mass. Then you can eat at a caloric deficit while still performing weight training in order to get leaner and expose your muscle gains. You may be able to look somewhat similar to a seasoned marathoner if you simply got extremely lean, but you would absolutely need to gain muscle mass in order to look similar to a sprinter. Of course, the best way to look like a professional sprinter is to train like one and take your time. But that only works if you're passionate about the sport. I'm kind of in the opposite camp. I love being a marathoner, but I don't particularly like the elite marathoner's body. So in the off-season, I bulk in order to gain the muscle mass I lose during distance training. This may make me achieve a lower performance in my races, but I'm willing to make that sacrifice in order to have the body I like most. You just have to figure out what's most important to you and follow the plan that will best get you there.

MOTIVATED@LAST Posts: 15,443
1/11/13 7:37 A

Any good endurance running program will probably include a day a week of shorter faster speedwork. Interval training around speed is the best way of increasing your cardio vascular fitness, and increased fitness actually helps your endurance running.

Any good running program will also include strength training. Strengthening your legs means they will be working at less of their overall capacity, which makes running easier. And you should not just be focussing on your legs - your core is important for running as well, as it works hard to keep you balanced and stabilized. So do some genuinely challenging strength training, 2-3 times per week.

So a distance runner and a sprinter are going to be doing many of the same things - the difference is mainly in degree.


DUCKIJO SparkPoints: (9,900)
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1/10/13 9:09 P

Those are great goals!

ACH!WIE.SCHOEN! Posts: 467
1/10/13 8:29 P

I've been thinking a lot about my motivation and what drives me lately, and I have realized a few things:

1) I hate running distances, I'm not good at it!! ...even veryveryvery slowly my HR spikes so fast!
2) Being skinny doesn't motivate me - being strong does.
3) I don't want a marathon body, I want a sprinter's body.

I've heard lots of conflicting information about how to develop a strong body and get enough cardio and balance the two.

Any thoughts or words of advice?

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