How to get faster at sprinting? Focus on sprint training, building strength through lifting weights and developing explosive power through plyometrics.
If you have these 3 key things, you’ll build a solid foundation to a faster sprinting speed.
In this article, we cover 6 key factors that can help you get faster at sprinting. We also have a few videos that show you proper form and technique plus an example sprint training program.
How to get faster at sprinting
If you want to get faster at sprinting, there’s hope! With the proper training, dedication, perseverance, and consistency, you’ll see a great improvement in your sprinting speed over time.
Follow the tips in this article on how to get faster at sprinting and you’ll be sure to see an improvement in your speed. Remember, it takes consistency, perseverance and patience. You can also use these tips to improve other times such as your average 5K run time by age or even your average pace of running.
Sprint training program to get faster
Sprinting speed is a complicated skill that involves physical conditioning, technique, timing, and mental preparation.
Focus on your form and technique, and incorporate specific exercises and drills into your training routine that build strength, power, and speed. This will directly improve your sprinting ability.
If you’re serious about getting faster at sprinting, then it’s best to work with a qualified coach or trainer. Not only will they help you train with proper form but they can also coach you in terms of proper nutrition for maximum speed.
Use the program below as a guide on how to get faster at sprinting. It’s best to have specific days for speed training that alternate with active recovery days.
|Monday||Speed day||Sprints, weight lifting (leg press, deadlift, lunges with dumbbells, step ups on bench with dumbbells), plyometrics|
|Tuesday||Recovery day||Light to moderate training, walking and active recovery.|
|Wednesday||Speed day||Sprints, weight lifting (leg press, deadlift, lunges with dumbbells, step ups on bench with dumbbells), plyometrics|
|Thursday||Recovery day||Light to moderate training, walking and active recovery.|
|Friday||Speed day||Sprints, weight lifting (leg press, deadlift, lunges with dumbbells, step ups on bench with dumbbells), plyometrics|
|Saturday||Recovery day||Light to moderate training, walking and active recovery.|
|Sunday||Rest day||Complete rest day|
You can get faster at sprinting by focusing on sprints, building strength through weightlifting and plyometrics.
#1 - Always warm up properly
There are a few reasons why warming up is key to getting faster. It helps to increase blood flow to the muscles that brings oxygen and nutrients to the working muscles. This will improve performance and reduce the risk of injury.
Warming up can help prepare the nervous system for the demands of sprinting, which will improve reaction time and coordination. It also helps you to mentally prepare for your training.
Best warm ups for sprinting
Jogging or light running: This will increase your heart rate and body temperature to allow you to literally warm up.
Dynamic stretching: These are stretches that involve movement. For example, leg swings, walking lunges, and high knees. Dynamic stretches can also help improve range of motion and activate the muscles used in sprinting.
Plyometrics: Explosive movements such as jumping jacks, squat jumps, and bounding. Plyometrics helps activate the nervous system and improve power and speed.
Warm up sprinting drills: These are specific drills that are designed to mimic the movements of sprinting. For example, exercises such as high knees, butt kicks, and A-skips. Sprint drills help to improve form and coordination.
#2 Practice sprinting
How to get faster at sprinting? You need to sprint. Regularly sprinting can improve several aspects that will help you get faster.
It increases muscle strength and power: Sprinting requires muscle strength and power, particularly in the lower body. Running flat out can help increase the power and strength in your legs.
It improves running form and technique: By regularly practicing sprinting, you can improve your form and technique. This will help you run more efficiently and with less wasted energy.
Increased cardiovascular fitness and endurance: Sprinting is a high-intensity exercise that can improve your cardiovascular fitness. By sprinting regularly, you can improve your body’s ability to deliver oxygen to your muscles, which are essential for running faster for longer.
Improved reaction time and coordination: Sprinting requires fast reaction time and good coordination. By regularly practicing sprinting, you can improve your ability to react quickly and coordinate your movements.
Top 6 sprint workouts
Repeat 6-8 times.
|Max sprinting speed|
3 x 10-12s at 85% effort (or fast but not all-out) at 8% incline
90s recovery walk or jog
5 x 10-12s at 95% effort at 1% incline
90s recovery walk or jog
|Hit the hills|
Run ⅓ of the hill at a fast pace, then jog down at an easy pace.
Run ⅔ of the hill at a fast pace, then jog down at an easy pace.
Run all the way up the hill at a fast pace, then jog down at an easy pace.
Rest for 2 min.
4 x 20s sprints up the hill followed by an easy jog down.
3 x 600m or 90s at 80% effort (or 2 mph below top sprint pace) with a 2-min recovery walk or jog in between sets.
3 x 400m or 60s at 90% effort (or 1 mph below top sprint pace) with a 90s recovery walk or jog in between sets.
3 x 200m or 30s at 100% sprint speed with 1-min recovery walk or jog in between sets.
4 x 18-22s at 85% effort at an 8% incline. 90s recovery walk or jog.
4 x 18-22s at 95% effort at a 1% incline. 90s recovery walk or jog.
15 x 200m (or 1/8 mile) at a hard effort.
Do a 200m recovery speed walk or jog between sets.
30s sprint followed by 1-min recovery walk or jog.
45s sprint followed by 90s recovery walk or jog
1-min sprint followed by 2-min recovery walk or jog.
Repeat 4 times.
#3 Build sprinting strength
Focus on building sprinting strength and technique. Here are 3 key exercises that will build your strength.
Sled sprints are an effective sprint training exercise. The athlete pulls or pushes a weighted sled over a short distance as quickly as possible. The sled can be loaded with weights such as plates, sandbags, or kettlebells, to provide resistance and increase the difficulty of the exercise.
The goal of sled sprints is to develop lower body strength, power, speed, and explosiveness.
Sled sprints can also be performed on an incline or decline to increase or decrease the resistance and challenge the athlete’s strength and power.
Hill repeats involve sprinting up a hill at maximum effort, jogging or walking back down, and repeating the process several times. It’s a great way to build leg strength, endurance, and speed. It’s an effective training method to get faster at sprinting.
- Find a steep hill that takes approximately 30-60 seconds to sprint up.
- Run up the hill at maximum effort using short, powerful strides while pumping your arms.
- Once you’ve reached the top, walk or jog back down.
- Rest and repeat.
Apart from being highly effective at building sprinting strength, mixing hill repeats into your routine can help keep your workouts interesting.
Sprinting drills are specific exercises that are designed to improve speed, power, and technique when sprinting. We’ve already covered a few in the warm up but they are so effective that it’s worth mentioning again.
High knees: Run with the knees up high with the goal of achieving maximum height and speed. This drill helps to work on coordination, balance, and explosiveness.
Butt kicks: Run while kicking the heels back toward the glutes. The goal is to achieve the quickest speed and bring the heels as close as possible toward the glutes. This drill improves the flexibility of the hamstring and speed.
A-skips: A-skips are performed by skipping with the knees up high, then extending the leg out and down. This exercise improves coordination, balance, and explosiveness.
Bounding: Bounding is running with long, exaggerated strides, lifting the knees up high and reaching forward with each step. This improves power, stride length and explosiveness.
These drills can be done on their own or as part of your sprinting workout. Always start with a proper warm-up and to work with a coach or trainer to ensure that you perform the drills correctly and safely.
#4 Build muscle strength in the gym
There’s a reason why elite sprinters are built like tanks! They build muscle strength in the gym so that they can sprint faster.
Lifting weights is key if you want to know how to get faster at sprinting. Here are some of the best weightlifting exercises for sprinters:
- Lunges with dumbbells
- Leg press
- Step ups with dumbbells
When lifting weights to get faster at sprinting, use a weight that allows for proper form and technique. This means lifting with correct posture, keeping the back straight, and using controlled movements to avoid injury. To avoid overloading the muscles and risking injury, build strength gradually over time. Avoid lifting too heavy too soon.
Once again, working with a coach can help you build muscle using the proper form and technique.
Add plyometrics to build explosive strength
Plyometrics, jump training or plyos, are exercises that involve explosive, fast movements. They are designed to improve speed, power, and agility.
Plyos typically involve jumping or hopping movements, such as jump squats, box jumps, and lateral bounds. These exercises develop explosive power in the legs, hips, and core, which is essential for sprinting.
They can be done with just bodyweight or with added resistance, such as using bands, a weighted vest or ankle weights. They can also be added into a larger training program that includes strength training, cardiovascular exercise, and stretching.
It is important to use proper form and technique when performing plyometric exercises, as they can be high-impact and put stress on the joints.
#5 Focus on your feet
With building muscles and sprint training, it can be easy to forget to train your calf muscles and feet. However, the calves and feet are essential if you want to get faster at sprinting.
Incorporating specific training exercises that focus on the calves and feet will go a long way to helping you improve your sprinting speed.
Here are key exercises to include into your training program to build strong feet and ankles, as well as powerful calf muscles.
- Calf Raises: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Slowly raise your heels off the ground, then lower back down. You can do this exercise on a flat surface or on a stair or step for an added challenge.
- Toe Raises: Stand with your heels hanging off the edge of a step or raised platform. Slowly lift your toes towards the ceiling, then lower back down.
- Ankle Circles: Sit with your legs extended in front of you. Slowly rotate your ankles in a circular motion. Repeat in the opposite direction.
- Toe Walks: Walk on your toes – keeping your heels off the ground.
- Heel Walks: Walk on your heels – keeping your toes off the ground.
- Towel Scrunches: Sit with your legs extended in front of you. Place a towel on the floor. Use your toes to scrunch up the towel towards you, then release.
- Plantar Fascia Stretch: Sit with one leg extended in front of you and loop a towel or band around the ball of your foot. Gently pull the towel towards you to stretch the bottom of your foot and calf.
#6 Build your core strength
A strong core is essential for sprinting as it stabilizes the torso and pelvis during running which allows a better transfer of power from the lower body to the upper body. It also improves posture and balance, and reduces the risk of injury.
Here are our top exercises for developing a strong core:
- Plank: Begin in a push-up position with your forearms on the ground and your body in a straight line from head to heels. Keep your stomach pressed up against your spine. Hold this position for 30 seconds to a minute, or as long as you can.
- Russian Twists: Sit on the ground with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Lean back slightly. Keeping your back straight, and twist your torso to one side, then the other, while holding a weight or medicine ball.
- Bicycle Crunches: Lie on your back with your hands behind your head and your knees bent. Lift your shoulders off the ground and bring your right elbow towards your left knee, while extending your right leg. Repeat on the other side.
- Leg Raises: Lie on your back with your hands by your sides and legs straight. Lift your legs off the ground, keeping them straight, and hold for a few seconds before lowering back down.
- Side Plank: Begin in a plank position, then rotate your body to one side, lifting your arm towards the ceiling. Hold this position for 30 seconds to a minute, or as long as you can.
- Hollow Body Hold: Lie on your back with your arms and legs extended towards the ceiling, and your lower back pressed into the ground. Hold this position for 30 seconds to a minute, or as long as you can.
Adding these exercises into your training program can help improve core strength and stability, which can in turn improve sprinting performance. Remember to start with lower intensity exercises and gradually increase the difficulty over time to prevent injury. Make sure to stretch and warm up properly before beginning any core exercises.
How to get faster at sprinting
You can increase your sprint speed by focusing on three things: sprinting, building strength through lifting weights, and plyometrics (jump training) to build speed and agility.
How can I sprint faster in a week?
Focusing on your sprinting form and technique can help you sprint faster in a week. This includes keeping a relaxed posture, pumping your arms, maintaining an upright posture and keeping your stride frequency shorter.
How can I sprint faster 100m?
Key factors to sprint a faster 100m includes: warming up properly, practicing sprint training and drills, building strength and doing plyometrics.
Why can I not sprint faster?
If you’ve been training flat out, it might be that you’re suffering from fatigue and your body needs to rest. Losing sprinting speed is a sign that your body needs time to recover.
What muscles help you sprint faster?
Strong glutes, hamstrings and quads are essential to sprinting faster. You also need strong calf muscles and feet, as well as a strong core. It’s also important to have strong upper body strength to drive the arms.
Do squats improve sprint speed?
Yes, squats are highly effective to improve sprinting speed. Squats build strong glutes, hamstrings, and quads that are essential to running fast. In addition, They build a strong core so that your torso and pelvis are stabilized during sprinting.
- How to get faster at sprinting? Focus on sprinting, building muscle strength and plyometrics.
- Always warm up properly and build in recovery days.
- Find a sprinting coach if you are serious about increasing your sprinting speed.