An Old Guy Working Out: Sprinting v. Jogging (pt. 11)

Odds & Ends – Speed and Conditioning with a Sprint (Interval) Running program

I think I have touched on the most important areas related to sprinting, from pain to hydration to how I build my daily routines. There are a few things related to sprinting that might be important if you are considering starting a sprinting program. Getting faster, for instance.

One thing that surprised me was how much my 5 K times improved.  I used to run 10-12 minute miles, and slow as I was, I would be really tired when I finished. It would be a mental battle just to reach the 3 mile mark. Then, after a year and a half of sprinting, I got faster. In 2010 I finished a Thanksgiving Day 5 K with time of an average time of under 9 minutes a mile (8 minutes, 39 seconds to be exact). Overall this was 5 minutes faster than my normal pace. 5 minutes! That’s huge!

I am not trying to say that I am now a competitive runner. I am not. My times are nowhere near competitive for a male in the 50-55 year old range. Still, for me, they show a significant improvement that developed fairly quickly. Compare this to the previous 20 years of my life when my average time to run a mile hovered above the 10 minute mark. I do not know if the improved running times are a direct result of sprint training in and of itself, or if they are a result of training 30-60 minutes a day, 3 to 5 days a week.

Certainly the prolonged training times have benefitted my endurance and tolerance for intense running, but if not for the sprint, interval training concept there is no way I could run for 30-60 minutes a day, 3-5 days a week. I just do not enjoy endurance running that much. I am not willing to run that long, that often. Sprint, interval training, on the other hand is fun. I run until I am tired, then walk until I feel like I can run again.

 To read part 10 of “An Old Guy Working Out: Sprinting vs. Jogging,” go here.

 To read part 12 of “An Old Guy Working Out: Sprinting vs. Jogging,” go here.

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