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  • Sprints Without a Track

    I want to start doing sprints but I do not have a track available to me. I do have a Garmin GPS watch that measures distance, but it is a bit delayed and I don't know if it measures finely enough to get to-the-meter distances.

    Do any of you do sprints on a road or paved surface that has no distance measurements? If so, how?

    (And, yes, I know I can do it by time rather than distance, but I have a feeling that I will either over- or under-exert myself by doing it this way.)
    Last edited by MissJecka; 08-22-2012, 06:41 AM.
    >> Current Stats: 90% Primal / 143 lbs / ~25% BF
    >> Goal (by 1 Jan 2014): 90% Primal / 135-ish pounds / 20-22% BF

    >> Upcoming Fitness Feats: Tough Mudder, June 2013
    >> Check out my super-exciting journal by clicking these words.

    Weight does NOT equal health -- ditch the scale, don't be a slave to it!

  • #2
    I run really fast and then I slow down and walk back to my starting point. Are you training for a very specific purpose that requires you to keep track of the distance? if not, and just looking for the toughest workout of your life, just find a hill and sprint up it a few times.
    I used to seriously post here, now I prefer to troll.

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    • #3
      I'm almost embarrassed to say - I use my treadmill.

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      • #4
        +1, hill sprints are great.
        If you really must run for a specific distance, just use one of the many online mapping/routing services and measure the distance.
        As an alternative, Fartlek sessions are fun and less regimented than normal interval sprints.

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        • #5
          Thanks, everyone, for the quick comments. I'm talking about distance because everything I see on the forums and on Mark's articles about recommended intermediate/beginner sprinting says things like "6x50"... doing 50 meter sprints 6 times, resting between each.

          So when you guys say you just sprint, then slow down, do you not count time or distance?
          >> Current Stats: 90% Primal / 143 lbs / ~25% BF
          >> Goal (by 1 Jan 2014): 90% Primal / 135-ish pounds / 20-22% BF

          >> Upcoming Fitness Feats: Tough Mudder, June 2013
          >> Check out my super-exciting journal by clicking these words.

          Weight does NOT equal health -- ditch the scale, don't be a slave to it!

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          • #6
            Pick a spot and run to it

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            • #7
              I just sprint in a park near my house in the grass. I'll walk off approximately whatever distance I plan on running, just counting my strides and multiplying by three.

              Just guesstimate... I would not stress out about having exact measurements.
              "Canned food is a perversion,' Ignatius said. 'I suspect that it is ultimately very damaging to the soul."
              - John Kennedy Toole (A Confederacy of Dunces)

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              • #8
                Originally posted by MissJecka View Post
                Thanks, everyone, for the quick comments. I'm talking about distance because everything I see on the forums and on Mark's articles about recommended intermediate/beginner sprinting says things like "6x50"... doing 50 meter sprints 6 times, resting between each.

                So when you guys say you just sprint, then slow down, do you not count time or distance?
                I eye-ball the distance, and I sprint uphill 90% of the time so I may not be doing 50 m sprints (more like 50-70 Amerikkkan yards) because uphill sprints are more demanding (yet safer, win-win) I'm not really concerned with time spent sprinting, or total distance, I just care that I can't breathe when I'm done, so I know I did what I had to do.

                Mark's 6x50 is just a guideline that you can modify if you need, so use a service like mapmyrun.com or something similar to gauge the distance you would be covering (again, if you really need to sprint exactly 50 meters, or just to get an idea of what that distance looks like) and repeat that distance 6 times.
                I used to seriously post here, now I prefer to troll.

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                • #9
                  Tabita sprints (20s on 10s rest) 8 sets.
                  Sprinting between telephone poles - sprint 2 walk 1 etc
                  Tree to tree
                  Lots of options. You could also use your garmin to walk a distance so it can cope with the delay mark out 100m sprint that, rest, repeat.
                  Eating primal is not a diet, it is a way of life.
                  PS
                  Don't forget to play!

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                  • #10
                    I run on the football field at my town's high school. If it's being used, several parks in my town have soccer fields I can run on. The football fields make it easy because of the yard markers.
                    "Don't waste your time, or time will waste you."

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                    • #11
                      Ideally you want to sprint all out as fast as you can possibly run. When you start to slow at all and you will, that is when you stop and walk. You can only go all out for so long. Of course as your conditioning gets better, you will be able to increase your distance.

                      As was said above, find a good long and steep hill. Simply run up it as fast as you possibly can. It should take all you have to reach the top. Walk down and repeat. Done regularly, the first few "reps up" should get easier but each subsequent rep will be harder until its taking all you have.

                      I wouldn't get hung up on distance. Its all about intensity of effort. HIIT is about max effort. This is where the magic happens.
                      Last edited by Forever Young; 08-22-2012, 07:18 AM.

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                      • #12
                        Don't over think it, find somewhere to sprint, run as fast as you can when your pace starts to drop stop, turn around and walk back to where you started from, repeat as many times as you can.

                        If you haven't sprinted in long time, take it easy the first few times. Go at 50 - 75 percent, do rolling starts and finishes ( start at a jog increase to 50 percent then to 75 reduce to 50)

                        Cheers
                        "Times fun when you are having Flies" Kermit the frog

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by fat belly frog View Post
                          If you haven't sprinted in long time, take it easy the first few times. Go at 50 - 75 percent, do rolling starts and finishes ( start at a jog increase to 50 percent then to 75 reduce to 50)
                          Yep, definitely heed this advise. I had to humble myself and do the same because I was coming dangerously close to puking and one time I also was pretty close to fainting. None of those things are appealing. I'm all for pushing yourself, but once you've gathered some sort of conditioning base, no need to kill yourself right off the bat. Besides, your body will be literally crying the next 2 days from muscle soreness alone, so work your way up to harder sprints.
                          I used to seriously post here, now I prefer to troll.

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                          • #14
                            I think that time is a more important factor than distance. I almost always sprint on hills; run up as fast as I can, walk down, repeat. I have two different distances on that hill and I alternate those distances each workout.

                            The shorter one takes about 16 seconds per sprint after the first couple warm ups. When I slow to about 18 seconds per sprint I know I'm cooked (usually about 20 sprints).

                            The longer sprint takes me about 25 seconds and I stop when I slow to about 28 seconds (about 10 sprints).

                            I don't know the distances but I'd guess the first one is 60-70 yards and the second one is about 100. I don't really care because I know I'm getting a serious workout.

                            I read somewhere that shorter sprints (15 seconds) are good for developing speed and power while sprints of 20-30 seconds improve fatigue resistance. That's why I do both.

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                            • #15
                              What I do is sprint as fast as I possibly can for at least 20 full in and out breaths. If I'm slowing too much before I get there, then I stop. If I think I can keep up the pace for a few more breaths, I do it.
                              Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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