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Improve your explosiveness with this sprint workout

Canadian indoor 400m record holder Lauren Gale gives tips on how to build your speed for longer distances

Lauren Gale Photo by: CSU Athletics

Although sprinting and long-distance running are different disciplines, there is obviously some crossover. Both require explosive strength and power, whether to pass someone or when sprinting to the finish line. Working on your explosiveness can also reduce your risk of injury during activities that involve high power outputs with quick acceleration, as in middle-distance running or sprint events.

Lauren Gale (right) of Colorado State at the 2022n NCAA Indoor Championships. Photo: Colorado State Athletics

Canadian indoor 200m and 400m record holder and sprinter for Colorado State University Lauren Gale correlates a lot of her success with explosive work on and off the track. “When you are training for explosiveness, the goal is to build your lactate threshold,” Gale says. (Lactate threshold refers to the point at which lactic acid begins to accumulate in the blood during strenuous efforts, surpassing the body’s ability to flush/recycle it for energy production.)

The workout

Two to three sets of 300m, 150m, 80m, all off 90 seconds’ rest, with five minutes between sets

Before you start the workout, make sure you do a proper 10- to 20-minute warm-up with dynamic stretching. Each rep should be done at close to an all-out sprint pace, with 90 seconds of standing rest between reps and five minutes of standing rest between sets.

“The short rest mixed with the longer sprint reps will help build your speed for longer distances,” says Gale.

The purpose of this workout is to develop explosive power from your lower body. Each rep requires you to explode to top speed from a standstill position (like racing off the blocks), and you begin to accelerate by driving your lower body into the ground.

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