Day 9 of Year 26
Today was my first outdoor workout since I have been in Krakow.
Sprints and pull-ups. That was the program. Basic but effective.
Sprinting is one of the main movements I think should be in a Nomad’s workout program. There are many benefits to sprinting often overlooked because of how simplified running fast seems. Here is a simple introduction to the benefits, and you can delve into the topic more if you want more scientific information.
I think sprinting should be on the program are for a few different reasons.
- Increases testosterone
You can read an introduction here, but essentially sprint intervals promote testosterone in the body. This is great because as a Nomad, the environments and lifestyles experienced may not always be the healthiest. Lots of external forces can affect the body, and work against your testosterone. Plastics, pollution, ingredients, lifestyle decisions, random grad and go food, poor quality home cooked food, stress, etc.. Even the pots and pans can mess you up, unless you are carrying your own around! Sprinting is a simple way to give you some more potential test, and in turn, work towards maintaining strength and athleticism while on the journey. also, it reduces body fat. We like that.
- Speed kills
A common sports one liner, it is true that speed makes one more effective in competition. While Nomads are not generally competing in high level sports, I do think it is important to train for explosiveness and quick acceleration. Maybe it helps one catch the last bus to the airport before it departs. Maybe it is helps one trek through a shady neighbourhood. Maybe someone grabs your bag and takes off. Again, probably the shady neighbourhood. I think sprint training conditions the body for rapid movement.
- You can do it anywhere
Nomads move around often and sometimes in locations without gym equipment. This can make getting a proper gym routine challenging. Track sprint training requires legs. You do not even need shoes. Although I would recommend wearing them if you have them. There is no reason why anyone, Nomad or not, would be unable to find a straight line to run over.
Having said that, you might be considering how to get started on track sprints. I have a few thoughts on that…
- It is not the olympics
For a beginner, it can be intimidating to run fast.We think of the olympics where there are professionals hauling ass down the 100, Usain Bolt style. That is not what this is about. Most of the time, after warm ups, I think it would be best to run at 80-90 percent of your perceived top speed. Your first 4-5 sprint sessions, probably not higher than 70.
- Always warm up
I have had two hamstring pulls in my life. Both were from me being a dumbass and showing up late to football practice. Rushing the warmup, and walking into the plays – lesson(s) learned. I would recommend a 10 minute warm up or so of movement – getting the body warm, before trying to hit the top speed experience.
- Progressive approach
If it is your first day, start slow. It is a marathon, not a sprint. No pun intended ;). As you add sprint training into the program, over time you will become faster, able to do more sprints, and experience less fatigued. Congrats, you are becoming more fit.
In the end, it does not matter if you are not incredibly fast, or if it feels weird running around a park. Each session you clock in, improves your athletic ability. It is step by step.
Lastly, I would suggest 20-30 minutes of sprints per session. While sprinting does seem simple, it is possible to overtrain.
Also, I am a huge fan of track sprinting, however if you are unable to or want variation, you can also use ‘sprint’ intervals on a treadmill, rowing machine, rope climber , etc.