Wind Sprints: Why You Need to Be Doing Them

Wind Sprints: Why You Need to Be Doing Them

I love me some wind sprints. That’s a fact.

Anytime I need to run over 400m I’m cursing every step. Admittedley that’s problem not the best route towards making these runs more enjoyable, but at this point I don’t even care. I grew up sprinting and I 100% love wind sprints more than I could ever love a woman (sorry ladies).

wind sprints

Well...maybe not every woman

Whenever I mention that I’m going for or just came back from a run I get the same question…how far did you go? You probably experience the same thing. Things don’t go down hill until the person asking gets a snotty look on their face and asks “that’s it?” after you say you did 400m repeats.

Yes, Mr. Judgement-Pants, I ran a quarter-mile almost as fast as I could, rested for a few minutes and then did it five more times. It absolutely sounds less challenging than a 5-8 mile run at an 8-minute pace, but don’t knock it until you try it.

Wind Sprints = mother fucking bees knees

Here is why…

1 – Ease

Not in the sense that they are easy to do, but in the sense that they are easy to do no matter where you are. Trail, beach, field, track, treadmill, basketball court, tennis court, school hallways, 7th Ave during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. Not only that, but the condition of the surface doesn’t exactly matter too much either. Sand, snow, gravel, grass, uphill, downhill, through ankle deep water like Hasselhoff in Baywatch. It doesn’t freaking matter.

wind sprints

You. Yeah you...do your sprints.

2 – Effectiveness

If you’ve read the Four Hour Body or any blog written by someone who has read the Four Hour Body in the last year I’m willing to bet you’ve heard the term “minimum effective dose.” This boils down to if you get the same result doing something 3 times as you do when you do it 8 times why the hell are you wasting your time doing it 5 more times? Running more than 400m is fine if you’re training for a race, say 5k or 10k. If you truly, 100% enjoy it and use it to relax and de-stress. When it comes to fat loss or body recomposition you get the same, no, better results from wind sprints. Would you rather spend 30 minutes sprinting a 1-1.5 miles total or 40 minutes running 5 miles?

3 – Power

Power is the amount of work you do over certain period time. Broken down even further, work is the amount of force applied over a given distance. Lastly, force is mass times acceleration. Yay for physics!

We’re just going to talk this one through because, frankly, I don’t feel like making up number to prove a point that can be demonstrated by just talking it out. So we’re going to compare sprinting to distance running with those three formulas (power, work, force).

We’ll start with force since the other formulas require it to be true. Force equals mass (IE. body weight) multiplied by acceleration (starting velocity [0 m/s in this case] minus final velocity divided by how long it took you achieve that speed). So, in caveman terms, the faster you reach your top speed means the more force you produce.

Next is work, the amount of force you produce over a given distance. Using the breakdown of force that we just went through and the comparison between running 400m versus 5 miles which do you think takes more work? If both were run at a 8 minute/mile pace it’d be the 5 miler. If you ran 400m at an 8 minute/mile pace (that’d be 2 minutes for the mathematically challenged) it would not be a wind sprint.

Lastly, the big one, power. The amount of work you do over time. Yes, the time spent running a worthwhile wind sprint of 400m is going to take a fraction of the time it would take to run 5 miles. Yet, again looking to the formulas, the amount of work done in that short time makes the 400m wind sprint far more powerful than the 5 mile jog.

4 – Booty

Seriously, ever looked at a sprinters booty? They’re immaculate. Outside of deadlifts, squats, hip thrusters and lunges your best exercise for creating a booty that members of the opposite sex are attracted to like moths to a flame is wind sprints. At this point it’s just a recap of the 3 points I already covered, but you can do them anywhere, they’re effective and they allow you to do an incredible amount of work without going through the process needed to effectively squat/deadlift heavy enough to get the same benefit.

Seriously, at this point you should be lacing up your shoes to go run a bunch of 40s. Wind sprints do wonderful things for your body and are far superior to any type of long slow running or jogging you’ve been led to believe is beneficial. Get of the treadmill and hit the track for 8 sets of 40m wind sprints and you’ll be starting off better than most people.

Leave your favorite wind sprint workout in the comments below.

 

 

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Comments

  1. I walk to my local high school track and do my sprints there.
    Free, and conveinent.
    I sprint the straight part of the track, then slow jog the arc.
    Eight sets. Takes about 15 minutes.
    I’m 46, and I love the puzzled looks I get from the steady state joggers as I zip by them.
    I show up while they’re jogging, and I’m leaving while they’re still jogging.

    • It’s so easy, I love it. Whenever I’m traveling that is my go to workout. Effective and doesn’t require a whole lot of thinking.

  2. What about Basketball wind sprints (from one end of the court to the other. Several sets of these types of wind sprints?

    • mikeinscho says:

      Absolutely, a basketball court is right around 30 meters so it’s near the mid to longer end. As long as you’re still getting full rest between each sprint and not talking about doing suicides you’ll be good to go.

  3. Michael Archuleta says:

    I set up markers (cones) at 20, 30, 40, 50 and 60 yards. From my starting point I sprint to the 20 yard marker and then turn around and walk back. As soon as I get to my starting point, I turn and sprint all out to the 30 and then walk back…. and repeat until I sprint to the 60 yard marker. Then, after I walk back, I turn and sprint to the 60 yard marker, and repeat the process, only now I drop down to the 50, then 40, then 30 and finally the 20. So, in a very short time, I have done 10 wind sprints, for a total of 400 yards of all out effort, and the only breaks in between is the amount of time it takes me to walk back to my starting point! It’s a killer workout, but I love every minute of it!

  4. BurningGlutes says:

    Sprints until I can’t run any further, for enough sets to fuck me up. I go by feel.

  5. Scouser Tony says:

    I lost 8-10 lbs after about 3-4 weeks of wind sprints. Around 35 minutes of varying length sprints 100-200 m sprints, over total distance of 5000 M or 5 K. Walking the same distance I sprinted. First 1k was a light jog to warm up. Did it maybe 3-4 times a week, and maybe cut bread from my diet. Mu he better than jogging 1 hour every other day which bores the crap out of me.