Sprinting is one of the most physically demanding activities for athletes. One’s performance is entirely dependent on the maximum output their body can produce. For this reason, many athletes seek to gain an edge by putting themselves through a rigorous training cycle in the summer leading up to their fall training.
Although it’d be great to be in top shape coming into the fall, many athletes underestimate just how long the season is and end up getting burnt out, having been training hard for nearly a year. Moreover, training hard for a prolonged period of time can have an adverse impact on one’s body, as there is an increased risk of an overuse injury. However, doing nothing at all over the offseason is also ill-advised as a sudden increase in volume is also a surefire way to get injured.
Related: 4 Tips to Prevent Athlete Burnout
During the offseason, sprinters should seek to build a base that consists of general fitness, technique work, and stretching and strengthening muscles. Given the high injury risk that comes with sprinting, a sprinter’s “time off” should be devoted to injury-reducing activities such as technique.
See More: 4 Tips to Being an Injury-Free Runner
Using proper form is instrumental in preventing injuries and saving energy when doing high intensity workouts. Do what you can to understand and practice the biomechanics of your workouts, from how to adjust your stride during a sprint to what to do with your arms coming out of the blocks.
Strength and Flexibility
Strength and flexibility should be focal points during a sprinter’s time off. Most track athletes have muscle imbalances and/or tightness that come with sprinting for prolonged periods of time because they build muscle quickly, but don’t stretch often enough. These issues, when left unaddressed, can cause injuries down the road, and impede your progress.
General fitness is an important aspect in a sprinter’s off-season training, as increased aerobic capacity increases an athlete’s ability to recover for future workouts. This means doing a mix of speed, strength, and even endurance workouts. Also, working on fitness will ensure that this isn’t you during fall training: