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$300 loan.

I’m over at Unedited today, talking about sprinting drills to improve long-distance running.

One awesome bit of info I wanted to share with regular readers of Coming Clean: If you run (or don’t), add some sprinting drills to your workout. (I was going to write, “consider adding sprinting drills,” but after you read more about sprinting, I’m betting you’ll be lacing on your running shoes and heading out the door to try it.)

Professor Jens Bangsbo, of the University of Copenhagen, led a study in which one group ran in 30-, 20- and 10-second runs in three to four 5-minute intervals for seven weeks. They not only cut their overall time by 21 to 48 seconds, they also lowered their systolic blood pressure and cholesterol.

Shorter Workouts, Big Results

Wow! Their workouts were shorter, yet their health still improved. For those of us who feel time-crunched, that’s great news.

And if you’re working on weight loss, even better: Sprinting forces your body to burn fat for 48 hours after your workout concludes. “Jogging is like lighting a small match. It’ll burn some fuel while it’s lit,” says Mike Young, PhD, CSCS, an elite USA Track & Field Level 3 coach and director of sports performance at Athletic Lab in Cary, N.C. “Sprinting, on the other hand, is like setting a bonfire that will continue to burn all night long.”

Since we’ve had more daylight in the evening, I’ve been taking our dog Chloe on walks after my Boot Camp class concludes. (Yes, I just finished an intense workout, but my endorphins are on high and the walk helps me cool down.) I’ll throw in a few sprints when we make it to the park or down the alley (I skip the city sidewalks to avoid cracks/unevenness/neighbors tending to their lawns). She loves to pick up the pace, and while she’s helping me speed up, she almost runs too fast. If you’ve heard a woman hollering, “Whoa! Slow down, Chloe!” in your neighborhood, I apologize for the disturbance.

Are you a runner who’s seen improvements from sprinting? Let me know!

Need a sprinting workout? How about three? Find them here.

Note: “Sprinting” works for other activities, too. I’ve been attending Life Time Studio Cycling once a week and we’ll do these drills on the indoor bikes. One of my coworkers says these cycling drills have also helped her improve her mile time.

Thoughts to share?

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