Sprinting is an awesome form of exercise. There are few things that feel better than flying down the track or up a hill (or wherever you like to sprint). All other sounds are drowned out by the wind rushing by your ears and the sound of your feet.
But as we get older and busier we tend to start choosing slower forms of running, or even stop all together. And moving fast should really be a capacity we hold on to for as long as possible.
Sprinting in itself has a lot to offer: increased cardiovascular health, increased strength in the glutes and hamstrings, increased muscular coordination, decreased body fat, and increasing general “in shape-ness”.
The main drawback is an increased risk of injury, especially for people just returning to sprinting. Typically a result of weak hamstrings and glutes, the risk of hamstring strain is high unless a smart progression is used.
Hill sprints or stadium sprints are probably the safest form of sprinting for several reasons.
1) You can’t go as fast since you’re fighting gravity more than usual.
2) Stride length is shorter which reduces hamstring lengthening.
3) There is less impact on the joints.
Combine hills with a great warm up protocol and you should be well on your way to getting faster, leaner, healthier and more fit.