Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Sprints & Quads: TW2G Day #10

"I have always sensed the exhilaration and independence of being self-propelled. Besides, you can jog while pushing a baby carriage. Maybe I'm a product of Wonder Woman comic books."-Nina Kucsik

Sprints & Fast Twitch Muscles

On the TW2G program there are many days that start off with small periods of sprinting. The short periods of sprinting help your body adjust to the longer periods of harder runs to come. Many don't think of the importance of fast twitch muscle fibers and how they control how we run. There are over 200 million muscle fibers in our bodies. It is our job in training to key on the fast twitch muscle fibers. It is important that we stay mentally positive during these workouts as well as the workouts can get quite grueling. I found it interesting this chart I found on the Internet. It states that the sprinter is almost equal to the cheetah in percentage of fast twitch muscle fibers that are called on. Nearly 83-84%. While the distance runner only calls on 25%. So what did that tell me. It told me that we need to sprint more and recover. After only a 3rd session of sprints I could already feel the difference in my runs.

Table 1: Fast-twitch muscle percentages compared


Fast-twitch muscle fibre (%)



Distance runner


Middle distance runner





83% of the total fibres examined in the rear outer portion of the thigh (vastus lateralis) and nearly 61% of the gastrocnemius were fast-twitch

Adapted from Dick page 109(1) and Williams (97)(2)

Sprint Recovery

Now the one thing that myself and many others will have an issue after repeated sprints are quad soreness. This is fairly normal. It is important that you treat it right away or issues can come up. In the last 24 hours I have done a remedy of 20 minutes ice, followed by warm baths. Some will do ice baths and it works too, I just don't like em. I repeated this 4 times. On the day after I applied bio freeze to kill some of the muscle pain and it's nearly gone. When you start up with high repetitions of sprints you most likely will experience some quad pains. Don't let it discourage you because in a couple weeks, after repeated workouts, you won't feel it again. It is your body getting used to the workouts.

TW2G Day #10

Today my program changes around a bit. Even though I am battling the quad soreness from the sprints, I am doing a 6 mile tempo run. I moved this around to make room for an easy day on Saturday. I always want an easy day two days before a race. If you put in hard workouts two days before the race, you will get DOMS issues. This will hinder your performance. For everyone else doing the TW2G program today is 3 miles easy. 6 x 100 meter sprints and the part 3 ab core section.

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