I have run off and on my whole life, typically being able to do most 5 k races with no problem. I usually love to work out, lifting and keeping more muscle, but after running some sprints I felt like I had been shot, everything was major sore, back and shins, even my feet. Any one with history of doing sprints, and help me understand what its doing to the body
Big thing here is form. If you're going straight from heel-to-toe jogging to heel-to-toe sprinting, you'll be in pain all over, especially if your shoulders and hips aren't aligned.
There's a soreness curve to learning every new movement. However, if you're in real pain, you're doing something wrong. The goal of exercise is to make you more likely to survive tomorrow, not less likely because you're demolished from the day before. Do not listen to anyone who says you should be exhausted or in pain a day or even two days after. Again, slight soreness is one thing. Pain is another.
Here's what I tell my friends and clients to do for sprinting.
If you're a distance runner, sprint two days per week, distance run one day per week. If you're NOT a distance runner, sprint two days per week, and cross train (rowing, jump rope, swimming) 1 - 2 days per week.
IF SPRINTING ON A DREADMILL:
Set the incline to 3 or higher, but not so high you feel like you're climbing a hill. Some people say an incline of 1 is fine. They're wrong. Use the speed "interval" setting to switch between a comfortable "jogging" speed and sprints. If you don't see a speed interval setting... well, that sucks. The low speed should be just fast enough that you have to pay attention to your walking. If you're reading a book, you're doing it wrong. Whenever you're warmed up, crank up the speed for a 30-second sprint. If you're new to sprinting, underestimate yourself for the first couple of sprints, and make sure that your hips are over the point of contact on the belt, and that you are landing either mid foot or front foot. Listen to the sound you're making. If you can hear a "thud" as your foot falls, you're landing too hard. Work on stepping light. You won't hurt anything that way. Gradually increase speed after you've gotten form down, but continue to sprint for 30 seconds at a time. Aim for about 8 sprints. "Recovery" between sprints is pretty a personal thing, but I strongly suggest that you try another sprint the instant you start wondering whether or not it is time to try another sprint. Learn your body.
IF SPRINTING IN THE REAL WORLD
Walk briskly for a while. When you're ready to sprint STOP MOVING. With feet should width apart, lean forward from your ankles. When your foot comes out to keep you from falling, just keep going. Land either midfoot or on the front. Again, start slowly, and concentrate on the sound of your feet hitting the ground. If you hear thudding, you're probably running incorrectly. Check that hips are over the point of contact with the ground.
Whatever you do, keep your head up high and have fun. There's no real longevity benefit from sprinting. It's more about having a good time.
Sprinting is extremely taxing on the central-nervous system, owing to the fact that the CNS is required to synchronize and optimize output of all of the involved tissues to generate maximum force.
When undergoing normal tissue repair during sleep or rest, the CNS will probably get first dibs since it is the most important system in your body. It's likely that other tissues with lower priority do not receive as much attention. It could take far longer for your CNS to recover from maximum effort sessions than a normal workout.
I've heard about a lot of people getting messed up from sprints because they have poor form and push themselves to their muscular limits and end up doing damage to muscle or bones.
Sprints are good if you do them with good form. Probably one of those things where you want to start off in small doses and gradually bump it up.
I'm far from an exercise expert, but here's my 2 cents: When I sprint, my body moves very differently from how it moves when I jog. My arms swing with a lot more purpose, my feet strike the ground differently, and I have a longer stride which would use muscles differently. Just like any other new exercise, you have to build up to it.
I have less pain if I work up to the sprint...start jogging for a few steps and gradually increase speed til I'm sprinting. I also do at least a 5 minute walk to warm up.
I hate running, but I love walking with sprint intervals thrown in. Good luck!
I use to be a daily distance runner too and I dropped that when I went primal. I've just started picking up on sprints but I'm doing it slowly and working up. Starting with (4) only to start with and each week I'll add one or two more. I had already anticipated soreness because i have noticed my muscles are kind of weak, even my back feels in and out sometimes.
I have also noticed body soreness all over (even neck shoulders), I think because I'm going all out and I'm also physically not in shape for sprints. As Mindi said it is a different movement, I do tend to feel myself tighter and less relaxed than a long run.
Maybe back it down a bit and work back up to your desired # of sprints over a few weeks? The soreness should go away once your muscles get use to the movement, just like any new exercise. Also an indicator that you are using every muscle!!!
Sprint onward and upward (a hill that is)!!!!
When I was swimming we would have group runs with sprints, before tapering down for races, and if I missed a couple of runs and jumped back in, the results were pretty similar to what you're describing which was basically overdoing it. What coach had me do, and what I've started doing now, is a little bit of speed play aka Fartlek. Instead of a 20 second sprint I use the unstructured faster paced running so I can maintain during my higher intensity training. For me, it's been a great way to build that base back up with less painful results. Stretch before and after, but you already know this :) and maintaining good levels of vitamins c/b1/potassium/calcium will also help with recovery. Oh! And have you had your gait checked lately? Mine actually changed and I've had to go to a more structured shoe. Weird but the change helped immensely. Good luck!
Sprinting uses a lot more muscles than just running or jogging. There is an intensity that taxes the entire body when you sprint. Just look at the difference in body composition between a distance runner and a sprinter, it's night and day. It's going to hurt and you're going to be exhausted afterward.
Like everything else workout related, ease into it and focus on your form or you'll stress your body too much.
Sprinting is a much more full body workout than distance running, which is why everyone should do it occasionally.