The least injured and best performing runners training programs include both strength and sprint training. These complementary training programs reduce injury risk and improve running performance among trained distance runners. These programs target a different energy system in the body and have been shown to improve time to exhaustion, running time, and running efficiency compared to runners who do not utilize strength and sprint training. A recent study shows even a 2 week block of sprint training can improve distance running times.
Koral and colleagues studied the impact of a 2 week sprint training program on running performance among trained trail runners (J Strength Cond Res. 2018). Runners were placed through 4-7 bouts of 30 second maximum sprints three times a week for 2 weeks. Authors tested each runner's performance both before and after the sprint training. The authors noted improved distance running times, time to exhaustion, peak and mean power after the sprint training block. This study highlights the value of a short, 2 week, sprint training program on distance running performance.