“Technique without ideals is a menace; Ideals without technique is a mess.” – Karl Llewellyn
I’ve been asked a time or two to provide examples of how best to quantify a sprinting bout performed on an unmarked field. The methods of doing this are, of course, limited only by your imagination. Here’s one example, though, of an approach I took recently.
I went into this particular session wanting to hit a sprint bout that was roughly equal to my 15/15 in 15 workout. Easy enough; stopwatch and a marked football field, and I’m good to go. However, I ended up on an unmarked field and with no way to accurately judge 100 yards. No big deal; just another opportunity to improvise. So, following a solid warm-up, this is what I did:
I set initial mark with a “90%”, 13 sec sprint. This wasn’t a “stride”, but rather a pretty ballsy effort. After a relatively long (about 3 minutes or so) recovery, I then jumped on the 15/15 in 15, just as if that initial 13 second mark were actually set at 100 yards. My slowest times of the later 15 were in the 14.6 range, so this arrangement worked out pretty well.
Note: my body and the energy systems required to fuel my efforts could care less whether those efforts were 12 seconds or 20 seconds in duration. Really, it’s the intensity that mattered. The percent contribution between the aerobic and anaerobic systems remain roughly the same, and so the actual distance covered here — a few yards off here and there — is of little matter. Other, of course, than in my mind, which needs this kind of quantification as a way of justifying efforts. What matters, in the end, is the work output; what matters, over the long-haul, is to keep this trend going. Funny, though, how we have to play these little games with ourselves. To question why this is though (as interesting as I think that discussion is), is a subject for navel gazing/coffee shop debate. I know that to get my mind’s 100% buy-in to this Sisyphean task requires these little tricks, and so I placate as best I can in the moment. My mind needs a carrot to chase, and so I give it one.
By the way, following that sprint bout, I hit 25 muscle-ups in 9:06; way off my best mark. A testament to how a “15s” sprint bout can really dust a brother up.
In health, fitness and ancestral wellness -