A sprint is a short running race in the track and field competition. There are generally three different sprint distances: 100m, 200m, and 400m. The outdoor 100m sprint usually takes around 10-15 seconds to complete, depending on sprint ability. These races are largely based upon the athlete’s ability to accelerate to his or her maximum speed in the quickest time possible. Unlike the 100m race which requires pure explosive power, a 200m runner must maintain this speed and have “speed endurance”, since the race lasts between 20-30 seconds. The 400m race is a sprint around the track in the stadium and is usually completed in 45-60 seconds. While maximum sprint speed is important in this race, athletes also require substantial speed endurance due to the relatively long time frame of this sprint event.
To compete at a high level, sprint athletes need their nutrition to be on point so they have enough energy to stick to a demanding training schedule, yet they don’t eat so much they gain body fat, which can affect performance. As a sprint athlete, you need to have a low body fat level while still maintaining muscle mass to generate power, so calories are one of the most important aspects for sprinters to consider. Unlike endurance running, which favours athletes with lean frames, sprinting favours athletes who exert a short burst of power. As a sprinter, you need to obtain enough carbohydrates and fat in your diet to maintain your energy level and enough protein to meet the increased demands of training. Consuming a balanced diet, tailored to your performance in both training and competition, is key to competing at a high level.