SPRINT INTERVAL TRAINING: The Right Time to Sprint & Recover!

Updated: April 30, 2019

SPRINT INTERVAL TRAINING: The Right Time to Sprint & Recover!


Mark “Coach Rozy” Roozen

A recent study compared the effects of two different time-matched sprint interval workouts on a cycle ergometer. Here’s how it was designed:

  • Each participant did both workouts, but on separate days in a fully-rested state.



5 Sec. Max Sprint 20 Sec. Max Spring

24 Sec. Rest Time 2 Min. Rest Time

16 Rounds 4 Rounds

TOTAL TIME – 7 Min. 20 Sec TOTAL TIME – 7 Min. 20 Sec

(Drum Roll Please!)  Here were the results:

  • OPTION #1 GROUP – 5s sprint workout group – produced greater heart rates, VO2 maxes, power outputs and total work.
  • OPTION #2 GROUP – 20s sprint workout group – produced higher rate of fatigue and blood lactate accumulation.
  • Participants in the #1 Group were able to jump higher in a countermovement jump compared to #2 Group, had less lasting fatigue and better ability to recover with less soreness.

Know that sprint interval workouts are awesome!  Both are found to be better than long slow work!  But (there is always a but!) there’s a good chance you’re currently using sprints that are too long. If your sprints are lasting more than 15-20 seconds, you could probably get superior results using 5- to 10-second sprints with slightly shorter amounts of rest. The simple fact you’re sprinting is GREAT and gives you an edge in your health, fitness and performance over most folks, but training smarter can help you get even more from your sprint intervals!  TRY IT – YOU MIGHT LOVE IT!!!

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