Many distance runners ditch sprints training in favour of long runs and intervals. ‘Why do short-distance?’, you may ask.

But inserting some sprints training may actually benefit you.

Coach Alfred Sim, who trains the U20 women’s 4x100m relay team, agrees. Sim says that it plays a very important role in not just the sprints, but also in distance running and team sports.

“Most sports teams are required to do short sprints. Quick acceleration and deceleration,” adds Sim.

We take a look at a sample of his sprint workout programme at MAST Fitness, a gym he founded with martial artist and former Mediacorp artiste Vincent Ng.

Exercise #1: Squats

Technique cues:

Assume a shoulder-width stance, holding the barbell on top of your scapulae and trapezius, with your hands slightly wider than your shoulders.

Point your toes slightly outward.

Keeping your back neutral and torso upright, squat by sitting back with the hips until the top of the thighs are parallel to the floor.

Make sure knees do not go beyond your toe line unless advised otherwise by your trainer/coach.

Extend your legs through your hips and knees to return to the starting position.

Exercise #2: Walking lunges

Technique cues:

Starts with a shoulder-width stance.

Hold a barbell on top of your scapulae.

Begin by stepping one leg forward, landing on your heel. Make sure that the step is not so large that you lose your balance.

When the entire foot makes contact with the floor, flex at your knees and hips until the top of the front thigh is parallel to the floor.

The back knee should be approximately 1 inch (2.5 cm) above the floor.

Aim to keep the knee in line with the second and third toe of the lead foot.

Do note extend your knee past the toes.

Forcefully pushes back with your back leg to return to the starting position.

Repeats the movement with your other leg.

Exercise #3: Box Jumps

Technique cues:

Stand behind a 30-45cm box with feet hip-width and toes pointed forward.

Jump up onto the box with both feet, keeping your landing soft and quiet.

Step off the box and repeat the exercise.

Exercise #4: Hurdle Hop

Technique cues:

Set up a row of hurdles or other small barriers, placing them a few feet apart.

Stand in front of the first hurdle with your feet shoulder-width apart.

Begin by jumping with both feet over the first hurdle, swinging both arms as you jump.

Absorb the impact of landing by bending the knees, rebounding out of the first leap by jumping over the next hurdle. Continue until you have jumped over all of the hurdles.

MAST Fitness is a gym which offers a 10-session training programme in speed and conditioning for athletes. To find out more, visit