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What Can Sprinters Teach Us About Life?

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Some say that life is a marathon and not a sprint. I completely disagree. Life is not a marathon – Life is a series of sprints…..

Let me explain. When I ran my first marathon last spring, it was NOT PRETTY. If you saw me 2, 3 and 4 hours into it, you would be not be impressed (or motivated to run a marathon). I was sluggish, moving slow and barely lifting my feet. Now, I could fake it for a couple of minutes when I saw people I knew cheering me on (thanks guys!!! – you know who you are), but I was tired, in pain and dying inside wanting to stop. Does this sound like a fun way to live your life?

NO WAY

Now think about sprinting. The best part about sprinting is that you get to go really fast, and you stop before you really get tired (have you seen the 100 m sprinters after a race? They are barely sweating and nobody ever lies on the ground in exhaustion). That looks WAY MORE FUN to me.

So, what can this teach us about life, health and exercise?

Research shows that interval training is way more effective than long duration moderate intensity exercise. What is interval training? A quick burst of high intensity, followed by a long rest / recovery – sounds like sprinting to me.

Research also shows that mentally we fatigue with about 54 minutes of hard mental focus, and the only way to get it back is to get up and move and take a break. So even mentally it is better to go hard, and then take a break or recover – sounds like a mental sprint.

Every day we wake up, go hard at it fulfilling all our obligations, and then fall into bed ready to rest and recover – sounds like a daily sprint to me.

Life is a series of sprints, broken into small ones within your day, your day, your week and your year. That’s what weekends and vacations are for… recovery.

Did you know?

After exercising you are in WORSE shape than when you started… you only get better and fitter the night and day after. It’s the RECOVERY after that makes us better.

The key here is the recovery. You MUST RECOVER. Without rest and recovery, you will break down.

You can apply this to all aspects of your life. It is one of the best things that I have done for my health and well-being in years.

A couple of years ago I was working long hours at 2 different practices, 2 young kids at home, and was getting a new practice up and off the ground every night after the kids went to bed – I was trying to do it all. Every couple of months I would get these mysterious 24-48 ‘Flu-like illness’ that would wipe me out, making me miss time from work and family.

I realized I was burnt out. I realized I was cutting out the important things that were essential to my health – sleep and recovery.

Since committing to taking care of myself I have not had one of those mysterious burn out sessions in almost 3 years.

The difference?

I now sprint and recover!

If you have a friend or family member who needs to hear this message, please go a head and share.

If you have any questions or are looking for more specific strategeies please email DrRob@pricehealth.ca

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