In case you need inspiration, you could read the article linked to the photo above.
For those of you who didn't notice that the title of this post has two S's in it, I want to clarify that I'm not advocating a method of running really fast from one place to another. Instead, I'm explaining the advantages I see to rapidly repeating the same action.
When I roll through life doing my same-as-always things at my-same-as-every-day pace, I can get into a rut. There is not a single groove in the earth through which my body moves, but it can start to feel that way. Once a bowling ball enters the gutter, it's not likely to jump back out into useful territory again.
When I push myself to change my pace from I-can-do-this-easily to what-if-I can't-keep-up, I force myself to figure out new approaches to life. The push makes the change.
Okay, so now that I'm writing, I guess this post is about actually running sprints, but it's not only about that. True enough, the theory behind a lot of training is to incorporate sprints into workouts in order to get one's body used to moving faster than is comfortable. But that wasn't what I had in mind for this essay. I came up with this idea during my solo cross-country drive last summer. In four days of driving (plus a two-day stop in Chicago to visit with family and friends), I went from Connecticut to San Diego... and two days before the voyage, I drove from Maine to Connecticut, so make of that what you will. All of our Maine trips (four-and-a-half hours) felt long to me before this road trip.
The first day of my solo tour, which lasted fourteen hours because of construction in Ohio, felt quite long. On the subsequent days, I usually went five or even six hours without stopping. By forcing myself to go past what was easy, I changed my brain's experience of the drive. In the last two days, I was thinking of the last four-and-a-half hours of each leg as "only one CT-to-ME distance" to go. It became a mere nothing.
I try to write every day, but sometimes I allow myself to tap out after ten minutes of work. Given this lightbulb idea about resetting my internal clock with sprints, I am going to force myself to stay with the work for twenty or thirty minutes every day for a week to see if I can reset. Please keep your proverbial fingers crossed for me.
Have you ever tried to reset your limits with sprints? Please share any stories or suggestions in the comments.