The Sprint


By: Mark Lamb

From growing up in the church— the first time I heard of “Cross Training” I assumed it was a combination of Bible drill and a blitz evangelism strategy.

But as I step more into accepting myself as a runner— I am learning terms and training things I haven’t been aware of prior. But I am embracing my role in life and fitness. I am taking responsibility for my health and future. I am a runner.

That said— I read a lot of different things on how to be a better runner. Sometimes I try exactly what it tells me— and other times I combine the ideas.

Three things I have read recently— cross training, speed work and barefoot running.

So a few Mondays ago— I tricked a good friend of mine into waking up early, driving to a football field, and doing sprints— all under the assumption that this is a good idea.

Now— before I tell you how it went— you need to know a few things about me.

1. I am 31 years old and I do a little happy dance every time I touch my toes without a grimace. 

2. I haven’t run “sprints” since I was 17 years old as a senior in High School playing football.

3. I don’t do anything in life without shoes on because I think everyone's feet are gross— including my own.

4. I have never won the “Hustle Award” in anything in life.

Back to the sprints.

We decided we would do 80% of our sprint speed. Which would translate for most a light jog.

I took my shoes off and the wet football field felt awesome on my feet. I wanted to take my shirt off to really take myself back to high school days— but that would have been embarrassing for anyone watch the Jell-O man run.

We stretched for a long time— then decided to start running.

We ran 50 yards the first sprint. I liked the way it made me feel and my lungs weren't bad.

My legs felt like what you assume a new born pony feels when they start wobbling around the farm immediately after birth.

We ran a few more 50s. I was starting to not like it.

I need to tell you about who I was running with before I get to far.

Dan does Insanity about every 12 hours. He eats Paleo. He is a killer on the basketball court. And he is faster than me.

After the 50s we decided to do 100s. We did two before we were both laying on the ground.

Dan told me we had been running for a collective 6 minutes at this point…

We jumped into a ladder drill.

This means you run to a line— turn around to where you came from— then immediately run back past the line to the next line— back to the start— and you keep going like this until you are ready to lose your breakfast.

The ladder was the end for me.

But Dr. Dan prescribed 2 more 50s— which I did.

After this— 9 minutes of running complete and a 30 minute non moving lay on the tennis court— I was ready for my day.

Later in the same day I knew I was in trouble. My IT bands were screaming— my thighs felt like lead— and my feet— oh Lord what had I done to my feet.

All this to say— I was worried about walking the next day.

It is several weeks later now and I still feel like I am recovering. But have I learned my lesson? No.

Training is more fun when you just go for it!

Mark is a creative, an instigator, and humorist living in Athens, GA. He has served with Connect Ministries as the leader of the WinShape Camps Experience Team for sometime. He is a reluctant runner-- only running with others because he always quits and sides with snacks when fronted with running alone. Mark likes to call himself a "marathoner" since he completed one.  Follow Mark on twitter @marktlamb