The thing about sprinting

Is that it’s efficient, and not sustainable.

The fastest cheetah in the world was clocked running 100m in 5.95 seconds, almost 4 seconds faster than Usain Bolt’s world record of 9.58 seconds.

Incredibly efficient for chasing down food, and certainly not sustainable, which is why cheetahs are known for their long rest periods.

Or take interval training, widely regarded as one of the most efficient ways to improve fitness. No matter the distance or time domain, an interval session will inevitably look something like this:

Sprint. Recover.
Sprint. Recover.
Sprint. Recover.  

All of this to highlight two things:

  1. The benefits of sprinting. You can get a lot done in a short amount of time.

    Try it on a project, new business or creative endeavour. Pick one thing and sprint for an hour, a day, or a week, and see how much progress you can make. Chances are you’ll surprise yourself.

  2. Intentional recovery. You simply cannot sprint forever.

    Just as important as sprinting is making time to actively and intentionally recover. To carve out time away from your project, new business or creative endeavour. 

It’s easy to trick ourselves into thinking recovery is counterproductive or a sign of weakness. Easy to tell ourselves we can keep going, keep working and keep pushing through.

Try telling that to a cheetah.