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Less Is More

“I’d like to see you cut it down to no more than a mile.”

That’s what my doctor told me when we talked about my running goals. He was happy to see me exercising more… but not with the way I was doing it.

My doc and I are about the same age. But, physically, that’s about all we have in common. He’s fit and has a body fat percentage that would make a weightlifter drool. Heck, he climbed Kilimanjaro a couple of years ago. In his mid-50’s.

You’d think such a healthy guy would be thrilled when I started running again. But he wasn’t. When it comes to working out, he’s all about intensity. And from the start, he’s tried to encourage me to run less distance… but harder.

Actually, my doctor’s a little like my old track coach. I was a two-miler in high school, but Coach had us running a lot of sprint workouts. Less distance, higher intensity. Doc’s message was ringing a bell.

Turns out it makes good sense, too. At least now that I’ve done some reading. Short bursts of high-intensity exercise builds up your heart and lungs. Hours and hours of jogging can’t get you the same results.

So I’ve been focusing on intensity as much as distance. I haven’t been able to convince myself to drop my shorter workouts down to a mile of flat-out sprints. But I’m running 2- and 3-mile sprint workouts a couple of times a week.

Doc thinks it’s a good start.

(Note: I didn’t just go out and run a lot of sprints. I sat down with my doctor and talked about exercise. You should, too… especially if you’re out of shape.)

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