Thursday, February 7, 2013


Anyone who has trained for a running event-no matter what the distance-has probably heard of, if not done, interval training.  Interval training is simply alternating bursts of intense activity (like sprinting) with intervals of lighter activity (like jogging or walking).  In layman's terms-it is going back and forth from going really fast to going slow.  Since I am not sure when my next marathon or race will be -I have decided to try some new training techniques.  Running intervals has become my new favorite training day! 

Interval training is improving my over all cardiovascular output for long runs.  It also trains my body and mind on when and how to conserve energy and when to open up the throttle and push myself to be faster for a final "kick" at the end of the race.  You also burn more calories in this type of training-which helps me stay within running weight ( my love of chocolate and food in general magnifies this need to do intervals!).  

On Monday - I went for an interval training run.  I had a crazy busy day and the week was just going to get busier-never mind what the whole month looked like!  As I ran I was struck with how running intervals is a lot like life.  Sometimes we are sprinting-just trying to keep up, we have deadlines, projects to go see, staff to meet with, visitors to host-kids to take care of, meals to cook...the list goes on and on!  And then there are times when we slow down, we sit at the beach for an afternoon with friends and family, watch a movie, read a book-even sit on the porch and watch the sunset..or catch a little nap on the chopper!

 One of my favorite places to rest...

Like interval training-in life, we need to have both to improve our longevity and impact.  If all we did was sprint through life -going a million miles an hour with our hair on fire-we wouldn't last...we would eventually keel over in exhaustion, or as society calls it, "burnout".  If we just walked slowly through life, we would maybe miss the opportunities God has put in our lives to move forward. In a practical sense, we would get nothing done!

 Busy day on the field-meeting beneficiaries at a fish pond harvest

God has given us many examples in His Word of people who rested when they needed to - and sprinted when God needed them to.  Jesus spent time praying and resting -He also went on for days walking from town to town preaching, healing and meeting people.  Moses literally sprinted out of Egypt-went and became a shepard, a time of rest. Then God called him to go back to Egypt where he once again literally sprinted leading the people of Israel out of slavery.  Sometimes our interval of rest is long-sometimes it feels like it's not long enough.  In our work here-I feel like I am sprinting all the time-when in reality God is providing 'little' rest intervals for me everyday.  

 Hard work through the farming season=being able to rest and enjoy the harvest!

God knows what we need to run and finish the race He has set before us.  Much like a marathon-if we want to finish we have to know how to train-we have to incorporate intervals-little burst of fast and slow running to help us get through the longer race.  At last year's London marathon-I used this method to help run what has been my best marathon to date (granted I have only run 3!).  I ran for 9 min.  and walked for  1 minute.  In the end my last 10km -the last 6.2 miles that are usually the hardest, slowest and most painful-was fastest, best and most enjoyable. 

I have learned that to finish a marathon race and the marathon of life-you need to train and live a life of 'intervals'.   Know when to rest and know when to sprint!

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