An Old Guy Running on Signal Mountain, Tennessee (part 12 of the Old Guy sprinting series)

Odds & Ends: Why I enjoy Sprinting more than Distance Running

I started interval running (sprinting) over two years ago. One of the things I like best about interval running is that there is almost no trail difficulty that I cannot handle. I run in short bursts – from thirty seconds up to maybe two minutes, then I walk until I am rested enough to run again.

Bruce and Kerry on Signal Mountain

Recently I spent a long weekend on Signal Mountain, near Chattanooga, Tennessee. My wife, Kerry, and I were visiting my sister and her husband. Earlier in the year my daughter had visited and while there had gone for an eight mile run on North Palisades Road. This is a winding road with lots of steep grades. It runs along a ridgeline overlooking the Sequatchie Valley. Every step of this road offers amazing views of the valley, even more so because it was the peak of the fall colors.

My son, David, who is a second lieutenant in the Army, was able to drive up from his post at Fort Benning, Georgia and spend the weekend with us. David, Kerry, and I got up early Sunday morning for a challenging North Palisades run. David graduated from West Point, and while there was on the Army Track and Field team. Needless to say, running challenging hills is not a problem for him. Kerry just returned from running a half marathon in San Francisco. Running long distances and hills is not a problem for her either, though the inclines of the North Palisades road did push her running skills to their limit.

Me, I run in short sprints. There is no way I could run any kind of distance on a mountain ridge, and if I tried, it would have been agony. Instead, for almost five miles, I ran 100 or 200 meters, and then I walked until I was ready to run again. Here is the important part. While I was walking I looked at the incredible views and really enjoyed the visual spectacular that I was blessed with that day. It was great fun being able to run such an amazing road, even more so in being able to stop every minute or so to experience the wonder all around me.

Father and son on the edge of Signal Mountain

David and Kerry finished their run much earlier than I did. Cresting the final hill I expected to see them relaxed, taking pictures, or maybe just looking out over the valley. Instead I found them doing sit ups and push ups. This adding core and upper body strengthening to their morning workout. I did not feel particularly compelled to join them, because my sprint technique incorporates core and upper body conditioning during my runs. (Needless to say, but I will say it anyways, my workouts are a much more efficient form of exercise.)

After our run it was time for pictures and breakfast. Does food ever taste good after a morning workout! Running on a mountain ridge. Wow, what a great way to start a day.

To read about another adventure on Signal Mountain, go here.

To read part 11 of “An Old Guy Working Out: Sprinting vs. Jogging,” go here.

To read part 13 of “An Old Guy Working Out: Sprinting vs. Jogging,” go here.