When it comes to physical training, I'm a big believer in the sprint over the marathon. Sprinting increases muscle mass and is not as hard on your joints. Besides, look at the body of a marathoner vs a sprinter!
But when it comes to writing, I've always been a marathoner. In it for the long haul, taking a little bit at a time, plodding along every day whether I've felt like it or not. I enjoyed the process, and even when I had a less than stellar writing day, I always figured my ideas were just brewing and my writing would be better the next day (which it usually was). I know many sprint writers--writers that take months off at a stretch and then come back with lots of time and energy and zeal for their projects, but that has never been me.
In this last season of life, though, I've transitioned into more of a sprint writer. I could say that I've "had to," but I believe we always have choices. To be honest, I don't like it. I don't like myself as a writer this way. I feel like the people who always make excuses of why they aren't getting to the gym. Always looking to "the next big break in their lives" when they'll have time for it. And besides that, my brain just works better as a marathoner. If I have my story in my head every day, even if I only get a few hundred words down on it, at least it's still brewing. At least my mind has opportunities to find solutions to literary problems. When I come back to another "sprint" of writing, I feel so much pressure to be writing while I have this time I've set aside that I don't feel like I have the space to sit back and ponder. I write through things because I have to, but to me they feel mediocre. And worse, I don't expect more from myself the next day.
Are you a marathon or a sprint writer? I'd be interested to hear if you're a sprint writer, why it works for you.