The simple answer is, yes, yes it is time to do something. So, in the first couple posts I discussed setting the right goal and getting yourself on the right foot. Any athlete will tell you that without the right base, you have have nothing to build on. Now it’s time to build you up. For you veterans, this is part of the build phase of periodazation. Whether you are going to start swimming, running, biking, or lift, you must start slow. Some of you are just getting out off season and others just off the couch. Either way, you DO NOT want to go all in right away. This means holding off on that treadmill, bike, gym pass, P90X, or Insanity purchase. You may ask, “But Joe, I’ve got kids, a wife, a job, going back to school, etc. and those videos promise results in only 20-30mins a day. Why should I put aside an hour 3-4 days a week when I can get it all done in 20mins a day 7 days a week for a month?” Well, because you’ll end up in the hospital and be back to the way you are about 2-3months after you stop the videos, if you even get through any of them.
First, we just need to gain some mobility and help our bodies adjust to the new regimen. This may mean spending 45 mins on stretching and only 10 on some type of cardio. This includes ironman competitors as well. So, go out and get yourself a decent pair of athletic shoes and lace them up, but be careful of going out too hard too quickly. I don’t care if you were an all state running back in high school. If you haven’t been that active in the last 5-10 years, you’re basically starting over. I suggest about 5 mins of active stretching and mobility work with a band or stick. No need to over do it. Just get your heart rate up a bit and utilize the warm-up to make what you’re about to undertake safer. Then, go for a very SLOW jog, row, elliptical, nordic track, bike ride, whatever. Try to choose something on the low impact side of things until your body adapts. Maybe you’ll make it around the block or around the whole neighborhood. Everybody is different. Just take it easy. When you get back home walk for about 5mins to get your heart rate down. Then, take a good long while to stretch. Look up a bunch of routines on the internet and get videos from YouTube. Take a shower and then eat. Done.
Second, keeping focus and just getting out that door can be as tough as what I laid out for you above. We’ve all done this before, and that first time is always great. The second time is a little less great, and then so on and so forth until that pair of running shoes ends up in the corner. You need to find something to motivate you before you even start. For some people that goal you set or race you entered will be enough, but for others, the smallest goals will mean the most. What is going to get me out that door? For me, it’s podcasts and training routines. For others it could be just being out in nature, walking their dogs, meeting people, listening to music, catching up on an audio book series, or even getting away from the wife and kids. No matter what it is, that small piece of daily motivation is what’s actually going to keep you going.
Third, keep track of how you feel. You’re going through a lot right now and so is your body. If you’ve been following this blog, then you’ve changed up your attitude, your eating, and now your activity level. That’s a lot of change even though it doesn’t feel like it. Try to start using a journal or maybe start checking out some online utilities to help log workouts and activities.
So, get up and get moving…