Is it possible to be fit while being completely out of shape? Perhaps that is a contradiction in definition, but lately I’ve been feeling that way.
Random aches and pains.
Localized malfunctions during runs.
Struggles with getting my hydration and electrolyte balance just right.
I’ve been pushing myself pretty hard along this running fitness path for a few solid years and it’s netted some amazing things, but the other side of that lucky coin has been some pretty hard core damage to other bits and pieces of my body.
As we plan for a winter beach vacation and I look down the barrel of age forty, now just a year and a bit away, I’ve been contemplating how to balance out the super-endurance, super-fit awesomeness of running with the increasingly frequent breakdowns of this aging organic shell.
It’s more than food. More than eating. More than tweaking. It’s a lifestyle change… yet again.
And summer seems like a great time to contemplate hacking the process yet again. Simple hacks. Realistic hacks. Hacks to the way I think about living that have compound results that can last a lifetime if implemented properly. It’s not magic: it’s behavior adaptation towards the positive.
Part 1: Target Acquired
Right now, I want to start thinking about three different, but interconnected body hacks, each of them tough, but I think with some simple mental reprogramming that I can go a long way with each.
Flexibility – Improving my muscle function and elasticity through improving my flexibility. I’m going to need to do a lot more reading in the coming weeks. I’m not even sure how to evaluate improvements in this.
Nutrition – Eating and drinking a lot better. I need to balance my diet, reduce my caffeine intake, manage all those sapping micronutrients, and –y’know– generally eat like a grown up with more veggies and less simple sugars. Oh, and definitely more liquids. All that good stuff: we’ve been here before.
And then the big one:
Strength – What has me worried is that a lot of these aches and pains are due to me neglecting basic strength over the last couple years. I’m not talking about getting buff, but simply that core strength and general muscle mass balance ties to all sorts of the little things that have hobbled me in the past year. I’m thinking of setting up a basic program to follow. And it’s probably going to hurt a bit at first.
The SMART goals — simple, measurable achievable, realistic, and time-linked — will follow in coming articles. Stay tuned.