Saturday, December 13, 2014

Obstacle runs, boot camps and other madness!

I've just caught the end of a programme about the London "Survival of the fittest" obstacle run. It's a 10K run with a difference. Running through drains, streams, over hay bales, under wires and nets. Name an obstacle and it's probably in the race.

The best part about the whole things was the obvious fun everyone was having. Even the elite competitors had big smiles of their faces. Oh to be younger, more agile and considerably fitter! I suspect I might not even make it over the first hurdle in such a race. Interestingly, this sort of outdoor exercise is probably far better than working out in the confines of a gym. Every muscle group is put through its paces and worked hard. you are constantly climbing, crawling, pushing, lifting and moving in ways that are typical human movement patterns. No isolated exercises, just all-round movement requiring to shift your own body weight, nothing more, nothing less. It reminds me of the principle espoused by Mark Sissons in his Primal blueprint stuff about walking more, running sometimes, lifting heavy things from time to time or however he describes it. The idea is simple, exercise in a way that mimics what you do normally.

Of course, if normal is sitting on the sofa watching endless drivel on the TV, then things will need to change. But let's assume we all know that being a couch potato is not what we were designed to be.

I've just finished my 100-day challenge to move the equivalent of 5 miles a day every day. I'm currently on day 104 by the way! This is a good start if your goal is simply to be healthy, to maintain a healthy cardiovascular system. So now I'm beginning to think about what to do next. What to add to my routine. I'm thinking of planning my own variation of a boot camp. I've done some interval training before and I like being outside and doing primary body weight based exercise. I'm hoping I might be able to find a training partner. I think it will make some things easier, and it certainly helps with the motivation.

Watching the obstacle run made me wish I was able to do that sort of thing, but it also made me think about what I can do, or what I might be able to do. It's easy to wish away your fitness goals on the basis of what you can't do today. It's much harder to put a plan into place and get out there and do it.

So, over the next couple of weeks I'l work on a plan. I was going to say "perhaps I'll work on a plan", but that's a get out clause and is really just another way of saying I'd like to, but I know I won't.

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