I’m not “old” yet, but I am getting older, and sometimes I feel it. I guess that’s the way it is for everyone.
That’s not the point of this post however. One way that I’ve been ‘feeling my age’ recently is how it relates to staying in shape. I used to be able to push myself pretty hard, running, lifting weights, etc. I could self-motivate pretty easily, with not much in the way of external feedback. Just go do it and work hard.
In recent years, I’ve noticed it’s been getting a lot harder to do that. Working a regular 9-5 (8-5?) and not having a gym right at work makes it a lot more difficult to stick with a workout and not skip or cut things short.
This was something I decided needs to be changed. I’ve always thought if you are having problems motivating yourself to workout, you should do one of two things. First is to try to find a source or two of motivation (duh). The second is to reduce the obstacles in your way that demotivate you. If it’s hard to get to the gym, work out at home.
I decided to apply this to my life by running more. As long as there isn’t ice on the ground, you can pretty much go out and run. One obstacle removed. The other aspect of it is to find a motivational tool to inspire me to push harder. It’s been a simple, but not cheap, thing. A lot of people run with their phones and use the GPS function. I never liked the idea of running with a big ass arm band and as a result, I had to pay a $200 penalty: a GPS watch.
The thing is pretty simple, but it keeps track of my pace, distance, and steps per minute. By becoming aware of these three metrics and no longer estimating how fast I was running, I shaved off about 2 minutes per mile on my pace, and pushed my distance up quite a bit. I’m happy to say I’m running close to the paces and distances I ran in high school, 20 years and 40 pounds ago. Which is to say, I can do about 2 miles in the time it used to take Mike to run 3.