Get Off The Couch Ya Lazy Bum

running manHave you run today? No?

How about yesterday? No?

Are you sick, injured, in jail or otherwise physically incapable of running? Really? Or are you just saying it as an excuse?

If you haven’t run today or yesterday and you’re physically capable of running, then get of the couch ya lazy bum and go for a run. Just go for a quick one around your block, it’ll take you a couple of minutes.

If you’re out of breath, you’re running too hard. Just keep it easy and drop to a walk if you have to, then go back to running when you’ve got your breath back.

These last three days I’ve been sick. Day 71 I was really sick. It was terribly unpleasant to run, but I did it anyway. Why? Because I said I would and because being fit is important to me. It’s what keeps me from getting too sick or often even avoid sickness in the first place. Getting sick this time round was inevitable, I work from home and both my wife and baby son are sick. When the wife is sick, I look after the baby more, but with him constantly dribbling everywhere and putting his hands everywhere, it was inevitable that I’d get sick.

Lymph fluid carries the white blood cells and is your body’s main defense against sickness when it enters your system. Lymph is moved around by the action of your muscles. Therefore, moving (eg running) helps your body fight sickness before it gets too bad.

Word of caution: never run when you have a chest infection – there’s an increased risk of pneumonia.

Anyway, back to you and your laziness… Are you still here? I thought I told you to go for a run! Oh I beg your pardon, you’ve already been. My bad 🙂 Good work on your running – keep it up.

When I was running these last few days I got annoyed at all the people that are overweight (excluding people with real medical issues). While I wasn’t too far overweight, I’ve lost 20 kg this year through running. Down to a very healthy 90 kg. Yes it’s healthy: I’m 195 cm tall. So there. lol.

I was annoyed that there are so many fat people in Australia, where we have incredible weather almost all year round, and people just sit on their fat arse and drink beer all day. I guarantee you’ll keep to the daily recommended maximum of 2 beers if you know you’re running the next day!

Wake up people! It’s not normal to live that way. It’s not normal to feel so sluggish all the time, have no energy, completely lose your motivation, be uncomfortable in hot weather or be ashamed of your body. Yes, I know you’re ashamed. It’s ok to be ashamed; you’ve terrorized your body long enough that you should feel ashamed. I was so ashamed I did something about it.

Less than a year ago I couldn’t run more than 2 km at a time. Now I’ve run double that every day for 73 consecutive days. I’ve run a marathon, half marathon, 14km race and 10km race. I have a lot more energy and get sick far less. My sleep is of a much higher quality and my motivation, focus and productivity are better than they have been since I left lawschool.

It doesn’t take much. You just have to look really hard at yourself and shout enough is enough! I deserve better than I’m giving myself! Enough of the self-abuse!

Then get out and run.

No one is judging you when you run. I have found out that anyone who sees me running in what was originally an extremely ungainly fashion (and now is only slightly less ungainly) either thinks nothing of it (they’re too wrapped up in their own stuff to worry about judging you) or they think “I wish I could be a runner” or “I don’t have what it takes to be a runner”. Yes, I’ve actually had people say that to me as I slowly overtook them when they were walking.

Lol early on, one lady said “I wish I could be a jogger too” to me when I finally passed her after trailing her for 3 km on a run around Herdsman Lake. I had assured her I wasn’t trying to stalk her, I was just trying to keep my heart rate at a certain level (the same level I now run 6:40 average pace at). I was extremely embarrassed at my 10:00 min/km pace, but her response floored me.

You can do it. Heck if I can do it after an operation (13 years ago) where they told me I’d never run again, you can do it.

Just start slow, pick a goal and build up to it.

As far as running form, check out this quirky video of a kid running: she has great form. If you want more detail, check out any of the Pose, Chi or Evolution techniques. I found the Evolution Running DVD to be most helpful of the lot, particularly as it had more examples, goes deeper into the physics of good running form and also covers form on hills.

One thing you probably didn’t learn at school: running is fun. You don’t have to sprint every time you run. Slow down til you can breathe easily and if it gets too much, take a short walking break. Start small, with just a lap of your block and if on any day you feel inspired to go further, go for it! Try to only have one day off a week. You’re not doing anything too strenuous, so your body can handle it. And it’ll keep your motivation high for a lot longer,  you’ll see quicker results and end up feeling a lot better about yourself if you run 6 times a week.

What’s that? You’re so busy you don’t have time? Do you watch tv? Surf the internet, play games or hang out on facebook? I’m literally only talking about 10 minutes a day to start with. You’ll be going so slow you may not even raise a sweat, so you don’t need to jump straight in the shower, if you’re really tight for time.

Just go and run. Force yourself to do it until you enjoy it. Which I promise you will.

Ok. So after all that… today I ran 4.49 km in the 30 minutes at an average pace of 6:41 mins/km, average heart rate of 149 bpm.

I followed that up with 3 km in 22:43, at an average pace of 7:34, average heart rate of 151 bpm.

All in all a pretty good run for the way I’m feeling 🙂

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