The Weapons Platform: Shut Up, Get Dressed, and Get Moving
For those of you who have done the basics already, congratulations!
For those of you who haven't, here's the checklist:
1) Get a complete physical, including a cardiac stress test. Tell your doc you are starting a fitness program, and ask him also to update your immunizations.
2) Get an eye exam, including glaucoma test, and replace those old lenses with your current prescription.
3) Go to the dentist, get an exam, and get started on the patches you need in your choppers. No sense dying of some funky bacteria that move from your nasty teeth or gums to your heart valves.
4) Lay out a rolling two-mile road course near your home.
We're going to start slowly and build a little each day. To do that, a stopwatch will be very helpful.
Go on and get suited up. I'll wait here.
Let's deal with the whining first.
A) It's gonna hurt: Yup. That's what OTC pain relievers are designed to aid. Get some, take a dose 30 minutes before working out, and drink lots of water - before and after.
B) I can't run two miles: Yup. But you can walk at a brisk pace - count cadence as "left one-thousand, left one-thousand" and you'll be moving right along.
And I'll bet you can even run 100 yards, then brisk walk 200 yards, then run another 100 yards, then walk again, and so forth.
Look at you! You're doing fartleks and you didn't even know it.
C) What's the point? I'll spare you the Red Dawn scenarios, which frankly don't motivate me on a "get your butt out and run" level, even though I know the Crunch is coming.
What does motivate me is a near-term risk of public humiliation, so I arrange such things so as to give me an incentive to do what I don't really like to do.
In this case, it's the Atlanta Half-Marathon on November 23, 2007. I have not been in running shape in more than a decade (I completed the full NYC Marathon in 1995), and the only difference between starting for the first time and now is that I know that it can be done.
The public humiliation part begins tonight when I share that my time for 2 miles (1 mile downhill, 1 mile back up) was a stunning 27:53 - mostly brisk walking.
But I did it.
And I will do it tomorrow night.
And I will keep on doing it until that damned rubber tree plant falls.
So should you.
Make the commitment today to getting your weapons platform in better shape for what is coming.
Only you can do it. And unfortunately, there's no way to buy a more capable platform - you have to build it yourself, over time.
Here's how I'll be training on the running side. The miles will increase after the first six weeks as I build up my fitness base.
You don't have to go and start training for a half-marathon.
But you should commit to moving as fast as you can along your two-mile course at least three times a week.
We'll have some other thoughts soon on other forms of physical training you should consider as part of your preparations.
At most, it will take 6 hours a week.
You might even like it.