For the Record

One of the things that keep me interested in a hobby or any sort of activity is the idea that I can get ‘better’ at it or see signs of progress. This is why I’ve enjoyed getting back into running.

As part of my prep for my middle-class obstacle course, I’ve done a whole bunch of running – much more than I’ve done in quite some time. Thanks to modern technology (which isn’t really that modern at all) I can keep tabs of just how far I’m running and how fast I’m running too. I’m currently using RunKeeper and for what I need, it’s pretty good. It’s also allowed me to say, categorically, that I’ve got better at running.

Sadly I didn’t bother keeping tabs of my first runs. The way I measured them was simply by weighing the amount of lung I coughed up after 20 minutes. Once I was coughing up less than 50 grams of bronchi, that’s when I busted out the high tech equipment (my phone with a free app installed) and I also decided to keep better track of what I was lifting at the gym.

As you can see, these two pictures aren’t impressive. This isn’t the sort of stuff that’s going to cause Mo Farah or Brian Shaw* sleepless nights but what it does show is progress.

This was always the number one three six problem in my previous attempts at getting fitter. I’d never record my workouts, I didn’t see any progress and instead, I’d expect to ‘feel better’ or ‘see’ changes within a month of starting. Whilst some people might get a sense of ‘feeling better’ or even be lucky enough to notice physical changes to themselves, I never got this.

This meant that after 4 weeks of blindly running or lifting weights (not literally – that’d be dangerous) I wasn’t able to tell if I was doing better. Now I’m much stricter on recording what I do because it’s really the only way I stay motivated. To see the distance I’ve run slowly go up and to see the amount I’m lifting increase too – that’s what keeps me going.

So my tip would be to stop looking in the mirror and start looking in your log books. That’s where you’ll see the progress first.

*I Googled ‘World’s Strongest Man’ and this name came up.**
**I watched a video of Mr. Shaw – he seems legit.

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