As autumn settles in where I am, I’ve been looking ahead to winter with longer nights, brisk days, etc.. I also looked back at the shape I’ve been in in years past. I’m not lamenting, “if only I had my youth back.” Rather, just thinking about health, movement, and what would be the minimum effective dosage of some exercise to move me in the direction I want. (That DuckDuckGo link should make you wonder why a medical-sounding phrase is used most relating to exercise not medicine, and strength training in particular.)
Sometimes—by which I mean any time running comes up—I say that running is both the best thing for me, and the form of activity I hate most. Both of which are untrue. What’s actually best for me is zone-2 aerobic exercise and that’s sometimes what I get when I run. It’s best for me, because that is the main driver of base fitness until you get well up into being a competent athlete. But usually, being quite over-weight at the moment, any running drives my heart-rate above the surprisingly low/slow zone-2. The second part about hating it is also untrue. It turns out that one time—the one single day apparently—that I was ever in shape, I enjoyed running. I was walking, the weather was beautiful, and I had an irresistible urge to run, (and so I did.) But, literally, that happened once.
Anyway. It’ll suffice to say: I spent a few weeks recently thinking about going full-on nerd with zone-2 training. To do it right requires planning, scheduling, and—sources vary—between 150 to 180 minutes exercising each week. And warm-up and cool-down time are not included in those weekly times. Honestly, the deal-breaker was I’m seriously pissed at FitBit, (and their watches are useless without a FitBit account,) and I refuse to spend many-hundreds on an Apple watch. Also, my $30 Timex is nicer, for my definition of “nicer.”
My thinking continued, and eventually I thought: I should just walk back from Mordor.
…except this time I’m not going to bother trying to track the actual mileage. Just walk as many days as I can. Listen to some podcasts some of the time. And basically just stroll along thinking, “If this isn’t nice…“