First, know what kind of shape you are in. This is the surface stuff. I'm 52 years old, (but not for much longer!) quite a bit over-weight, and prone to fatigue and stubborn over-training. This is stuff I know about myself. Some of it is quite obvious, but some of it is the fruit of hard lessons learned from past mistakes.
One other thing: physical exercise and running in particular are the core of my treatment plan for my mental health. When I don't run, I get depressed. When I get depressed, I don't feel like running. And so the bipolar monster feeds itself.
When I stack all this data together, I come to some conclusions:
- My program must involve frequent, moderate workouts that give me the emotional boost I need without wearing me out so badly that I have to take a long break to recover.
- Frequent recovery days are as important as workout days... maybe more so.
- I have a tendency to push myself hard, so I need a disciplined approach to workouts that allows me to test my limits without breaking myself down.
And that is step one in program building. Step two is a little more introspective. Why do I run, and what do I hope to achieve? I'll take a look at those questions in our next installment. Till then...
Eat clean, Lift heavy, Run hard, Sleep well.