Survivorman tips: I use them for preparing for a race.

Ha!  You are thinking to yourself – How does Survivorman, trekking through the wilderness compare to running a race? It’s not a big leap and is a great metaphor for life. TV binge watching can bring some great perspectives when you weren’t expecting them. Survivorman Saturday, what a great TV binge!

Survivorman AKA Les Stroud (http://www.lesstroud.ca/survivorman/) shows us how he stays alive in the wilderness.  He uses wit, planning and sometimes just good luck. Sometimes when you are running a race, that’s about all you can think of.. staying alive and finishing.  Now that’s a bit dramatic, but you get the point.

Mr. Stroud, in one episode told the story of an experienced hiker, out for a day trip and never came back because he FORGOT several key tips  that you should NEVER forget, no matter who you are and your skill level.

Survivorman Tips:

  1. Are you physically fit for what you are doing?  This certainly applies to running.  We have heard stories about people getting injured and even dying because they are not at the fitness level for the activity.
  2. Do you have the right gear?  He was talking about something warm, good hiking boots, tent, etc.  I’m talking about shoes that fit, clothes that don’t rub and the ever wonderful glide for those spots that like to rub (ouch).  Additionally, do you have hydration and nutrition available – all “gear” to a runner.
  3. Know your route and go with what you know – sometimes the path of least resistance can be your downfall.  Survivorman was talking about looking down a steep incline and thinking you could get down faster (and risking a fall or worse).  I am talking about speeding up on those downhills to catch up on your time and then wondering why your quads are fried and your knees hurt at the end? Also knowing your route will help you a) get to the race – oh yes, I fell into that trap.  Living about 20 minutes from one of my races, Miss Smartypants (AKA – me) thought she could just dash right over – duh… check the road closures that were up for the full marathon and bike race… It’s not just about your personal race….Sigh… (P.S. I did make it for the second wave of runners). Also know your running route, you’ll know the ups and downs better so you are prepared.
  4. Last – do you have the will to survive?  Survivorman says those with a strong will to live generally do survive, because they will take the time needed to figure things out and not panic or give up. Ok, so this may be a little bit over the top for a run – but when I got caught up in all the traffic, I almost said – forget it, go back home and have a cup of coffee and read the paper – but NO, I said to myself – so you don’t get there in time, not everyone is starting at 7:30 (next time be prepared and go back to point #3).

Then during the run I was hot and tired – OK,  so I’m hot and tired, talk to self —- “self- just run slower”…  OK so I kept going and said to myself – “this is not going to be a good race, but you are going to finish hydrated, uninjured and run hard over the finish line”.  CHECK!  Did it…Finish time- not so good.  Lesson Learned.

So the above tips are paraphrased, and even embellished from what I remember from the episode of Survivorman.  The tips and commentary are a metaphor for life as well as a 1/2 marathon or any type of race.  We make our choices and can live or die by those choices.    IT’S UP TO YOU!   Now get out there and do something fun, but just be prepared.  I think I am going to try an triathlon, now that I just turned 63. Why not?

Author: turning60andbeyond

Sandi Feaster is a registered nurse and health educator. She has worked in the corporate world as well as taken care of people with chronic health conditions. Sandi is convinced that we can improve our lives by educating ourselves and learning how we can curate the life we want. It may seem simple, but exercise and eating healthy food is the foundation of a longer, healthier and engaged life.

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