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Jack's Journal: Preparation

Everyone these days is talking about life hacks. One simple life hack that will cut your morning routine in half. One simple life hack that can earn you some extra money. As we all know, some of these are creative and truly innovative ways to think of mundane things. Some of the other life hacks are just meant to grab your attention for the purpose of selling you something (in other words, they don't work all that well). I've got a life hack for you that is definitely creative with a little less innovation: one simple, easy way to achieve all of the health and wellness goals you have is to be prepared.

It really is that simple! But wait, there's more..

As the old saying goes, "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." Being prepared when it comes to your health is something that is truly priceless. For some people, committment comes easy. For others, it takes a little more effort and that effort should be preparing for a change in lifestyle. I could drone on and on about how preparation is key, in a theoretical way, but I want to get hypothetical with you. Since I love running, I'll use going for a jog in the morning as an example.

Imagine that it is 6:45 at night and you know you have to jog/exercise in the morning. You are just sitting down to eat dinner, knowing that you still have to take a shower, spend quality time with the family, and get ready for bed at 9 (because you're a busy-bee and you get up early for exercise before work). Seems simple enough, right? Well, work needs you to respond to a couple of emails ASAP, one of your children is feeling sick, and you get stuck doing the dishes after taking out the trash because no one else will. Before you know it, it's 8:30 and you still have to shower and get ready for bed!

More often than not, what gets pushed to the back burner (or worse, completely out of the way)? Your exercise. One incidence of this may not seem terrible, but repeated a couple of times a week or even in a month can really set you back!

Now, imagine you jog frequently, and on a whim you decided to sign up for a 10-mile in two months. If you keep letting things get in the way of your preparation, you could find yourself ill-prepared for your 10-mile, getting injured, or not even competing because you feel unprepared to run that much. One great way to reverse all of that misfortune is to be prepared!

Being prepared can take many forms, but in the hypothetical scenario I've laid out before you, there are any number of ways to be prepared so you can run (and run confidently) on race day. One such way is to prepare a meal ahead of time if you know there is going to be limited room in your schedule. Meal prepping can be time-consuming, but it is also quite a time-saver. As hard as we try, we cannot prevent or prepare for everything, that is why it is best to focus on what we can prepare for! You can prepare your exercise clothes the night before so they are not an impulse that you forget as you walk out the door. You can plan your workout ahead of time! If you don't have a coach or a personal trainer that writes out a program for you, the next best thing is to be prepared by writing down what you plan to do that day. Not only does this help you remember what your plan is, but it also helps hold you accountable for that specific bout of exercise.

I have a bit of a bias here, but I highly recommend consulting a personal trainer or a coach that is familiar with you. Yes, you can consult one of the many online programs that "build a custom training plan for you" but those training plans don't take into account how you, as an individual, move. These "customized" training plans also don't take into account your injury history, which may exacerbate your risk of injury when you start getting into high volume training! These plans also don't take into account how busy you are. If you miss a run, they don't provide you any feedback. This leaves you all alone, left guessing if and when you should add that into your training schedule. Too much training too fast can end up in a bad way, and no one wants that!

Ultimately, the best way to prepare is to have a plan. For runners, having a plan for their race shouldn't start two months away from race day, it should start right now. The off-season is the unsung hero for runners who want that next personal best. Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither are good runners. It takes time and practice to work on running your best, that's why starting in the off season is best. If you'd like to find out how to work on running your best, starting right now, check out our next run clinic! The details are all right here.

Try this simple life hack and see if it helps you, I know it's helped me!

If you’d like help setting and achieving your health and wellness goals, please contact Jack Zahn at to set up an appointment.

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