Saturday, May 30, 2009

Praxis: "I am a cautionary tale."

Road March, when you're young and in good shape.

From Jim Z. we have this email entitled, "I am a cautionary tale." It is good advice.



I know that you have been pushing PT for a long time in both of your blogs, and who knows, I may be the only one this stupid. After back surgery in January, I was finally able to start jogging again at the end of April/beginning of May, and to date, have made good progress, being able to jog 2-4 miles straight, with an additional 2-4 miles of walking. Today, I put my ALICE pack on for the first time in over a decade. I loaded it with about 20-30 lbs. After 3 miles, it had worn me out. Please try to drum it into people's heads that they won't be able to slap on 60+ lbs of gear (20 lbs if you just have a rifle, ammo, and water) and go easily, even if they have been jogging and exercising on a regular basis, if they haven't practiced carrying loads as well. Like I said, I may be the only one this stupid/arrogant enough to think that I could cover this distance easily, but somehow I think that there are others who are as dumb as I am.

On an unrelated subject, can you remind your readers to check the GM angles on their topographic maps and keep checking them every 6 months? The GM angle is shifting quickly and so most maps' GM angles are out of date.

Thanks again to both of you for having such useful sites.

Jim Z.

1 comment:

pdxr13 said...

No kidding on the hazards of being 40+. Even if you have made some effort to not be more than 10 pounds over weight/light on drinking/no smoking, muscles and wind are not what they were just 10 years ago, let alone the super-human 19-year-old body of recent memory.

Careful on over-doing PT with the old body. Breaking and straining that was an accepted training technique of 20 year ago can be worse than no PT at all.

Start easy. Walk.

If something gets hot, hurts, feels wrong, it's time to slow down/stop, take a drink of water and assess the situation. Good shoes, good socks, good boots are worth their weight in avoided blisters and open sores.

30 pounds is not a starting weight!
Start with a pack carrying 2 extra quarts of water and an extra pair of socks and sneakers. That will be under 10 pounds including the pack.
Next week, add a hardcover book (3 or 4 pounds). Are the straps chafing yet?

Stretch before walking to warm up. Stretch out your pace and speed up your pace a little to approach 4 mph. That's a pretty fast walk, but not "speedwalking". Add weight to the pack as you can do this pace for 90 minutes at a time (6 miles).

Add a heavy stick as long as a carbine. Starting off with a stick or 3 pound wrist weights instead of a pack might work for you.

Progress to heavy field boots from sneakers/walking shoes. Note your effort increasing to maintain 4 mph. This is when you find out that your boots that are allegedly "broken in" hurt. Experiment with liners (gel-soles, neoprene, pads, etc.). Keep walking. Stay hydrated.

Good luck.

Bonus: you will lose weight, get stronger, and be hungrier! Food will taste better and even PBR is yummy after a long walk.