Christmas 2006, I got an important gift: A Nike+iPod sports kit. It wasn’t very expensive, but it changed my life in a significant way: Since then, I am running 5 km every morning – between getting up and eating breakfast. I just got a certificate awarded from Nike for having completed 4000 km. I am very proud of this.
I started running for some months before getting the Nike+iPod sports kit, mainly following the advice in a German “How to stay young forever” book. Before that, I was not doing any sport at all except some diving. Also, my work almost doesn’t require any movement at all…
The main benefit of using the Nike+iPod sports kit is that it helps me a lot staying disciplined. Somehow, I don’t want to have a day “missing” in the history on my iPod. Also, the system shows me when I actually have completed 5 km. I don’t need to worry about running the “right” distance when changing routes. (Running a constant time would have the risk of running shorter-and-shorter distances slower-and-slower.) I don’t use much the other features of the system like running virtual races with other people. From time to time I check my rank: Currently I am around number 1300 worldwide and number 3 in Taiwan.
Another factor in starting this daily habit was an event by Formosa-Plastic-Group. They organize yearly a 5 km jogging competition for employees. During this competition, I had problems to keep pace with a 60 year old college. I realized that I need to change something if I want to stay fit as long as Mr. Y. C. Wang did, the late founder of FPG.
From my personal experience (myself before / after), I am convinced that regular exercise has a huge benefit on mental capability. This is also acknowledged by modern brain science. You can for example check “Rule #1″ of John Medina‘s “Brainrules”.
It is definitely a good investment to run 5 km every morning and use whatever motivational tools are needed for this. Is there any catch? The downside I see in the moment that there is no performance improvement anymore by keeping this steady, constant exercise pattern for over two years. I checked out some books about competitive running: They recommend alternating exercises (one day long run, one day fast run, one day break, …) to stretch different performance factors.
At the moment, I am not decided if I simply stay with my daily routine (which might be the best for health and is also easiest to integrate into daily habits) or if I start such a training program with for example a marathon as a training target.
Feel welcome to leave your comments and thoughts…