Day 120: Minimum Exercise Threshold

I think it’s fair to say that most mornings, I don’t feel like exercise. Look at my weekends. I don’t get out of bed on Saturday or Sunday mornings and think “I can squeeze in a quick 5k.” I get out of bed and make coffee. On mornings that I’m really not feeling it, it’s all about the minimum exercise threshold.

I have gotten to a point where I don’t mind exercise, but I’ve found that with running and now with rowing, in many ways I prefer long bouts to short ones.

Because I’m just kind of a mess when I start.

When I run, I feel like the first two kilometres, I’m a stumbling, wheezing pile of garbage. Fifty metres out the door, I want to quit.

But after a couple of k, I start to feel like I’m myself running. Now, by the end of a 12k, I’m a stumbling wheezing mass of garbage again. That’s to be expected. I have a minimum exercise threshold of about two kilometres for running.

Minimum exercise threshold and rowing

It’s shaping up the same way for rowing, too. Oddly enough, it’s even about the same “distance” — two kilometres. I guess that’s not super weird, given that 2k of running and 2k of rowing both add up to 11-12 minutes.

So on the days I’m especially not feeling it, I try to set myself up by saying “just run that 2k, or row it, and see how you feel.”

Sometimes, I still feel like quitting. There have been a few 3k rowing days and short running days. I can push through that distance and say “no, still not feeling it.” That happens.

Usually, at that point I’m finding the groove and I want to keep going.

On the “still not feeling it” days, I always wonder if I should be pushing harder, or if I’m being smart and listening to my body. There’s a lot of conflicting information out there. A topic for another day.