Although there are a few theories and examples of what, exactly, defines a slacker, my favorite definition is a person, and especially a young person, who is perceived to be disaffected, apathetic, cynical, or lacking ambition. I just like the sound of that. It’s got a certain ring to it. But even slackers should get out and exercise every once in awhile. So, in an effort to help give the couch a rest from being sat upon, here are a few tips to help the slacker complete that most elusive of tasks…running three miles. Don’t worry, I’m not going all hard-core. I’ll keep it easy and low-key. This is, after all, meant for slackers.
Why three miles? Well, because if you can manage a relatively slow 10 minute mile, then you will have exercised for 30 minutes, about the time most doctors and exercise peeps say you should exercise every day. Secondly, you won’t be a slacker forever. Someday, someone will convince you to engage in a charity 5k or something and it will be nice for you to know that you can. After all, five kilometers is just a hair over three miles.
Step 1: Prepare for your run. This will be easy and brief, but important. These steps can be done way in advance…like the day, week, month or semester before you actually plan to run. However, if you can’t do these steps, then there is no reason to continue reading. Seriously.
Secure some athletic shoes. Running shoes are best, but if you really love those hipster vintage Chuck Taylors, fine. Even wearing those, you’ll be running faster than your buddies that are still on the couch.
Get yourself some athletic clothing, too. Shorts. Socks. Maybe a moisture wicking shirt. I know it sounds weird, make them stylish…even slacker-stylish. If you feel like moving, you’ll move and there’s evidence that if you like the way you look, you’ll feel better and have more energy.
Then, map your run. Use Google Maps, Mapquest, MapMyRun, a real map…hell, get in your car, set the trip gauge to zero and drive in circles around your neighborhood until it says 3 miles. Whatever it takes. Just map your run. An out-and-back route is always good so you can’t escape halfway through. That’s even easier for the slacker in all of us. All you have to do is drive out 1.5 miles and then stop counting.
Easy. Prep work done. Now, it’s go time.
Step 2: Eat. Yes, our bodies rely on food for fuel, and if you plan on running, you’ll need some. The average person (let’s say 5’10 and 180 lbs) burns roughly 250-300 calories during a 30 minute run. So, eat at least that much. Here, there are tons of options, but a mix of carbs and proteins are best. Oatmeal with fruit. A peanut butter sandwich. Whatever you like as long as it’s reasonable healthy. Need advice? Try the internet. You’re on it all the time anyway. Seek and you shall find. There’s even some insightful information on power foods.
My favorite is an egg white sandwich on whole wheat with cheese, avocado and salsa. It’s awesome.
Full? Good. Now relax. I recommend waiting two full hours after eating to take on this run. Why? Because that’s about how long it takes to start to metabolize the food and gain the energy from what you ate.
Now, before you yell at me about timing and the fact that you have a job and all, and you can’t just skip out and go for a run 2 hours after breakfast, wait. See above. This is the slackers guide. If you have a job, like in an office or something, you might not qualify to be reading this. We’re looking for the baristas and bloggers who probably still live in the basement of mom’s house…not that there’s anything wrong with that…writing that screenplay about an attractive, brilliant and misunderstood barista or blogger who still lives in the basement of mom’s house. This article might just be too intellectual for you.
Yes. Eat something healthy and wait.
Step 3: Get motivated. Now, we sometimes need more than just food to give us the energy to run forever…or 3 miles. So, since you have two hours to wait while the food is digesting, why not build yourself up with a little visual motivation. Watch Gladiator, Braveheart, 300, Visionquest, Saving Private Ryan or get on youtube and search for the top 10 most motivational videos of all time. See what comes up. You’ll probably get something like this.
Not your style? Try punching up all those Biggest Loser episodes you have on the DVR and get motivated by either watching all those people struggle to lose weight, or by watching Jillian Michaels (or Bob Harper) and trying to figure out how to be like her…or be with her. That’s motivation.
Step 4: Music. Okay. You’re ready. You’re dressed, fueled up and motivated. Now it’s time to run. Set those earbuds and clip on that iSomething-that-plays-music. Just choose the right music. Choose wrong (like Phish or Phil Lesh or something), and all the hard work you’ve put in to prepare will be in vain.
You’ll be out there for 30 minutes. How about a playlist that keeps those feet moving and your heart pounding. Try this mix on for size, designed to run 33 minutes. Just enough extra up front to get you out the door and to the sidewalk or trail.
Sunday Bloody Sunday (U2) – The drums are like your heartbeat. Start pounding and running.
Kickstart My Heart (Motley Crue) – Nothing gets you going like a little Crue
Lose Yourself (Eminem) – When your motivation might be stalling just a bit
Let’s Go (C65) – A little pure electronic energy
Killing in the Name (Rage Against the Machine) – If energy doesn’t work, try a little anger
Want You Bad (The Offspring) – After the anger, how about a little energetic sexual promiscuity
I Will Wait (Mumford & Sons) – I dare you to not be inspired to keep moving to this one
I’m Shipping Up to Boston (Dropkick Murphys) – For that last tired leg, just to get you home
Finally, when you are finished and back home to the comfort of your mom’s basement, happy and feeling a sense of accomplishment, drink a lot of water and go blog about it, but you’ll have to use your tongue to type, or Siri, or whatever dictation app you have on your Galaxy s4, because you’ll just be too tired to lift your arms to the keys.