Getting in shape 5 kilometers at a time

I’m getting in shape slowly, but at least I’m getting in shape. There’s no shortcut for it, unfortunately. And in my case, I’m doing it five kilometers at a time.

If you’re trying to get in shape for hunting season, run a few 5Ks. Well, train for them, then run them. I think the training part is a big reason it works to get you in shape. Sorry to break that bad news to you.

The worst part is, those 5Ks get to be addicting. The first one I ran several years ago didn’t make me want to dash right out and run another one, but I did sign up for another one. Then another one after that. And before long, I found myself actually looking forward to the next one, hoping I could beat my time from the last one. It’s a sickness.

But at least it’s one that helps with hunting season. For the last four or five years, I think my wife and I have run between seven and 10 5Ks each year, and this last year, we ran the BolderBoulder, too. That one’s a 10K. And when hunting season rolls around, I can walk farther and faster into the hills. It still remains to be seen if I can pack out a heavier load than before I started running, because I’m still a terrible hunter. I don’t have as many chances to pack a critter out of the hills as I have chances to run 5Ks.

I’m really looking forward to hunting season this year, though. In addition to running, I’ve been going to the gym pretty regularly, and I’ve been practicing more with both my bow and my rifle than I have in a long time. The one thing I haven’t done as much of as I should have is to visit my hunting areas. Because all the running and weightlifting in the world won’t prepare you for the one thing you’ll face on an elk hunt – altitude. Maybe next summer I’ll do some trail runs up in the Snowies. Or at least some hikes. It certainly couldn’t hurt.

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