74. strong-armed

Running tip #74

If you want to jumpstart your fitness, give yourself a 40-day micro-goal of adding one new element to your training regimen.  I once challenged myself to not wash my hair for 40 days (because, hey, if Jesus could survive in the desert, 40 days seemed like a worthy amount of time).  My goal was to become less vain about my physical appearance and to become more inwardly mindful in my daily life.  We all do things on autopilot … like brushing our teeth, or driving to work the same route every day; drinking coffee in the morning without tasting it, or asking our significant others, “How was your day?” withoug really listening to their response.  So, my non-hair washing experiment was a way to live my life on PILOT for 40 days.

Aside from the first few days of feeling greasy-headed and gross, I loved my 40 days of mindfulness experiment.  And it’s true that your hair begins to self-clean:


But how does this relate to running?  Well, you can add 40 days of anything to your life without too much disruption.  So, why not try adding dips?   When I was in college, one of the XC guys challenged me to see how many dips I could do.  First of all,  I didn’t know what a dip was!  So, he showed me and then said I needed to work up to being able to do 25 in a row if I wanted to be a true distance runner. On my first attempt I could only do about 3 before my arms started shaking … but I kept at it … probably for about 40 days (if you figure I went to the weight room twice a week for half the school year) and by the end of my sophomore year I was dip-ripped.


I often think of those strong-arm days and how important micro-goals are for macro-success.

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  1. Pingback: 75. Bon appetit! | 365 Running Tricks

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