I don’t typically do much cardio, even in the final weeks of contest prep. In fact, during the last 10 days of my contest prep for the 2011 Provincial Championships, a time when competitors are typically maxing out their cardio, I couldn’t even do any cardio at all due to an injury. I relied on a combination of smarter strength-training and strategically timed nutritional cleansing days. I placed first and second out of six and five competitors, respectively in my categories proving how unnecessary cardio is. But when I do cardio, it’s not because I have to, it’s because I want to. And I do what I enjoy for Health of Body, Peace of Mind, and Freedom of Spirit which is running outdoors in the early morning hours taking in the sights and sounds of nature. For me contest prep is not just about doing whatever it takes to be in my best possible physical condition, but to do so without compromising my health and also in a balanced manner that fulfills me.
I’m also a “seasonal runner”. My running season begins the week of May 9th (my birthday) and ends in late Fall / early Winter. My very first run is as much a spiritual practice as it is a physical workout. I run my first run in honour of my brother because every year when we would see each other for my birthday or be home for Mother’s Day at this time that’s what we would do…Go for our first run of the season together. How I miss that.