We believe that everyone should exercise regularly, especially those who call themselves preppers. We’re not saying that everyone needs to be a marathon runner, but there are many advantages to being fit – particularly in an emergency evacuation scenario. You should not only be able to run, but also be able to run while carrying a supply bag of some sort (get home bag, bug out bag, etc.).
- Scenario 1 – Leaving an area ASAP because of a developing terrorist attack or other imminent threat.
- Scenario 2 – Being able to outrun attackers and thieves.
Why Should You Build Running Endurance?
If you’ve seen the show Doomsday Preppers, you know that every once in a while there is a prepper who has invested so much of their time, money and energy in making sure they are as prepared as possible for an emergency – however, they look extremely overweight. There are many scenarios where that may be OK. An overweight/out of shape person could just sit back in their compound with all the food and ammo they need and be just fine. The problem with emergencies is that anything can happen, and to be fully prepared – you need to be physically prepared.
- Physical Benefits – Getting into shape will make you a healthier person and can extend your lifespan. Because running is a weight bearing exercise, your bones will be strengthened. Your muscles will be strengthened. You will burn calories which will help you to lose body fat.
- Mental Benefits – Routine exercise has been proven to increase happiness and energy. Stress reduction is also a great benefit to running.
- Survival – As we discussed earlier, having the endurance to distance run could save your life. In an emergency evacuation situation, your physical endurance comes into play instantly. If you are unfit and unprepared, you may not make it out alive. Don’t focus 100% on the objects that can save your life, you need to work on yourself to be a well-rounded prepared machine.
Starting From Scratch
If you’ve never really ran before, starting can be the hardest part. Maybe you’ve tried to hop on a treadmill and can only really jog for less than a minute and became discouraged. The good news is that everyone starts from scratch, nobody is born a runner and the best time to start is now. For absolute beginners, there is a program called Couch-to-5k which was created for couch potatoes with zero running experience, and teaches them how to prepare for a 3.1 mile race in 9 weeks’ time.
There really isn’t any secret to building running endurance, you really just need to begin with walking briskly then turn that walking into a 5-minute warmup session and slowly introduce the jogging element into the equation. Once you develop some endurance you can alternate your walking and running, ex: 30 seconds of jogging followed by 60 seconds of walking. Once you are comfortable with those intervals, you can spend more time running and less time walking, until you can run .25 miles without a break, then .5 then an entire mile and beyond.
Let’s face it – for the average person, running can be a chore. It’s easy to begin with the best of intentions, but develop a lack of motivation. Below are a few tips for increased motivation.
- Music – You’d be surprised by how much your running can improve just by adding an audio element. We can’t recommend buying a good pair of headphones enough. For the best results, we suggest a pair of wireless Bluetooth headphones synced up to your smartphone. Get an app like Spotify or Google Play for your phone to avoid paying for songs through iTunes. Music will help you keep a nice rhythm and can also help make time appear to go faster by taking your mind off of running. As an alternative to music, we suggest downloading podcasts to your phone. Podcasts are a great way to learn, or to simply be entertained during your exercising. Concentrating on what is being talked about on the podcast can be a welcomed distraction to the monotony of running.
- Change the Scenery – If you normally run on a treadmill either at home or a gym, you should try running outside (weather permitting of course). You’d be surprised that you may actually run farther when you’re not on a stationery treadmill. Running outside can also help you to set goals by running to certain locations. If you have a physical place you know you want to end up, it’s easier to focus on your finish line.
- Running apps – There are a number of smartphone applications that were created to help you with your running. All you need is an armband phone holder, headphones or earbuds, and a free app like MapMyRun.
- The Buddy System – Try running with an accountability partner. The both of you can push each other further than if you were running alone. On those days that you really don’t feel like running, having a partner can provide that extra motivational kick that you need to get moving. Running with a partner can also be much safer for those who like to run at night.
- Sign up for a 5k – Running events have become increasingly popular over the past few years, and signing up for a race can instantly give you a running goal. After signing up for a race, you will have a timetable for your training and can help you to create goals from “run the whole race without stopping to walk” or simply “just finish!”
You can build an entire fully-stocked fortress of survival, but it won’t do you any good if you are not there when an emergency strikes. There are countless scenarios that would require you to be physically fit enough to get from point A to B as fast as you possibly can. You may not have a working vehicle, or easy way to get to safety, and you will need to rely on your own endurance for your survival. We hope that the above information will help you to improve your own physical endurance by becoming a better runner. You don’t want to be cramping up and out of breath when an emergency strikes. Make sure to prepare your body as much as you prepare with other areas of survival. You don’t have to be an Olympic sprinter, or a marathon runner, but you should be able to hold your own in an emergency.