Ask HN: Literature on Building Physical Endurance?

2 points by aliasxneo 12 days ago

I'm in a bit of a pickle and need some help from the community. I log on average ~2k steps per day with my current status quo and have been experiencing significant physical decline as a result. In my past life, I use to enjoy running/cycling and it was a staple in my routines. However, even a short jog can leave me debilitated for days in my current state.

Would some individuals be able to share some reading material that can help this couch potato learn how to work back to enjoying these things again? I know many people in the HN community have gone through something like this, so I'm eager to here your (hopefully successful) stories.

cinntaile 12 days ago

I wouldn't focus on running in your state, it takes quite a toll on the body if you're not used to it. Maybe start with increasing your steps with 1k per day each week? This week 3k, next week 4k until maybe 10k? Combine that with some strength training once a week and see where it takes you.

hayst4ck 9 days ago

The new toughness training in sports is a good book. The book is a little dated, but still quality.

Toughness is defined as the ability to resist stress (such as the stress caused by physical exertion).

The core premise of the book is that a regimen of progressive stress and rest is the path to toughness (increased physical endurance). Too much stress, physical or mental, requires increased rest, therefore you must experience some stress, but not excessive stress. This means finding the stress <-> rest equilibrium that results in the most benefit.

If you're asking for motivation, my only personal advice, having done this a couple times now, is that you must change your environment. Move to a city and give up your car, it will happen with near zero effort. I found walking to my favorite cafe and then my favorite view to be rewarding and self reinforcing.

You should also set your expectations appropriately. It takes 2-3 months of huffing and puffing before you feel much progress, and then one day, you realize "that wasn't so bad," and you will see your body has adapted.

Also, when people want to feel healthier, they often focus on movement but ignore diet. After a few months focusing on fitness, you start to understand that diet is 90% of the work and the physical activity itself is probably closer to 10%. That's if you want to lose weight or build muscle and it's especially true if you want to build muscle.

I also recommend getting a trainer for resistance training for at least 3 months. It is expensive but worth it. It allows you to outsource many different problems to someone else and lets you focus on the physical work directly.

TheAlchemist 12 days ago

I would advise against running for now. 2k steps per day is nothing. Sorry, but it's the reality.

Start cycling again - it's much easier for your knees, especially if you're overweight.

Thing is, most people (including me until 5 years ago) make a resolution that they will start training and diet and stuff - they go hard for 2 weeks, get injured, stop. Wait till next year.

This is not how it works - you need to set a long term goal, and go there progressively, very slowly in the beginning. Your goal for the first 6-12 months is simply consistency - show up every day - and you achieve that by training easy. But training everyday.

If you just start walking, and cycling a bit everyday - and you increase the distance or time by 5-10% per week, even if you start very low, you will be around a shape allowing you to run a marathon by the end of the year.

yuppie_scum 12 days ago

Look into “couch to 5k” programs.

kleer001 12 days ago

start with body weight exercizes for a couple months

then slowly ramp up to weighted resistance

it's an uphill battle , 2k steps is nowhere near enough