The Goal

The Goal

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Exercise. Because.

Do some cardio and maybe some light weights*.

As well as being good for your general health there's a fair chance that it'll do your shooting some good. If you look at some of the very best shooters you'll see that they often do other sports or take regular exercise also.

By my reckoning, there are three main benefits from doing exercise that relate to shooting; although I admit that evidence for these is secondary and not direct:

1) Hold the rifle more still because of a lower resting heart rate
2) Maintain your position for longer and reduce group size increase in longer shoots
3) Handle a long competition period better

Really? Yup, I reckon so. Exercise on its own isn't going to make you Robin Fulton you understand, but it is another marginal gain.

I quite like running, but I have taken it a bit to extremes.

That said, what you shouldn't do is what I did. I started doing a bit of running, which was fine. I quite enjoyed it, even; however I am capable of anything except moderation. In short form, my friend Jenny asked me if I wanted do the Cambridge Half, I downloaded a training plan off the internet and lost over a stone in weight quite by accident. This meant that my shooting kit no longer fitted, but as this crept up on me (you don't lose a rifle's worth of weight in a week or two) it rather shagged my 2014 season.

That was just the first of my mistakes.

Probably the main one I have made is that I let my ego get the better of me and trained too hard. Like about 95% of people who take up running, I started off by running waaaaay too fast and probably built up my mileage too quickly, with the result that I most likely limited the rate of my improvement and nearly injured myself several times. If you're going to take up running, or indeed any form of cardiovascular exercise you're going to need to take it very slowly and gently.

While I'd rather be a good shooter than a very mediocre marathon runner, I do not believe them to be mutually exclusive. I think I've sorted out my kit problems and will keep up with the exercise.

* I'll cough to being useless at keeping up with my plan to do some light bodyweight phys several times a week. I'm trying to get there though.

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