Few things over the years have contributed to my bowhunting success like keeping in top physical shape. I’ve discovered the better shape I’m in, the harder I can go and the more I enjoy myself on a given hunt. Yes, I hail from the West and spend many a day roaming the rugged peaks of the Rockies, but physical bowhunting fitness isn’t just for western bowhunters.

I spend many hours 20 feet off the ground each fall waiting on a mature whitetail to slip up, and I’ve found my physical fitness contributes to how mentally focused I can stay while on stand. Being physically fit also means I’m not afraid to lengthen my stand entrance and exit routes to avoid bumping deer, and I never hesitate to fasten a stand to my pack and trek deep into a public-land locale. I’ve also found I can hunt for days on end without experiencing physical fatigue.

My goal with this new blog is simple: to help you become a more successful bowhunter while developing and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Every Wednesday I will post “get bowhunting fit” workouts that I use regularly in my training. I will also be tapping the brains of known bowhunting fitness gurus to get you the best information.

Setting A Realistic Pace

This first one is one of my favorites — one that will get the heart rate up and keep it in an optimal training zone. This week we’ll run three 5Ks (3.1 miles each) at an up-tempo pace over the course of five days. The last of these three runs will be run at race pace. Race pace is your lactic burn or lactic threshold. You should be completely exhausted when you finish the last 5K run of the week.

The key to this activity is setting a realistic minute per mile pace. To do this, you need to evaluate where you are physically as to not set a goal that is too high or too low, and always consult your physician before starting a regular workout regimen. Be sure to use your car, truck, GPS or watch to map out an exact 5K course. Select a course that doesn’t feature too many hills. For the most part, we want the course to be semi-flat. It’s also important to select a course that keeps you off concrete. When possible, we want to run on dirt, but asphalt is better than concrete. Below is a personal example you can use as a guide. If you would like to see more examples, be sure to check out this video:

Goal: Three 5K Runs Under 7:30 min./mile

  • Day 1: 5K Run — Time: 23:17 — Min/Mile Pace 7:29
  • Day 2: Rest Day — Lifted Biceps and Back
  • Day 3: 5K Run — Time 23:00 — Min/Mile Pace 7:24
  • Day 4: Rest Day — Lifted Chest and Shoulders
  • Day 5: 5K Run at Race Pace — Time 20:23 — Min/Mile Pace 6:33

Keep in mind, rest days are not actually full rest days. When training and pushing the legs hard, be sure to rest them and focus on other body parts during rest days, especially when focusing on multiple up-tempo runs.

Note: My Garmin Fenix 3 keeps my per-minute-mile pace, but you can also plug your numbers into www.coolrunning.com and access the free pace calculator.

For questions or comments, drop Bauserman a line at jbauserman@grandviewmedia.com.