Category Archives: blog

Don’t Be A Dick

**EDIT….I was back and forth on posting this, but I decided to post it anyway.  Please understand that I am playing devils advocate here.  I understand that not everyone is being a dick when they post, but some are.  I am simply offering a point of view for you to explore. END EDIT**

 

Before I start I understand that this might be a bit hypocritical, however I continue…..

This past weekend was the Broad Street Run.  It the largest 10 mile race in the entire country, it’s an amazing race and if you haven’t done it I HIGHLY suggest you put your name in the lottery next year.  The support along the course is like no other, there is literally someone cheering from the start line all the way to the finish.  This isn’t going to be a typical review of a race though, it’s not a review or a recap at all…..

I have participated in this race for the last 4 years.  This was the first race I EVER participated in.  It holds a special place in my heart and I put my name in the lottery every single year.

I remember the first year I finished this race like it was yesterday.  The sense of accomplishment was something I simply cannot put into words.  The first year I did it was actually on a whim.  I was doing some running during the week but did not actually register.  One of my very good friends knew someone who needed to drop out of the race because of injury and so I got transferred in.  I was uncertain if I was going to be able to finish, I had only run 8 miles without stopping and it didn’t make sense in my mind that 8 was enough, but it was.

This past week leading up to the race, someone posted an article from someone from CSN, a local sports network here in Philadelphia.  If you want you can read it here.  The article was supposed to be “tongue in cheek” and funny.  I get it I guess, people who run “constantly talk about running”.  It was posted on a triathlon message board and the author was trying to make a funny; some people found it funny, others were offended.  Humor is of course subjective, so maybe you find it funny, maybe you don’t. It’s an opinion and opinions aren’t made to be right or wrong.  There is a grey area there.

After the race on Sunday I was browsing Facebook and I saw some status posts about how people were so glad they didn’t “pay to go running”.  This annoyed the shit out of me to be perfectly honest.  I wanted to comment on every single post and justify why people run, why people participate in races and why there is so much more to it than “paying to run”,  but I didn’t.  I let it go and decided to write this article instead.

Let’s address a few things here shall we?  First off, people are passionate about running, therefore people are going to talk about their running and their accomplishments.  Facebook and social media is an area for people to share things that are on their mind, things they are doing, or things they love.  If running happens to be one of those things, they are going to share it.  Just because YOU don’t find enjoyment in running, doesn’t mean you can piss in someone’s Cheerios.  People post about how they went to the Masters golf tournament, which mind you can cost thousands of dollars.  So you’re paying thousands of dollar to go watch someone hit a white ball?  You spend hundreds of dollars to go watch your favorite sports team play a game.  You posts pictures of your kids, your car, your house, your pool.  You post EVERYTHING about your life down to how your wiping you’re ass.  There are some people out there who don’t ever wish to have kids or maybe can’t, could give two shits about a nice car or can’t stand sports.  Yet I don’t see anyone bashing on them on a regular basis or when the biggest “event” in your life is going on.  Maybe this is just my own observation but it is something I have noticed.  Just because you don’t understand the idea of paying to run in a race, doesn’t mean you have to shit on people who do.  I guarantee there is something you do that someone else doesn’t share the same passion for.

Okay, so you don’t get it, you don’t understand what would possess someone to not only run, but to actually pay to go and “race” somewhere.  Allow me to try and explain this to you, if you have made it this far….

Some of us runners did not come from a running background.  Some of us start with the run walk method, some of us were significantly over weight, some of us have not been active for years.  We all have something in common though, we share a love for something that has helped us get out lives back on track with our health.  Many of us have or still are fighting a battle to become healthier.  Running is an outlet and we all have those, but running is more than that.  Running has given us back our lives.  Running in a race could be, and usually is the culmination of months or years of hard work.  When you diminish people for signing up for and participating in a race, you could be diminishing much more than you may realize.  People train for months if not years, depending on their race, in order to complete some races.  In the same way that people have bucket list goals to go to The Masters Tournament, The NBA finals, The World Series, The Kentucky Derby, The Annual Sales Conference for the top selling team.  A goal is a goal.  Your goal may be different than mine and that’s ok, but you don’t need to bash on someone else’s goal simply because you do not share the same passion.  I can tell you wholeheartedly that the first time I ever crossed a finish line at The Broad Street Run was one of the most fulfilling experiences I have ever had.  It was months after I started my journey to lose weight and get my life back together.  It was quite possibly one of the most emotional moments I have ever been in.  Imagine feeling such a sense of accomplishment and then you log on and see one of your friends bashing on what you just did.  I understand that you may not share the same passion for running or triathlon, but I can most certainly promise you have a passion for SOMETHING.

I am not writing this article to change anyone’s mind about running, racing, triathlon or people posting about their fitness accomplishments.  My goal here is to simply play the devils advocate.  You may not share a passion for running and you don’t understand why people do it and then why they need to post about it.  I get that the article was written tongue in cheek and I get that people posting on Facebook are simply trying to make a joke, or maybe they aren’t.  Just think for one second who your post might be affecting once it is out there. There will always be people who are trolls, no matter what you post, they will find something they don’t like about it.  They may also just hate on it because that’s simply the only thing they know.

Or don’t think about what you are posting because you could care less what runners think and they shouldn’t take things so seriously, I mean it is JUST running *insert eye roll*.

I don’t post on here daily but feel free to find me else where!

Life update, the start of 2017 season and YouTube

I did a life update a little while back and I promised to continue them. Here is life update and the start of the 2017 season.

In that post, you can read it here, I talked about feeling some symptoms of adrenal fatigue. I said that I was taking a supplement that was supposed to help with that. I actually stopped taking said supplement. I am not sure if I wasn’t consistent enough with it or if it wasn’t actually working but I stopped. What I did start doing in putting my phone away from my bed with the alarm on it. Instead of having it right next to me where it was nice and easy to hit snooze, I moved it across the room where I needed to actuallyy GET UP out of bed to shut it off. I have a consistent time for when I wake up and I am trying to stay as consistent as possible when it comes to bed time. I have found that these two things are really helping me.

The last thing that I did not mention in my earlier post but I wanted to throw in here is that I purchased a pair of blue light blocking glasses from amazon. You can find the ones I bought here. These glasses block out the blue light that comes from TV, phone, and computer. From what I have read, blue light basically confuses your brain. Your brain accepts the blue light and gets in confused with the same type of UV light from the sun. When this happens it is hard for your brain to shut off because it thinks it is day time. I have these glasses by my bed or in my bag and I just throw them on when it starts to get dark out. It could be all in my head or it could be that it truly works but for 10-15 bucks, I’ll take that chance any day. Since wearing these glasses I have a MUCH easier time falling asleep when I lay down vs. when I don’t wear the glasses.

The second point I wanted to make was on the intermittent fasting that I started doing in the early months of 2017. It was working very well for staying in a calorie deficit. When I was trying to keep calories down, especially on rest days, using this method DID work. However since then, training has ramped up. The intensity and volume is in full swing right now to prepare for the season. Intermittent fasting has since stopped. I was just not eating enough when I was fasting and the window was too small to try and eat enough to fuel for the next workout. Just as a point of reference I did not see anymore weight drop than if I were just staying strict about my macros for the day. The weight loss was EXACTLY the same, so if you are thinking about doing intermittent fasting because you are going to shed more weight, that is not what I found in the least bit.

Last but not least, RACE SEASON IS HERE!! Wohooo, round of applause. There were times where I thought it was never coming. Sometimes it is hard to think of those goals when you are grinding away for two hours on the trainer and there is snow on the ground. However race season has FINALLY arrived and I couldn’t be happier.

I decided to jump into a small local sprint race this past weekend. It was called the Rivewinds Sprint Triathlon for those of you who are located in the PA, MD, DE, NJ area. If you are looking for a great, small town race feel early in the season I HIGHLY suggest you check this one out. The swim takes place in the Riverwinds Community Center pool and then the bike and run are around the surrounding area. It is a great little race, it is well organized and I really tip my hat to DQ events on this one. If you want to check out their races, I will link them here.

I won’t give you a long winded recap of this race because I know that those can get boring. What I will tell you is that the community center where this took place was beautiful, the swim was well organized, and the course was great. I never touched the person in front of me during the swim and the person behind me never touched me. We did a snake through an 8 lane pool and we were in and out. I made one mess up on the bike which was completely my fault because I was not paying attention and I got off course just a bit. The run was smoking fast on the path through this center and it had a slight uphill right after the turn around at the beginning of the first mile. I had one goal and one goal only for this race, win my age group. I wanted to qualify for nationals early in the year and go enjoy the rest of my Sunday. I looked at some times from last year and saw that 53 minutes won overall and my age group winner was somewhere around 55-56 minutes. I finished the day in 56:13. There were a lot of firsts for me, one being a really solid swim. I looked at my watch as I entered T1 and it read 3:17. This included exiting the pool and running outside so that was probably closer to 3 minutes. Very solid swim for me. The bike was not my best but not horrible in just over 27 minutes for the 10.5 miles and I was only seconds off my PR sprint run split. All in all, it was a great day for me to get out and test my off season fitness.

Now for the bad news. No one in my age group went over an hour on the day. 1-4 overall were all in my age group….Needless to say, I did not win my age group and therefore I have not yet qualified to go back to Omaha. I was disappointed about this. Don’t get me wrong there were a lot of great take aways from this race and I have a lot of good fitness for so early in the season. I just hope that I can continue to carry it into the full swing of this season and punch my ticket to go back to Omaha. Stay tuned!

I thank you guys very much for reading. I look forward to sharing this journey with you on the road to Omaha!

All for now.

Keep FSU and Do It For Yourself.

PS incase you did not know, I have launched a YouTube Channel. I will be documenting my journey to get back out to Omaha here! Please check it out and share your thoughts with me! ❤️

I don’t post on here daily but feel free to find me else where!

Let’s talk about setting goals…..

Well here we are, 21 days into February as I write this and I just got home from the gym.  I am sad to be honest, really sad to see that the gym numbers have already dropped off significantly.  For the first few weeks of January it’s tough finding a parking spot up front, you may need to walk a little bit further to get into the gym god forbid.  You may not be able to get on your favorite piece of equipment, you may need to wait a minute to use something.

Here’s the thing though, we all started somewhere.  We all had our first days at the gym and yes maybe it wasn’t in January but we all started somewhere.  I absolutely hate the negativity surrounding New Years Resolutions but we’ve already talked about that.  Tonight I want to talk about something different, one of the main reasons that people do not stick to their resolutions or diets…..Setting goals.  This is the most important concept you need to master in order to be successful in ANYTHING.  Not just losing weight or exercising more.

There is a specific system to use when it comes to setting goals and I am going to break it down here for you tonight.  You may have used this before or you may have used another system that worked well for you in the past.  This is not 100% the absolute golden rule for setting goals.  This is a technique that works and if used will work for you.  That being said there could be another system that works for you as well, I invite you to share some other systems in the comments so that readers may give them a try!

Here we go, let’s get into it! The acronym is S.M.A.R.T. and we are going to take a look at each item individually and really break it down.

 

S-Specific- This is the one where most people go wrong right off the bat.  If you make a goal that is too broad you are increasing your chances of dropping out right from the start.  A goal that is too broad would be something like “I want to lose weight” or “I want to look better” or “I want to start running”.  These goals are not specific enough. You are leaving things up in the air and stacking the odds against yourself!  Instead, when creating a specific goal, give yourself more details.  “I want to go to the gym three times per week” or “I want to lose 6 inches off of my waist”.  These goals are much more specific, they are set in stone, black and white, no grey area and you can measure them. This brings us to the next point! (See what I did there, I think I might be getting the hang of this writing thing!)

M-Measurable, or meaningful- As mentioned above, the latter of the two sets of goals are things that are black and white and you can measure them.  If you look at the first set of goals, “I want to lost weight” or the “I want to look better”, you can not accurately measure those.  “But Ian I can get on the scale and it will show that I am losing weight”.  Ah yes my friend you are correct, but how much weight do you want to lose? What happen when you have a plateau? What happens if you only lose 1 pound that week and you want to lose 5 per week?  “I want to look better”.  Again, how do you accurately measure “looking better” to yourself?  With a selfie pic in the mirror? That sounds wildly acceptable for a measurement in progress….HAH! Make goals that you can clearly measure and are meaningful to you.  Don’t waste your time pulling something out of thin air and thinking it’s going to work.

A-Attainable or Achievable– Now this is where things get a little tricky, but please allow me to explain.  You want to make your goal attainable, you don’t want it to be too far out of reach.  You also do not want to sandbag your goal, it should be something that makes you step out of your comfort zone.  For example, saying you are going to loose 5 pounds a week for the next 10 weeks before your wedding.  Not achievable. “But Ian what about extreme weight loss, what about this person who did it?” blah blah blah.  Yes it has been done, however, IF you make it to that goal, yes IF, it will not last.  You WILL relapse and it will not end well.  A healthy goal would be to loose 2-3 pounds per week.  Another example would be, “I want to run a marathon in 15 weeks”, but you haven’t run a mile in 2 years.  Again yes it is possible, anything is possible, however thats a very far reaching goal.  Bottom line is, you need to have self awareness here and know what is going to push you a little but not too much.  Just know you can always adapt your goal!  They are goals, they are not written in stone, if you don’t achieve it, you learn what you are able to do in the set amount of time.

R- Realistic- Realistic and attainable can be interchangeable depending on how you view it.  Realistic can mean that it’s not too far out of reach. For example you want to qualify for World Championships in your first ever crack at a triathlon. This would be an unrealistic goal based on the fact that you have not yet completed a race.  There are situations and circumstance associated with racing that you cannot recreated in training.  You can always do you best to prepare but there is always a chance something can come up on race day.  It can also mean realistic in your resources.  For example if you have a goal to participate in an Ironman but you work 80 hours a week and have 3 kids and a significant other at home, an ironman may not be a realistic goal at this point in your life.  Taking that much time away from your family or job may lead to other things suffering which could lead to dropping the goal.  Be realistic with your resources such as your time, your equipment, your ability or your knowledge.

T-Time based- Last but not least, your goal needs to be time based.  You need to give yourself a time line of when this goal will be completed by.  There isn’t any other way to put it.  You simply can’t say well I want to drop 50 pounds.  Without that time frame, if there is a week where you stay the same there may be a chance of dropping out.  With a time line, you can track and keep yourself accountable.  The time frame ensures you will get it done and it keeps you honest.  Think of when your boss gives you a project at work or you have a project at school.  With a time line you can sit down, break it into small manageable chunks and get it done.  Some times you may even get it done early!  If that happens it’s ok, you get some time to plan your next goal and reconsider either your time frame or how challenging you make your goal.

One last thought to keep you motivated or on track is consider a reverse bet.  If you have a friend or a few friends who are all working on goals, create a reverse bet with them to hold each other accountable.  A reverse bet is simple, you have your goals and your friend has theirs.  You set the time line and then you set the consequences if you do not achieve said goal.  The consequences should be something that would absolutely make you cringe.  This is a great way to hold each other accountable, get friends and family involved and stay on track.

If you set a goal for New Years and you have dropped off, DON’T wait until next year to make a S.M.A.R.T. goal.  Make your S.M.A.R.T. goal tomorrow.  The best time to start was yesterday and the second best time to start is now.

If you have a technique for setting goals that has been successful for you please share it below in the comments section! If you need any further help or just want to bounce some ideas off of someone please use my social links below and hit me up in the DM’s.  I really love hearing from you guys!

 

All for now.

Keep FSU and Do It For Yourself

 

I don’t post on here daily but feel free to find me else where!

New Years Resolutions and Adrenal Fatigue

So here we are 8 days into the new year as I write this and I am doing well with my 1-2X posting per week on the blog.

If you haven’t checked it out already please read my last post on how to do a triathlon on a budget. I know that many people consider this as a goal for New Years resolutions but are nervous about the cost of participating in such an event.

As for me things have been going well so far, it’s early yet though. I am still fasting most days during the week. This has helped me immensely when it comes to staying in a calorie deficit. I did have one day over the holidays that kind of scared me a bit. Normally I work on Saturdays during the fall winter and spring. Recently I have had no trouble completing my training sessions in the afternoon after work. On this Saturday however I woke up and I was completely drained. My body felt weak, my legs felt heavy and all of this was more than usual. The only thing that was different would be the stress and strain I placed on my body through the holidays. There were a lot of late nights, a few drinks (some nights maybe more than a few haha) and holiday parties. I think my body had just had enough and it was time to just relax. So I did not train that Saturday or that Sunday. I actually got over 12 hours of sleep the one night and it felt great! Sparked by the scare though I have been attempting to cut back on caffeine consumption at least 1 day per week and I have started taking an adrenal gland support supplement. It is common to have some form of adrenal fatigue syndrome when training for long periods of time so I thought it would be an good idea to give this a try. From my general understanding adrenal fatigue syndrome is when you feel fatigue even after a good nights sleep. You have difficulty getting up early in the morning, cravings for salty foods and you may abuse caffeine and sugar. You are basically feeling way more tired that you should be even with a good nights sleep. I will let you know how I feel in the coming weeks!

The next thing I wanted to touch on is New Years resolutions and the inherent negativity that surrounds them. This time of year, whether you are a regular member of a gym or not, you have probably gotten some sort of marketing email about how there are no joining fees, special rates, and even deals on personal training sessions. You have probably also heard the “facts and figures” of how many people make resolutions and don’t keep them, join gyms and never go back, etc. When it comes to resolutions, I am a fan of the idea. I love someone wanting to make a change, especially for the better. I also can see how January first is an appealing time of year to do this. It’s not only a fresh start to the month, but you get to hit reset on another year. I made a resolutions myself, I just chose to do it at the start of the “school” year instead of the calendar year. Deep down I believe that resolutions are amazing no matter when you decide to start.

There are a few things that I do not like about New Years resolutions however. The negativity that surrounds them drives me insane. I can’t stand how people view resolutions and basically chalk it up to something 99% of people won’t complete. The other thing that annoys me is the “regulars” bitching about the influx of members in the gym. Yeah things are a little busy, yeah there are sometimes not enough treadmills for everyone at the gym at that time, but we all started somewhere and you were that first timer once too.

If you are reading this and you were considering a resolution, are working on a resolution, or just looking to get better, here are some tips I have to help you.

  1. Have a plan- most people create resolutions like “I want to lose weight” or “I want to look better”. These are great goals, but they are not measurable or specific enough. When you do not see the results you are looking for, thats when you will quit. Instead, create a goal for yourself that is specific such as I will go to the gym 5X per week or I will perform cardio 3X per week.
  2. Write your goals down! On January 1st I hung a whiteboard. I have my goals for the month and week written on there and I mark down each time I do that. I look forward to putting a tick everyday for the things I have completed and this builds momentum. Momentum is key! You do not need to use a white board, you can use a notebook or even just a piece of scratch paper. Just write it down! And keep it some
  3. You do not need to be 100% perfect all the time. Especially when it comes to counting calories or macros, whatever your preference is. If counting calories is helping you reach your goals and what you want when you look in the mirror then count calories. Which ever you decide, you do not need to be 100% perfect. This is about the long game, patience and persistence, not being perfect. To build off of that, start small. You do not need to cut everything “bad” out of your diet starting day one. Start small, but not too small. What do I mean by this? Start off drinking more water than sugary empty calories. Add more fresh fruits and vegetables and then build from there. After you have built momentum there, then you can start cutting processed foods out and going with more whole food. When I first started counting calories, thats all I did was count calories. After that stopped working, I began to figure out how my food could help me with my goals. It’s a learning process but you need to be willing to put in the work.
  4. Last and most important, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Utilize the people around you. There are way more people than you think out there who were once in the position that you may find yourself in. Utilize those people for their knowledge.

As for the first two ish weeks of January that’s it for me. If you are looking for a place to go for some support and motivation, come join me in the Facebook group I have created. There are no sells, its not MLM, I am not pushing products on anyone. This is just real, down to the grit motivation. If you are interested please join us!

I hope that you have set goals for yourself for the coming year, I know I have some big ones for myself and for Do It For Yourself. I look forward to sharing this journey with you and I thank you as always for reading!

All for now.
Keep FSU and Do It For Yourself

Barrier to Entry

With 2017 right around the corner I got to thinking about people who may be interested in doing something they have always dreamt of but were hesitant for whatever reason.

When people learn that my passion is triathlon they almost immediately follow that up with something to the effect of “how can you afford that?!” Or “how much did you bike cost?”

*humble brag, yes I have a very nice bike*

However, this bike for one would not have been possible without some amazing people helping me when I was in to this sport and just coming out of college and two you do not NEED a bike that costs thousands in order to participate in a triathlon.

In this posts I will break down some of the most common misconceptions about the barrier to entry for this sport and some “hacks” on how you can start, train and finish a race on a budget!

Gear:

First things first, lets cut to the chase, you will need some gear, without question. In the very least you will need the follow:

Swim

  1. Swim suit- you can find these pretty inexpensive on swimoutlet.com or at a local shop. Most times you will have better luck with cheaper prices on line but in the off season check out local or big sporting goods stores. You should be able to pick one of these up for somewhere around $20.
  2. Goggles- There are hundreds upon hundreds of varieties here. You can get them for as cheap as $5 and as expensive as $30. This really just depends on what you prefer. I really like a few different types. The cheap ones are “swedes” you can get them pretty cheap, they are very minimalist but they get the job done. Middle of the road, a little step up would be something along the lines of the Speedo Vanquisher. These provide a little more cushion, the are great but still under 20 bucks. The top end would be something along the lines of the TYR Special Opps. I have the transition lens model in these and I really like them a lot for triathlon swimming and open water swimming. They provide a great field of view and are very comfortable. Again these are over $20, could be upwards of $30 depending on what you choose, but these are the “top of the line” so to speak.
  3. Swim cap, do not buy one of these, ask a friend, ask the pool where you are going to swim or send me an email (ian@thedoitforyourself.com) and I will send you 3 swim caps. There is no point in paying for one of these because everyone has at least 5 they aren’t using.

In all honesty that is it for the swim. You really don’t need much to get started. Most pools have the gear that you need for the swim (fins, kickboard, bouy, etc.). Remember you are just starting out, lets get a feel for things before we start getting too involved with gadgets and tools.

Next is the bike, possibly the most expensive.

  1. First and foremost you will obviously need a bike. You do not need a $10,000 bike. Allow me to repeat myself. YOU DO NOT NEED A $10,000 BIKE. When I first started I was put in contact with someone who was in a bike group/club. Turns out another member was selling an older bike and I could pick it up, upgrade a few things and be on the road for around $500 bucks. Granted I ended up very lucky in this, but my point is, shop around, look at models from last year, used models and talk with people who are in the sport. You do not need something brand new (unless you can great a great deal!) and you do not need something top of the line for your first bike. I have seen people race on mountain bikes, beach cruisers, hybrids, just about anything with 2 wheels.
  2. Helmet. You are riding a bike on the road, you need a helmet. You can also get deals on these. Rudy Project has a ton of ambassadors out there and they have discount codes on their helmets. I have had 2 of these helmets and I have loved them so far, check them out. You other option is going to a shop or somewhere that sells helmets. My only piece of advice here is to make sure that whoever you’re getting it from, knows how to fit a helmet!
  3. Water bottles, cages, etc. When you first jump in to the sport you do not need the pedals with the clips and the Garmin and every other bell and whistle for your bike. Just grab the basics! Two bottle cages on the bike(the thing that holds your water bottle) and two bottles. 9 times out of 10 if you buy your bike from a bike shop they will cut you a deal on cages and probably throw in bottles with their logo. Platform pedals will do the trick for you just fine and I bet you dimes to donuts you’ll be quicker in transition.
  4. Bike clothes. At a minimum (depending on your budget, preference and your distance) I would suggest getting yourself a pair of cycling shorts or bibs. The difference between the two really comes down to preference. The “bib” style has suspenders that come over your shoulders whereas the shorts don’t.

The run.

  1. At a minimum you will obviously need a pair of running shoes. My best advice for anyone who is starting out is the same advice I got when I first started. Go to a running store, have them look at your gait (the way you run) and they will put you in shoes that are right for you. Over color, over look, over how cool you think they are, the fit matters most. In order to stay injury free and avoid further problems down the road, please take this advice.
  2. Other than shoes, running is also relatively inexpensive. Of course you might want a pair of shades, a hat or visor but again these are all based on preference. You can usually pick these things up on amazon or in the clearance bin at a local store. Don’t be ashamed to shop the clearance bins!!

If your goal is to do a triathlon or any race for that matter, the best thing to do, is just sign up. Don’t wait until you think you are ready or for your friend to sign up with you or anything of that nature. Sign up, especially now when race fees are still cheap. If you need to find a race in your area, google “Tri Find” or just google triathlons in “insert your city/town”. You will find loads of races near you!

If you have any questions, please send me an email ian@thedoitforyourself.com. I am happy to talk through things with you and answer any questions you may have. Remember anyone who is in triathlon or anything for that matter, started in the same position you are in!

Thanks for reading!
It would mean the world to me if you shared this with someone who is considering a triathlon this year!

All for now
Keep FSU and Do It For Yourself

I don’t post on here daily but feel free to find me else where!

Why Motivation Sucks, by Kyle of KJ Healthy Way

Got your attention, didn’t I? Let me start by saying motivation doesn’t suck. I am a big believer in motivation and its power to galvanize action. But motivation is only just that, a spark. It is a jumpstart to your day or pick-me-up when you need to push through. It will not carry you through the finish line all on its own. The title really should have been “Why Motivation is an excellent tool for starting you on your journey towards your goals or helping you sustain your efforts while pursuing them but should not be as the sole instrument to achieve success,” but, then I didn’t.
Motivation is kind of like a drug; you get that first hit and BAM, you’re flying high. Eventually, the high of the motivation wears off and you’re left with that need for more. Take another hit, you’re flying again. This time though, you don’t have that same amount of intensity you had the first time. But you get your fix. You repeat this process until you just don’t get that same rush, that same crazed intensity you had the first time. Eventually, whatever you’ve been using for motivation just doesn’t work anymore and you look for another form of motivation to get you that same “high” you had the first time.

Here’s an example: I watch the Rocky IV training scene where Rocky is training in the Russian wilderness and Ivan Drago is in the Russian lab training with new age equipment (one of the best Rocky training montages in my opinion). I get motivated to start training and get in shape. The next morning, I’m up before the sun and out the door running, you know, like Rocky would. I feel great and I have a fire in my belly to keep pushing until I look like Rocky (in Rocky IV, not the original Rocky). I am able to sustain this intensity until midway through the month, when my motivation starts to wane. I’m not quite looking like Rocky yet and I’m tired and sore and don’t really feel like getting up early and running anymore. Watching Rocky training montages isn’t doing it for me and I’m getting sick of listening to “Eye of the Tiger” on repeat. I abandon my “training” and, most importantly, wonder where my motivation went.
Maybe not an applicable example for everyone but definitely something you can relate to. Everyone needs motivation to get you started or to help get you out of a slump with your training. But motivation will fade and you need something else to, not only sustain your efforts, but to help build a lifestyle around your goals. How can you do that, you ask?
You need to build Systems into your life that allows you to create a sustainable lifestyle and not a transient state of excitement.

A System is not a robot or software that does stuff for you (although, if you can make this happen, contact me). The best way to describe a System you probably already use is where you put your car keys. When you walk in the door after a day of work, you put your car keys in the same spot; on the counter, in a dish by the door, a hook on the wall. You’ve developed a System for placing your keys in a convenient spot so you can effortless grab them as you’re heading out the door. It is automatic and you don’t even think about it anymore. It is a System that you’ve built for your morning routine.

So how do you build Systems into your daily routine so you make proper nutrition and exercise automatic? I’m glad you asked.

Systems for Exercise:

  • Pack a gym bag the night before and place it by the front door or in your car
  • Schedule your workouts on a calendar or your phone calendar or Google calendar (so many calendars)
  • Hire a personal trainer or prepay for a month’s worth of sessions
  • Put your alarm clock or phone alarm across the room so you have to get up to turn it off
  • Wake up 1 hour earlier…do it
  • Buy some simple workout equipment like resistance bands and a yoga mat that you can take anywhere
  • Purchase a workout program or course

Systems for Nutrition:

  • Meal Prep…you know you saw this one coming
  • Pack food like fresh or dried fruit, nuts and seeds, protein powder, tuna pouches at work and in car so you always have something with you
  • Buy food containers so you can take your prepared food and snacks with you
  • 90-10 Rule – eat clean 90% of the time and the other 10% you can eat what you’ve been craving
  • Remove temptation from your house by removing junk food
  • Plan Meals and shop for those meals
  • Learn 1 healthy meal or recipe per week and put it in rotation

Systems can be used for anything: sleep, work, chores, etc. But, if you noticed when I was listing the Systems above, many of them involve some sort of monetary involvement. This is absolutely by design. By investing in something related to health and fitness, YOUR health and fitness, you are making an investment in yourself. This is a crucial step toward any goal. Additionally, you’re more likely to use or do something you paid for rather than if it is just given to you. There’s something about paying for an item or service that, psychologically, makes you appreciate it a bit more. You’re also more likely to “get your money’s worth” as well.
In summary, Motivation does not suck. Motivation is awesome and necessary. But it not the end-all and be-all to success. Inevitably, it will not always there. Instead, use Motivation to start building Systems into your daily routines. This will ensure you are not always relying on Motivation to push you forward and you will develop a consistent lifestyle.

If you have any questions, comments, or want some more help developing systems, feel free to leave a comment below.
Thank you.

 

kyle

Kyle of KJ Healthy Way

USAT National Championship

This is it, this is the moment that my entire season has been surrounded and it is finally here!

To say I was excited for this small racecation was an understatement. I had never done anything like this before and although there was some stress, things were planned and I couldn’t wait.

I had everything packed and ready to go. I check, double checked and triple checked everything. I had everything I needed and we were ready to rock!

Our flight left early so I left my house with plenty of time to check the bike and get through security. Everything at check in went off without a hitch. I chose to go with the Sci-Con TT bag for my bike. Unfortunately I am at least an hour away in each direction from a shop that does shipping so this was my only option. We also could not get a direct flight to Omaha so my biggest worry was having my bike make the plane change.

When we arrive in St. Louis it was awesome because so many triathletes were at the gate headed to Omaha and it made for great people watching that’s for sure! We boarded our plane to Omaha and my excitement level was through the roof. Things were going so smoothly I almost couldn’t believe it. We arrived in Omaha and now was the moment of truth, did the bike make it? I found my suitcase no problem and then I went over to the oversized door. It opened, three bikes came out and then it closed…..no bike. I WAS DYING!! Then it opened again and out she came. We were on our way!

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We checked in and I got my bike out of the back and there was a nice little note from TSA. Everything was all over the place and I wasn’t happy. I pumped up the tires and made a make shift stand to make sure the gears were ok. Since TSA didn’t put my towel back on my rear derailleur, the hanger was bent. I was freaking out. I called an uber right away and went over to get it fixed. I’ll save the long story, let you know the guys at the tent were amazing and they got me back up and running in no time.

I’ll save the day to day details because it will make for a boring read and I’ll just give you the cliff notes. Friday I woke up, it was my birthday =]. I had coffee and a scone in bed thanks to my wonderful girlfiend, did my shake out and then my buddy Jimbo and his girlfriend arrived! This is when things got really fun. We left the girls at the room and he got to see the pre race check in and everything. Having him there for that brought a sense of calm over me. He kept things light, we joked, we laughed and it kept my head clear and the nerves down.

That night we hit a local Italian joint for dinner. The reviews were great, food looked amazing, so we figured why not. Long story short again, the service was down right god awful. It took 25 minutes for me to get a bottle of water. There was a party of four that sat behind us, got everything before us. It made things a little tense and stressful which I was trying to avoid after Escape the Cape. All in all we finished up, the food was delicious and things were not THAT bad.

Race morning came early! Jimbo was up with me at 4:15, we jumped on the shuttle nice and early and we were off. I set things up and then instead of staying in 165e82b5-cd1e-4689-af6d-92ae949a302ftransition as I normally do, I went out and hung with him. As I said early, he kept me calm and cool. We joked and laughed and it was the most calm I have ever felt on race morning.

The gun went off and before I knew it the swim had come and gone.  I was off my goal by a few minutes but I was happy with it.  As I was coming up swim exit, I had no clue there were metal steps waiting for us.  I took one step and ate it.  I ate it hard, but didn’t think anything about it.

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On to the bike and we were off.  I thought I was a pretty good cyclist, until this point.  I have never been passed by more people in my life.  This is truly the best of the best.  I looked down at my Garmin at one point and again, the best bike split numbers were WAY off.  This time by over 10 minutes.  I got to a point where I actually said to myself, I am ripping this chip off and not finish this race, I am not racing Ironman AC, I am fucking done.

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Needless to say that did not happen, but the thought was there.  When I started the run Jimbo was waiting right outside of transition for me.  I told him my foot hurt pretty bad as we were running out and that I thought about stopping, but I remember him saying “you’re not going to do that, you’re going to finish this damn race!” My foot hurt but I did what I had to do and actually had one of my better 10k’s I have had in quite some time.  It was no PR but it went better than I thought it would thats for sure.  The finish line was amazing, so many people, cheering, noise makers, just absolutely amazing.

35fdd46f-0295-44f7-a252-e34a25898cbfWe wrapped our trip up with a nice dinner Saturday night, great breakfast Sunday morni6d0bb4e5-292a-4aa6-abc6-2492ca8edcffng and then a few red bull and vodkas to easy the pain of having to come home.  Given the chance I will be back in Omaha next year.  This time however we have already planned for a Thursday to Tuesday.  The city of Omaha welcomed us with open arms and as one of our uber drivers said, its one of America’s best kept secretes!

I know this is a long one so I will call it here but I just want to say thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!!! To everyone who texted me, messaged me, called me, and sent me well wishes.  Even from 1,000’s of miles away I truly felt it.  I would be lost without all of you and I can’t thank you enough.  Up next its Tri the Wildwoods Sprint which will hopefully bring a podium to get me back to Omaha!

 

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All for now

Keep FSU and Do It For Yourself

I don’t post on here daily but feel free to find me else where!

Sacrifice

 

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Triathlon, quite possibly one of the most selfish sports of all time.  Think about it, how many sports out there require long hours of solo training away from friends or family?  Am I saying this to scare you? NO! Not at all however this sport takes sacrifice and anyone who is considering joining or stepping up to a longer distance I feel as though this is something that everyone underestimates.  Let’s talk about some ways to keep your friends and family happy while you still hit your goals in things you love.

I am going to give a few tips that will help you balance life, work and your family while you are training this season.  Let’s face it, the spring is right around the corner, they are calling for temps in the 70’s here on the east coast next week.  If you want to have a successful season and keep everything balanced, read on.

Be open with everyone around you.

Whether you are new to the sport or a seasoned vet this is something that EVERYONE should do.  Tell the people around you about your goals and aspirations for the season.  If you show them that you are serious and you have goals set forth they will be more likely to support you through this journey.  Along with this everyone who is around you will not be able to say well this isn’t what I signed on for.  Be up front and open with everyone.

I can remember when I signed up for my first 70.3 and the people around me did not know what exactly that meant in regards to training time.  If I was open about the goals and what my week looked like it made things easier.  Telling someone up front that you need to go ride you bike for 3 hours on a Saturday is much easier to take rather than the morning of just dropping it on them.

 

Include spouse, kids, friends when possible.

This is something that can be more difficult but if you can pull it off correctly, you will win and that’s a promise.  Including people in your workout can be challenging because you have a very specific plan when it comes time to train. However if you can include things like group rides this will make everyone feel involved.  One thing that worked well with my training was to do the indoor or more structured workouts on the trainer while watching tv with my girlfriend. We were spending time together (granted she was relaxing and I was working) but we were still together rather than me disappearing for that time.

 

If you have children, you can include them in the workouts as well! Now I am by no means telling you to take the little juniors out on your Sunday 20 miler.  Use some common sense here but if you have a zone 2 run, your kids could ride their bikes along side of you.  Two people who are super awesome about this are Ironmom Kim and her husband Taylor.  It’s no secret that kids need to get outside more.  Here is your golden chance to get them moving and have fun with them in the process!

 

Have a plan!

Lastly it is super important to have a plan.  If you have a coach, which obviously is the ideal situation, however I understand not a reality for everyone, then take the plan that they give you and share it with everyone who needs to know it.  You can work with your coach on constructing the week if you have things to work around.  We all have lives, coaches understand that and most of us are athletes too.  We get it, but you have to be open with us just like you need to be open with your family and friends. After you have your plan, put it n the calendar, put it on the fridge, put it somewhere that everyone can see it.  Have you kids cross the workouts off or days once they are completed, keep everyone involved and it will make the process more enjoyable for everyone.

 

I understand that this s all easier said than done here, but it is my goal with this post to shed some light on things that you may not have thought of.  I also understand that the balance of this looks something more like a cat on a tight rope over a pool, rather than one of those plate spinners or the guy juggling the chain saws.  However if you are open and keep everyone involved, with time, things WILL get better.  This is not going to happen overnight people.

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The last thing I want to tell you is that no matter what there are a few things that are going to happen.  Number one, you WILL miss a workout.  It is not the end of the world. Don’t try to make it up.  Pick up the next day where you’re supposed to and keep right on moving.  Number two if you have kids, you workout will get interrupted, kids fight or bicker, someone drops something, shit happens.  Get off your bike, handle the issue and get back on.  Guess what, what are you going to do if you get a flat on the bike or you shoe is untied on the run?  You gonna just call it quits right ther?  Nope you’re going to fix the situation and then keep going.  So do just that in training.  Lastly there are going to be times you have to get up early or stay up late.  It’s just part of the game.  How bad do you want it?  You wanna get better?  You wanna hit that goal or crush that PR? The days when you don’t feel like doing it are the days you need to do it most!

 

If you found something of value here, please share with a friend or family member.  It is much appreciated.

 

All for now.

Keep FSU and Do It For Yourself

Don’t Take Nutrition Advice from 150lbs Pro Athlete

Well here we are friends, through the holidays, probably ate to many cookies and not trying to get back on track. No? Just me? Well lucky you!  For me I probably had one to many sweets, ok maybe 5 too many and a few too many beers.  I like beer and donuts, it could be worse.  Post a wonderful run of bronchitis I am not back on track and finding myself carrying around a little extra.  Did this all happen over the holidays? Absolutely not, it was due to my own mistake or course of mistakes that made me sit down and really think about what I was doing.

We’ve all heard it right? That famous phrase that at times infuriates us enough to even harm a small puppy….wait for it……

“Oh you do triathlons, you must be able to eat WHATEVER you want!”

Well let me be the first to say, no, no I cannot eat whatever I want.  This also leads me to my next point, do not and I repeat DO NOT EVER FOR ANY REASON take nutrition advice from a professional triathlete that weights 150 lbs soaking wet, possibly even holding a brick. 
Awhile back I read an article from a very famous, pretty quick, triathlete.  You may or may not know him.  Mr. Andy Potts. You haven’t? What do you live under an effin rock?!
Now listen, don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that everything in the article was bad, nor do I have anything against Andy.  From what I can gather through social media he is an awesome down to earth guy and he is wicked smart when it comes to this sport.  He did however give me just the amount of ammo that I needed to just go off the deep end.  He stated that “if you want a bowl of ice cream, have a bowl of ice cream.”  Now granted for him, he could probably have a bowl of ice cream every night if he wanted and still not gain a pound.  I am no professional in nutrition by any means, but I can gather that Andy Potts logs a little time training.  Maybe, I mean I am not sure, but I just have a hunch that he probably trains twice a day most days.  He is also focusing on the half and full distance race, so he’s burning a few calories here and there.  Still I do not think that this was the point of his article.  I think he was simply implying that you can treat yourself every once and awhile.
For someone like me however, I was looking for any and every excuse to eat whatever I wanted.  I have NEVER been able to do this before, why did I think I could do it now? Oh that’s right because I was a triathlete! I could eat whatever I wanted! WRONG!  This was when I realized that my mood, energy and everything else had decreased significantly.  What was going on?! I was blaming everything I could, when deep down inside, I really knew what I needed to do.  Cut out a few sweets and add a little more greens.
So now here I sit, back on track and focusing on next year.  Do I eat ice cream and donuts still? Yes as a matter of fact I do, but only on as what coach Dave calls it an “earned day”.  Just because I swam doesn’t mean I get a donut, just because I did a long ride doesn’t mean I get a cheeseburger from Five Guys EVERY time. You’re not an effing dog, don’t reward yourself with food!
Do I blame this fully on Andy Potts and him telling me to eat ice cream if I wanted it? Yes, he’s an ahole and I’ll never root for him again.  No absolutely not, he didn’t hold me down and make me eat the ice cream.  I was looking for affirmation that what I was doing was ok and I found it in that article.  That little thing between your ears is crazy powerful.  If you are looking for something, you will in fact find it sooner or later.
My advice to you? Get MyFitnessPal, track your calories and be smart about it.  Your food is your fuel and it will either help you or hurt you.  There are so many articles, blogs and posts out there for you to read and do with it what you may.  My best piece of advice is don’t take everyting for 100% truth, any idiot can sign up for a blog, look at me ;).  And lastly, track your calories and do not over eat.  If you can “afford” some extra go for it, if not you better earn it!
All for now
Keep FSU and Do It For Yourself


I don’t post on here daily but feel free to find me else where!

A Weekend at the Mirra Compound

This past weekend I had an incredible opportunity that fell together through what I can only describe as good karma.  I had the chance to go visit and train with Dave Mirra who is a legend in the BMX industry and has begun to make a name for himself in triathlon.  I got Dave’s attention on Instagram and we traded comments and likes back and forth for some time.  I had mentioned that I wanted to ride with him and we went back and forth about the idea.  After awhile we decided on a date and things were set for me to head down and ride some bikes with him, I couldn’t believe it.

I can remember my times watching BMX highlights from the X-Games and him being in every single one.  He was and still is an icon in the sport.  I remember going to X-Games in Philly and he tore the vert ramp up, it was an incredible sight. But this was not about X-Games, this was about triathlon and now I had a chance to meet with him and share some knowledge and love for the sport.  I can remember looking up to him in BMX and thinking how he was on a level that not many knew, but this weekend, we were closer to equals, sharing a love for triathlon.

I left early on friday morning after Thanksgiving.  I was eager and anxious to get the weekend started and really wanted to get on the road.  The states and miles ticked by and it was a smooth drive.  I remember turning on a road near Dave’s house and thinking “wow look at that building all the way back there!” I soon learned that “building” was actually his house.  I pulled into his driveway and dave almost immediately came out to great me.  It was surreal and routine all at the same time.  Surreal because I was meeting someone who seemed so untouchable to me at one point and time yet routine because we had talked many times before this and I felt as though I was pulling up to a friends house.

After I was greeted by his mom, we got some things out of the car and adjusted my brakes, it was time to hit the road for the first time!  We had a nice short ride just to shake out the legs.  I remember looking down at my Garmin a few times and we were holding 21-22mph, so much for easy! It was a nice ride though and we wrapped it up and hit the showers.  We decided to go grab some food and beverage for dinner.  When we got to the store I walked down the beer isle and went to reach for my wallet, only it wasn’t there.  I felt like such and idiot!  How did I leave the grocery store and not bring my wallet?!  We forged on and grabbed some things and headed back to the house.  We hit the hay pretty early because we were doing a big ride the next day.

Saturday morning we were up and at em pretty early.  We mixed our bottle, got changed and hit the road.  It was pretty cool because we were actually riding over to the group ride.  I am not able to do that here in PA so it was nice shaking out before things got under way.  We got to the shop and I met up with some of the local guys.  One guy in particular that I can remember was Justin.  He was also on a beautiful P5 and he instantly came over an introduced himself.  Everyone was very nice and welcoming, I loved it.

We departed from the parking lot and headed out on to the road.  This was my first experience riding in a group and that took a little getting used to.  We were about 10 minutes in to the ride and one of the guys had a flat so we pulled over.  I remember Dave asking if I wanted to go with the other half of the group and they would catch up, I politely declined but probably should have.  Once we got moving again I knew these guys weren’t out just to joy ride.  I was holding on for dear life at 25+ mph for the first hour until I got spit out of the back of the group and caught up with the slower half.  I was a little upset but knew I would never be able to hold that kind of pace for 60 miles.  I ended up putting in about 50 miles with the crew that I caught up with and it was a beautiful ride out on country roads.  Part of me didn’t want to look like a fool and “fan boy” so I decided to leave the GoPro at home for the day.  Looking back I wish I had brought it with me and lived out even just a small part of that “fan boy” that was excited to ride with such a legend.  Oh well, you live and you learn.

Post ride we grabbed some lunch at a local spot and then went back and had a nice nap.  Saturday night we were just hanging enjoying some burgers and brews amongst the boys.  I was glad to see that Justin came over to hang with us for the night, he’s an awesome guy and I really enjoyed sharing some laughs with both him and Dave!  Next thing you know someone mentions heading to the “Buc” which is a local bar and I found myself listening to a southern cover-band and enjoying some brews.  It was an awesome night at a local spot and I really enjoyed seeing this side of Greenville.

The last thing that sticks out in my mind from saturday night was when I was chatting with another guy I met Thomas.  He told me that Dave had mentioned I was coming down and he heard my story a bit but didn’t get the full thing so I gave him the short end and we shared a few laughs back at Dave’s house.  I remember him saying to me that Dave was talking about me coming down almost all week and he was really excited for it.  What an incredible feeling.  At this point I was exhausted so I turned it in for the night.

Sunday I woke up and grabbed some coffee. I knew I had a long drive ahead and I needed to get on the road.  I grabbed some lunch with Dave at Mellow again and then we said our good byes.  It was an amazing weekend and I really can’t thank Dave enough for inviting me into his home and allowing me to tag along for the whole weekend.  There were tons of laughs shared and everyone I met down there was awesome.  I feel like I made some friends that I will never forget down there and I hope that I get the chance to go rip it up again with them down in Greenville.

I would just like to close by saying thank you to Dave, I had a great time hanging and riding bikes and just relaxing over the weekend.  Thank you for inviting me into your amazing home and allowing me to share some great memories with you.  I look forward to doing it again.  Thank you also to Andy and Justin for sharing some laughs and brews with me on Saturday night, you guys really made me feel welcome in Greenville.  Lastly thank you to Thomas for your kind words and support in this continued journey, it is greatly appreciated.

Lastly I will share a picture that I snagged before packing up my stuff, it was one of the only ones I grabbed from the weekend.  Like I said earlier I didn’t want to look like a fool so I didn’t take any pictures but looking back I really wish I would have.  Maybe next time..

All For Now
Keep FSU and Do It For Yourself


I don’t post on here daily but feel free to find me else where!