Category Archives: goal

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!

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!

Back to the Basics

Its no secrete that I have been slacking with this blog. I felt as though I couldn’t “create” enough content for the readers and so it led to me slacking on this blog. I have been following and consuming a lot of content from Gary Vee and Mike Vacanti and I have learned that putting things out there consistently is far better than not putting anything out there at all. So my vow for 2017 is more consistent posting.

So here it goes….

My year this year with tri was busy to say the least. I had some tune up races early in the season and a late peak. I won’t bore you with the details, I have posted race report from the season that you can read up on those.

One thing that has really been lacking, other than my blog posts, is my nutrition. I haven’t been nearly as locked in with it as I used to be and so I decided to start a Facebook group for No Cheat November. I knew I needed to get back on track and this would be the perfect way. The month started and it was back to basics for me. Tracking calories and macros, eating the right foods and cutting out the crap. Yes this means no soft pretzels 3X a week, sometimes more. It was hard at first, I’m not going to lie. I knew I needed to do it and I knew that I could do it, but for some reason, getting rid of this 25-30 pounds that I put on, was harder than when I first started.

I knew what I had to do, it was just bringing myself to do it! So the group was perfect, holding each other accountable. It worked very well and we actually decided to continue the group through the holidays.

When I started the group and the clean up though, I had one thing that I wanted to give a try and I was nervous. Intermittent fasting has always peaked my interest, why I don’t know, I love food but I always thought it was never possible. How on earth could someone skip breakfast and not eat until like 1-2pm?! I decided from the start I would do it on rest day, I would be trying to keep calories low this day anyway and wouldn’t be training so it made sense.

The first time I did it, it was kinda like the first time you take your kid to the doctor, I had no idea what I was in for but once I got there I found out real fast what was going on. The only thing I had from dinner the night before until lunch was black coffee and green tea. In the following weeks, I almost looked forward to the challenge. I knew what I was in for but I was ready for the pain. In some sick twisted way, I am convinced that I just love pain. There is really no other explanation for it to be honest.

Since then I have begun fasting everyday except for days when I know I will be training 2+ hours. It’s something that you think is impossible and then you try it and it’s really not that bad. I usually eat dinner pretty late because I train after work. Dinner is usually between 8-9pm after training. From there its nothing for 16-17 hours except for black coffee, green tea, and water. I was against the idea of gum at first but its negative calories (you burn more chewing than what’s in the gum) so I also have gum from time to time.

Here is the other key, when I break my fast I am not eating burgers and fries and whatever I want like these “trainers” you see on Instagram. I still keep things clean and as always I am conscious of my macros. If it is something that interests you give it a shot!

There are many benefits to intermittent fasting depending on if you can make it work with you schedule. The whole idea of “breaking the fast” in the morning is no longer 100% the only way to go. If you are trying to stay in a calorie deficit and you’re not training this can be difficult. With intermittent fast I typically skip about 500 calories from breakfast and another 200-250 in a snack that I would have mid morning. If you are interested in the more detailed explanation of how this could help you, stop over to Octane Athletics blog and read this article from Blake, he goes in depth on everything you need to know if you want to give it a try! http://www.octane-athletics.com/intermittent_fasting/

As far as everything else goes it is just back to the basics for me, thats what this post is all about. Back to black coffee, lots of protein, healthy complex carbs and just getting shit done. Don’t get me wrong I will have plenty of beers through the holiday, pie on Christmas, and everything in between. But then it’s right back on track. That’s the biggest thing I have found so far, is that before when I would have a little slip, the wheels would fall off, now however its back to normal and I am thankful that I can recognize that.

Thank you to everyone who joined the Facebook group and shared your thoughts and journeys for the month of November. I plan to keep it open through the New Year so if you are a reader and you would like to join the link is right here https://www.facebook.com/groups/370960176573403/

My attempt to be more consistent with this blog from now on is 1-2 posts per week. I am going to do a reverse bet (shoutout to Mike) and if I don’t do that then I will need to do something that makes me even more uncomfortable. Leave your comments below and share something you plan to do in 2017 that will make you better!

Until next time, all for now.
Keep FSU and Do It For Yourself

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

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!

Atlantic City International Tri


It will always hold a special place in my heart because this is the race that started it all.  Coming off of an iffy race I was ready to murder this race. 

Let me start by saying I love racing in Atlantic City, it is my favorite place to race.  I go over the bridge into Atlantic City and I get all amped up and ready to go.  I hit bike check in, packet pick up, and the athlete meeting.  I have done this race before but I wanted to check in with the RD and say hello so I figured I would hangout.  Plus things change from year to year so it is good to catch one of these.  After chatting with Steve I learned that the idiot who went off on me at the Challenge Race was fired and we chuckled about that.  He had to be on his was and I needed to check in to my hotel so we parted ways.

I was trying to keep costs low for this trip so I booked a hotel at the Chelsea but on the “other” side and not in the towers.  Horrible idea, DON’T EVER DO IT.  If there is one thing I learned about AC, it’s don’t hit the cheap button on your hotel choice. On top of that there was a huge pool party right next to my room.  Thank god that ended before bedtime.

My alarm went off and it was game time.  I got set up in transition and did a warm up jog I was ready to go.  This course is so fast that things happen in the blink of an eye.  The swim course is great, back bay, calm and little current.  The bike course is super rad because it is on the AC expressway, which is obviously closed to bikes at any other time.  The run is on the boardwalk but it is early enough where all the drunk, party people are still sleeping. 

My swim went really well for this race, I have been trying to improve it and I felt great during this swim.  I jumped out of the water and went right to the bike.  


While on the bike I started to pick a few people off.  I caught up to one guy and he was clearly from north Jersey.  He look at me and was like “oh man these shorty bars are killing me. I am cramping up.”  2 mins later he puts his arms up over his head and screams “OHHHH MY ABS!!” I almost peed my pants.  

fasted bike split for AG
I continue riding my race.  We play cat and mouse, he said at one point “I thought I lost you.” And we headed in to T2 together.  I could see him leaving T2 and he actually stopped to “stretch” but turned around looking for me.  I was paying attention to my race and just let him go.  I knew what I needed to do and that was smoke this run.  And that I did.  I came back into Bader field and I was moving at a pretty good clip.  As I cam down the chute my boy Jim was waiting for me and he ran the whole time, yelling and pushing me to finish strong.  
Coming into Bader Field
Running the chute with Jim

Finish strong I did in 59:54.  I wanted to go under an hour at this race so bad and I did.  I was on cloud 9. 
I literally cannot thank everyone who supported me at this race enough.  Jamee, my mom, dad, and Jimbo.  It was incredible to do what I did there in front of all of them.  Thank you as always to my followers and sponsors and Coach Dave for getting me to the start line healthy and enabling me to accomplish this goal.

I can’t thank this man enough for everything that he has done for me since day one.  He’s been here through the entire journey. He was there on that first day I toed the line and he was there to witness the win. It was special that’t for sure.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart Jimbo.

Up next is Challenge Pocono!

Until 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!

Focus On the Good

Since Jersey State Triathlon things have been fairly normal as they go.  I have been on my bike, I have been running, I have been swimming.  Training, hanging, and enjoying my summer, honestly I wouldn’t have it any other way.  This summer has been absolutely amazing for so many reasons, I have met some great people who are a part of my life now, I have strengthened some relationships with people I knew and I have reached some goals already as far as racing goes.

When I started this blog, I started it to detail my story in becoming an Ironman.  I try to keep most of my personal life, personal and just keep it to racing.  However this has become my outlet and at times I must use it for just that.  This week I got news that I had lost three people in my life in the course of about four days.  Two of which lost a hard fought battle with cancer and one of which lost their battle with depression.  It is always hard to hear of these things but three in the matter of time that passed rocked my world.

Unfortunately this is not the first time my world has been rocked by the loss of a young life to suicide.  Before I started my journey to Ironman, I lost a great friend to the same thing.  When I learned of this, I began to relive this nightmare all over again.  I felt all of the same emotions, sickness and anxiety that I felt only a few short years ago.  It was hard, it put me down and I didn’t even want to come out of my room let alone my house on Monday.  There are a lot of things I carry with me from day to day from the first time I was ever impacted by this disease.  I never thought sitting in high school health classes that my life would be affected by this disease, let alone twice.

Through all of this I have been told something that I have heard a million times and something that I did not really want to hear at this moment…. “Focus on the good.” It seemed like everything was right on track and then it spun off so fast.  I had a job lined up, I had everything going right and them boom, It felt like I ran into a wall.  There were complications with the job and that sent me into a tailspin.  I have goals that I want to accomplish and a time line that I need to follow in order to reach those goals.  Knowing that I could possibly not have a full time job and having to cover bills makes me anxious about getting a new bike in order to reach my ultimate dream of becoming an Ironman among so many other things.

Yet I had so many people telling me to focus on the good.  Well this morning I decided to do just that, focus on the good and forget about the rest.  I have a great time at my part time job right now, I am helping people and inspiring people to better their lives, I am having an amazing summer, the list goes on.  Yes I hit some road bumps but I cannot let them derail the things that I am focused on.  I truly believe that I am being tested in order to make the victories taste even sweeter.  I am also making new goals.  In order to reach my goal I have started a Go Fund Me account in order to help offset some of the cost for my bike.  This is a dream that I have shared with so many people and I know that it is something that I cannot do alone.  I ask that if you read this and feel compelled to help please help in anyway that you can, whether it be a donation or just sharing my story for other people to learn about it.  I know I have the support of so many people and I can’t thank you all enough, you have been simply amazing and any little thing that you can do to help me will be so greatly appreciated.

Marathon training has started here, looking at races for next year and so many other plans.  I can’t thank everyone enough for their support a long this journey.  The messages and praise I receive daily are so rewarding and I thank you all so much.  I wish that I could meet every person who has touched my life and give them a hug, I like hugs.

Until the next time, thank you for everything that all of you do and please keep it up, I appreciate it more than you could ever imagine.

All for now
Keep FSU and Do It For Yourself

I do not post on here on a daily basis but feel free to catch me on other social media!

Post race excitement, Next race worries

Everyone knows that excitement, that feeling of accomplishment just after the race.  You can usually ride it for a few days, maybe even a week.  It’s a nice cruise to come down from, but as will all good rides, this one must come to an end.  Once the ride comes to an end you start to dissect everything that happened from said race.  Things like breakfast, the car ride or walk to transition, the sleep, the nutrition both before and during, the swim, the bike, and the run.  You look at all aspects of it and try to determine, did I give me best? Where can I get better?  If you have multiple races close together, here come the worries of the next race.  Do I have enough time to get better, faster, stronger? Will I improve or will I stay the same?  God forbid…..will I get worse? And cue the emotional roller coaster of race season!

Since Escape the Cape I have been training my tush off for the Jersey State Triathlon.  This race is much bigger than my previous.  It is bigger in the field, longer in distance and just bringing some nerves.  Once my wave came to an end after ETC I knew it was time to get after things.  I was having good sessions on the bike, in the pool and on the run.  Things were just going well.  I wasn’t shaving huge chunks of time off but my training felt good.  This could only mean one thing, I needed to step it up.  As soon as you get comfortable you need to get out of that comfort zone, or you could be stuck there for awhile.

So I started to step training up.  Workouts were getting harder and longer, efforts were going up and I was seeing results.  With Fourth of July right around the corner I knew I needed to take my bike with me to the beach.  Over the weekend I completed my longest ride to date.  30 miles through the beach towns and it felt great.  Coming home I was feeling good off of this ride.  I went to swim Monday however and I felt like garbage.  I couldn’t hold my times I wanted to and I could barely get through my swim.  Things just started to go down hill from there.  The next swim felt like crap again.  At first I thought it was from the weekend away, having fun and enjoying myself, which is something that everyone needs to do.  As I thought about it more though, I knew that if it were because of what I was doing, I wouldn’t have been able to do that ride.  Now I am not someone who looks for excuses, when things are going bad I put it on myself to get better.  I was standing on the pool deck one morning though and I noticed the board was reading a temp of 86 degrees in the lap pool.  I started talking to a friend and his swims were also struggling a bit.  I knew it was the water temp. I was freaking out about the upcoming race, knowing that the field is WAY more competitive than any field I have been in before and this wasn’t helping.

Fast Forward…..I started this post at the end of last week.  Since then I swam two more times and went for another ride and run.  I swam outside where it was cooler and my times were right where I wanted them to be again.  My bike was the longest to date again, 46 miles and my run was 7.15 miles in an hour.  I am feeling much better about my training going into this weekend now.  I am pumped to compete against a competitive field and I know its going to push me to my max and I am very excited for that.  Coming off of some great workouts that were key going into taper week and thanks to the support of some amazing people the nerves have been calmed a bit.  On my ride this past weekend I conquered my fear of getting into areo on the road.  This was a huge step for me and I thank my buddy Brandon so much for pushing me to get over this.  It seems very small but it was a HUGE step for me.

Dropped down and getting over the fear!

Fenwick Island on the 46 mile ride.

Now it is time to taper off and rest up for this weekend.   I am going in feeling good and confident along with excited to see how things pan out.  As for the rest of the week I have some open water stuff on Wednesday depending on this weather along with one more run.  After that it is just some shake out stuff and a long care ride up to Princeton NJ for the race.  Race is sunday but I will pick up my packet and everything saturday and stay there Saturday night so that I do not have to travel far on race morning.  Anyone else have an races coming up this weekend or in the near future? What are you racing and when? Please share!

All For now
Keep FSU and Do It For Yourself

I do not post on here on a daily basis but feel free to catch me on other social media!