Want to run faster? Check out these tips below to blow your PRs out of the water.
You can’t run fast if you feel like crap all the time. Emphasizing sleep, mobility, and listening to your body are vital to helping you become a faster runner. In terms of sleep at night – aim for 6+ hours of GOOD sleep. That’s not just lying in the bed – that’s cold, knocked out, sleep. Mobility should be performed at least 15 minutes a day with yoga, strengthening, foam rolling, and lacrosse ball work all in the daily arsenal. Finally, listen to your body. If it feels like it might need a day off – take it. However, make sure you body is telling you that and not your mind.
Click here for my favorite calf mobility exercise.
Don’t just show up, perform. Going on a 3 mile run isn’t enough to get faster at a 5k. You need to push it! Unless it’s a recovery run prescribed by your coach, you need to be making the most of every session. If you aren’t pushing yourself past your current threshold, your level of performance is going to plateau and you’ll need to accept your current abilities as a runner. If you want to get better, you need to push past those boundaries.
Training intervals is one of the best ways to get faster. The easiest way to do this are timed intervals because you don’t need a track or any special equipment. Set a timer for an “on” and “off” interval. During the “on” interval, you are going to run as quickly as possible for the duration. During the “off” interval, run or walk as slow as you please. Be prepared to repeat and run as quickly as possible as soon as the “on” interval begins. One of my favorite intervals is 3 minutes “on” and 2 minutes “off” for the duration of my run.
Without knowing where you want to go, how will you ever get there? Set goals of exactly where you want to be with your running. Make them lofty and specific. If you want to run a half marathon in less than two hours, don’t make the goal 1:59, make it 1:50. If you don’t hit that exact goal, no problem, you will reanalyze, see what you could have done better, and try again. Striving for a 1:50 and running 1:57 isn’t a failure. Sure you didn’t hit the 1:50 you set out for, but you smashed your original goal and now have the ability to hit the drawing board and see how you can achieve that 1:50. Don’t get too hung up in the exact result – it’s more about the experience, drive it took to get there, and where you will take yourself from there.
If you didn’t know how to swim, you wouldn’t just jump into a pool after I told you to swim a mile and start up. It would take massive amounts of time to learn how to swim properly to complete the task. Running is the same. You need to learn how to run correctly, efficiently, and safely.
Check out these running drills to help instill proper technique into your runs.
Next week marks number 4... the 4th time I have begun training for an Ironman, which will culminate on November 24th with Ironman Arizona. This time is even more unique as we have 6 of us on Team Aspire that will toe the start line in Tempe, followed by 10-17 hours of one of the largest physical and emotional roller coasters our bodies can undertake. The goal for all 6 of us will be the bliss of hearing Mike Riley say our names, followed by “you are an Ironman!”
Ironman has given me some amazing gifts over the years, but none more than what it has done for my day to day life. Ironman taught me that in order to succeed on race day I need organization. It also taught me that as a husband and business owner, if I ever wanted to complete one again, I need great time management and prioritization in order to not hinder my relationship or take away from my work.
You can’t be unorganized and think you’re going to have a successful training season or race day. Ironman requires organization from scheduling out your workouts, prepping your workouts, day to day nutrition, and following a race strategy including pacing, hydration, and nutrition.
Before completing my first Ironman, I was slightly a mess. Although I am still continually trying to perfect my daily organization, this is a continual process that Ironman has brought (forced) into my life. There is nothing worse than waking up early for a long ride and realizing you have no nutrition and a flat tire. I now know that I need to prep for my sessions ahead of time in order to put myself in the best position for success. This includes keeping my equipment continually on point, keeping stock of my nutrition and hydration, and ensuring my day is scheduled properly to do everything I need do - inside and outside of Ironman training.
The biggest organization is scheduling my week. Every Sunday when I look at my week, I schedule out everything I can in order to have my most successful week. Sure, things will always come up and fires will need to be put out. But, if you don’t have an ideal week set in place from the beginning, your chances of success are going to be slim to none. This schedule will also allow me to see what mornings I need to get up earlier than normal to train, where I need to fit an evening session, or if anything needs to be shortened or skipped. Remember this isn’t just about scheduling your training sessions, but also ensuring all of your responsibilities in life are also being taken care of. The top of your priorities (see below) when creating your weekly schedule is always the most important obligations - family, work, then training.
There are only 24 hours in the day and trust me, you don’t need more of them, you just need to manage them better. We all have areas in which we can be more efficient, get rid of wasted time, and gain as much time as we can. It’s about what we do with our time versus needing more of it.
I hate it when people tell me they don’t have time to train for an Ironman. We all have the time. Sure, you might not have the 20 hours per week it takes to train like a professional, but you do have time for the 8-10 hour a week minimalist training program. You just need to find where you can grab it from.
One of the best ways to determine if you are managing your time best is to take note of everything you do throughout the way. Write down what time you wake up, spend getting ready for work, time spent eating breakfast, etc. Be as detailed as possible. Make sure to include time spent on social media, watching TV, and even driving. After a couple of days have been written down, begin to analyze. Where can you be more efficient? Cut down on things that aren’t helping you reach you goals? Can you multi-task such as doing home chores while cooking? I tend to manage my day in 15-30 minutes increments. Some tasks last shorter and others for longer, but these blocks keep me constantly pointing towards my goals. Short blocks keep my mind sharp, productivity high, and allow me to fit in a great balance of work, training, and pleasure.
Ironman is neither a full time or part time job. It is a hobby that makes us no money and can leave your significant others, friends, and family resentful if you don’t prioritize yourself properly.
Before picking a race, you need to ensure all the controllable factors are considered, including family and work obligations. Pick a race that your family can join you on and include them in the journey as much as possible. The people around you need to be more important than your training and if you lose sight of that, this Ironman may be your last. One of my favorite memories of my first Ironman training was doing a long ride one way to meet my wife for brunch 50 miles up the coast. I left early, rode solo to meet her, and we drove home together after an awesome Sunday morning together.
After picking a race, begin breaking down any other obligations you have. Move training around them and see where you can make up time (see time management). Understand and be willing to sacrifice skipping, shortening, or under performing in sessions because of more important obligations. Don’t miss family vacations or trips with friends because you want to be an Ironman. Find a way to work them in by either skipping a weekend of training and using that as a rest weekend or train on trips early before others wake up.
This also goes the other way around. You also need to prioritize your training sessions. Going out late at night, drinking too much, or eating like shit will all hinder your training. I’m not saying don’t partake in fun, but as my swim coach told us in high school, “if you’re going to be a man (or woman) at night, you’ve got to be a man (or woman) in the morning.” If my wife wants to go out late with friends, I will do my best to reach a good compromise. We will go out, I will have a few drinks mixed in with waters to stay hydrated and reach a compromise on a time to leave.
Finally, day to day, don’t let training for an Ironman make you soft in other aspects of your life. Get your shit done in and out of the gym. Don’t slack off at work because you’re tired, skip your stretching because you’d rather lay on the couch, or not do your household chores because your feet hurt. Master your morning and get things done before everyone else wakes up. Whenever I think I am going to push a training session on the weekend until the afternoon it just doesn’t happen. Get it done early and out of the way!
It doesn’t take a huge life change to become an Ironman, but completing one can have some amazing life changes on you. Learn how to be better organized, manage your time better, and prioritize your life. Completing an Ironman was always a dream for me and now that number 4 is on the horizon, I am more thankful for what Ironman has given me in life than what it feels like to just cross the finish line. Triathlon can be a selfish sport if you allow it. Instead, allow it to make you a better human in all aspects of life.
We get it, you are busy, but you’ve got time for your health and fitness. There is always time – just ask multimillionaire entrepreneur Jesse Itzler who learned a hundred push-ups and sit-ups can easily be done between meetings when he hired a seal to follow him around for a month in his book, “Living with a Seal.” Fitness can easily be added into your busy corporate schedule – you just need to make it happen.
Schedule and prioritize it.
On Sunday afternoon take a look at your week and spend a few minutes throwing your workouts in your calendar. If a day looks impossible to get a workout in, figure out where you can pencil in 5 minutes to do some basic body weight exercises such as squats, push-ups, or sit-ups. Three continuous rounds of 10 squats, 5 pushups, and 10 situps is an infinitely better workout than nothing and takes just a few minutes. You have 5 minutes somewhere, I promise.
Share your goals with co-workers.
Tell your fellow coworkers about your fitness goals. This will not only make them real, but hold you accountable to them. You will also be better understood when you say no when Fred asks you to go to lunch or Barbara offers you cake for Jackie’s birthday.
Master your morning.
There is a reason some of the most brilliant and successful people wake up super early. The morning can be your time to get your workouts done. Your family is probably still asleep, you don’t have any chores to do, and your boss doesn’t expect you to respond to an email at 5 am. Waking up early will also give you more mental strength and empower you to succeed at your goals. A morning workout can lead to more energy throughout the day both physically and cognitively.
Get the office involved.
You aren’t convincing everyone to go sky diving with you. Everyone at the root of it would like to be healthier, so get your office involved in your new fitness habit. Ask you boss about sponsoring a weight loss challenge, hold a push-up contest on Friday afternoons, or start a petition to leave tempting treats like cake, donuts, and cookies out of the office kitchen.
Be proactive, especially with your food.
Don’t wait for shit to happen, make it happen for yourself. Plan out what you are going to eat on a daily basis and bring yourself enough snacks to get you through the day. Don’t wait until lunchtime to decide what you are going to eat, know ahead of time. If you are going on a business lunch, check out the menu ahead of time to see how it can fit into your nutrition for the day.
Get it done.
All this sounds good and great, until it comes down to actually doing it. Don’t just read articles like this that give you the stepping stones for success. Put them into practice and hold yourself accountable.
If you don’t really want this, stop reading here. We need you to intrinsically want to be a better person physically and mentally. Aspire is for those that are willing to put in the effort to achieve the results they desire. This shit is hard, but if you want it, are open to change, and willing to put in the work, we will be here every step of the way to help.
Hold Yourself Accountable
Our Team and fellow Aspire athletes will be there for a high five, but ultimately, you need to hold yourself accountable to your actions, effort, and attendance. Take your fitness seriously by being on time to your workouts, listening to your coaches, doing mobility, and fueling with proper nutrition. Ask for help when you need it, but be the boss of yourself. You have one life – be in charge of it and reach your goals.
Do Intentional Activity Daily
You need to do some sort of intentional activity every day. That could be a workout at Aspire, 30 minute run, yoga session, or quick home workout. Don’t put this goal on a pedestal, it can be short and simple – it just needs to be intentional activity. A long walk with your dog, 2 minute plank between commercials, or walking up the stairs instead of the elevator counts.
Make things happen instead of waiting for them to happen. Take the time to schedule out your week and insert your workouts, go grocery shopping, and plan your meals. Don’t wait until lunch time to decide what you are going to eat for lunch, have it prepped already. Sign up for your workouts and hold yourself accountable to them. Stretch tight muscles before they become injured. The more you are able to plan ahead for, the less obstacles will get in your way.
Your journey to be the best athlete you can be will always be a team effort. Although a lot of it is up to you, the ancient African Proverb holds true, “if you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” We are a team to seek each other for help when we need it, an extra push when we feel tired, and a kick in the ass when we are slacking off. Yes, we want you to be accountable for yourself, but pick up others when they are down, recruit help when needed, spread knowledge when you can, and hold your team accountable to their best.
Diets suck because they will never last forever and don’t necessarily work for everyone. Eat real foods – vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, and grass fed/free range meats. If you want to eat primarily vegetarian or vegan, go for it. But, abide by the 80/20 rule so whatever you do leads to a life of proper nutrition, not just a time frame. Eat 80% great stuff and splurge 20% of the time. This could be daily or on a weekly basis. PS – alcohol counts towards your 20%.
“It's so easy to be great nowadays, because everyone else is weak.” – David Goggins
There are no shortcuts to success and if people spent half the time trying to find hacks at actually working hard, they would be on the quickest path to succeeding at their goals. This shit ain’t easy and that’s the truth. If you are willing to put in the hard work and push yourself, your limitations are endless. But don’t think you are going to get there by keeping your hair dry and your cute lulu crop clean – results come in the form of pool of sweat and ripped calluses.
All the above habits don’t mean shit until you actually put them into action. If you want this, it can and will happen. We will be there to give you guidance, motivation, and encouragement, but we can only hold your hand for so long. It’s up to you to put these habits into place and we believe in you.
Reason - a cause, explanation, or justification for an action or event.
Excuse - attempt to lessen the blame attaching to (a fault or offense); seek to defend or justify.
I hate excuses.
People give me excuses all the time for why they are overweight, didn’t attend a workout, or ate like shit. I agree, sometimes obstacles get in the way. If you truly want to change however, the first thing you need to do is learn what is an excuse and what is a reason.
First off, as soon as you realize that most things setting you back in life are an excuse, you need to rid them from your brain.
Excuses are everyday shit that we have to deal with in life that try to get in the way of reaching our goals. Excuses try to prevent us from our goals, and often do, but reasons are what really stop us. We want to find how we can eliminate excuses entirely and find our best approach to reasons to not allow them to limit us too much.
Traveling all day and couldn’t hit your workout? EXCUSE. You could have done something. You should have woken up 10 minutes earlier and hit a quick 10 minute AMRAP of 10 squats, 10 pushups, and 10 situps. You could have done that at home, in the airport, or hotel late at night.
Couldn’t eat well at work today because you had meetings all day with your boss, who isn’t keen on you snacking in front of her? REASON. You couldn’t eat because your job depended on it. Shit happens and I get it. Make sure you plan good meals for breakfast before work and have something available as soon as you are able to eat.
Take a step back and begin looking at these issues that pop up in your life. Is it family getting in the way? Your job? Or are you just holding yourself back? Now, ask yourself if this is really a reason you can’t do something about. Is it a cause, explanation, or justification or is it simply an attempt to lessen the blame for not doing it?
We all run into obstacles in our lives. Broken bones are reasons for not running a half marathon. But, not having enough time is an excuse. Time is a beautiful thing that is limited in quantity, but not in creativity. Time can always be better utilized and prioritized. When these obstacles pop up in your head, simply ask yourself if this is a reason or excuse. You’ll be surprised how many things you can immediately find solutions to.
Let me preface this article by saying this article is not intended to:
(1) say that women can’t be badasses and do anything a man can do (or do it even better)
(2) say that men have to be emotionless and hide their feelings.
(3) allow men to be assholes and should instead respect all humans regardless of age, background, or sex.
(4) say that all men are physically wimps, only a majority of them are.
(5) say men need to be the primary monetary providers for their families
It is intended to share that physical masculinity in its historic form has taken a huge hit.
Men have become weak.
Darwinism used to control our world. Only the strongest - both physically, mentally, and intellectually, would survive. Their genes would be passed along and only the fittest lived on. Survival of the fittest is now negated with who has the most money or access to healthcare (which often coincides), allowing for our physical abilities to be completely neglected. This has allowed men to become weak and fragile - and I want to change that.
I want to bring back the man in men. Men should be able to lift heavy, run long distances, physically protect themselves and their family, help thy neighbor, and explore the world around them. Instead, men are confined to their desk chairs, not playing in the yard with their children, getting out of breath walking from their car, and playing childish video games as their adventures. Side note - if you are a man above the age of, let’s say 12, and have any intention of getting laid or actually being a real man, stop playing video games. I’m sure there are ladies out there that are into that shit, but most think it’s lame. Because it is. And if I ever needed help unloading heavy stuff from my truck, I wouldn’t be calling the dude playing Fortnite, because no way that guy could be of any help with any sort of physical activity.
This isn’t all just about physical strength either. If I could rid men of one trait it’s complaining. What’s the point of complaining? All it does is make you worry about what you cannot control. Don’t like the rain? Don’t complain about it because you can’t do a thing about it. Don’t like your body? Don’t complain about it, do something about it! The term “man cold” was pegged for a reason. Step up your game men! Worry about the things that are in your control and shut up and take care of them.
So where do we begin? At the bottom of course. Men need to put their egos aside and trust professionals to help them out. In my experience, men have a tough time having a personal trainer or coach because they tend to want to do it themselves - they know better. But they don’t, so they need to put the ego aside and find help.
Next, that ego has to stay in the bag because when they do find help, it’s going to be hard and tons of people are going to be better, stronger, and faster. Many of those people are going to be teenagers and women. Likely, there’s even some teenage girls that are going to be stronger too! The ego has to be kept in check. Progress is made hour by hour and day after day. Know that and keep trucking along. They’ll get there.
Sure people can make money and hire people to do the heavy lifting for them. If they have accesses to great healthcare and there’s a good chance he can live for a long time, too. But, when a hurricane comes towards Florida, I want to be able to see our men help our elderly neighbors put up their hurricane shutters. I want to see men help a friend move a couch to their new apartment. I want to see men easily lift a keg out of the back of their truck. And I don’t want to hear men too out of breath to chase after their kids in the yard. I want to bring real men back. I believe we can collectively become strong and supportive members of the community once again. And if they aren’t willing, I know a TON of badass women that are currently putting in the work to do so.
Unless you are part of a meal delivery service, cooking in bulk to prep for the week is vital. An occasional meal out isn’t going to hurt your progress too much, but in excess will be detrimental. This bulk cook also doesn’t need to be 5-Star restaurant quality. Our weekly meals are fuel – we need carbs, fats, and protein. Keep it simple and save the duck confit with mango aioli quinoa and avocado tomato salad for your splurge over the weekend. Basic meals are easy and fuel the body well, don’t over complicate this shit. Simplicity is key.
If you have a typical day job, lunch plus 2-3 snacks are a minimum to bring with you every day. If you aren’t getting up early enough to make breakfast or if you get home too late to cook dinner, those need to be prepped also. We are going to dive into meals – snack info will come at a later date. Remember, both meals and snacks are required daily – EVERYONE needs to be eating frequently over the course of the day (every 2-3 hours).
There are two major ways you can prep your meals:
WEEKEND BULK COOK
Pros: Frees the week up from cooking, calories and macros can be perfect, super convenient to eat during the week
Cons: Takes away free time on Sunday, food isn’t as fresh toward the end of the week, variety can be tough
Much of what you see in social media when we refer to bulk cooking or meal prep refers to the weekend bulk cook. Here you will cook a ton of food, measure it out into Tupperware, and be set for the entire week. Some people will cook every meal for the week right now. Others will cook their breakfast daily, so all they need to worry about it lunch and dinner. Personally, I like my Sundays free and want fresher food throughout the week, so I don’t choose this approach. However, try it out and if it works for you, comment below on what you made to share with others!
COOK ALMOST DAILY
Pros: Fresher food, more variety, weekends are free
Cons: Daily time consumption
Personally, I cook almost every night. I don’t typically plan which nights I will and won’t cook, it usually goes by my day, how I feel, or our plans for later in the week. I enjoy the freedom of not being confined to a certain meal and I typically enjoy cooking. So, 3-4 nights a week, I cook, and I cook a lot of food! This gives me the freedom to cook what I want to eat that night and have leftovers for lunch the next day. I’ll typically also throw and extra meat and veggie in there too so a few more meals can be made. This gives us plenty of meals to eat throughout the week and allows me to skip a night of cooking when I want to.
Below would be a typical dinner for myself and my wife if I were cooking our lunches and dinners for next day or two. She will eat one lunch daily and I will eat two to meet our caloric needs. Both are around the size, but I am aiming for 3500+ calories and she is currently around 2000 calories. If you need more calories but can only eat one lunch a day for job reasons, just make it larger. I wake up an hour before I have to be anywhere to cook breakfast so that is not included in the (almost) nightly cook.
Time: 45 minutes
(4) Chicken Breasts
(8) Chicken Thighs
(1) Red Pepper
(1) Green Pepper
(1) Yellow Pepper
(1) Broccoli Head
(1) Cauliflower Head
(1) Bag of fingerling potatoes
-Salt and Pepper
-Coconut Oli Spray
(3) Burritos – tortillas, chicken thighs, brown rice, peppers/onions
(4) Chicken Breasts with roasted potatoes and broccoli/cauliflower
(2) Chicken Tights with brown rice and peppers/onions
Set Oven to 400. Spray 3 baking dishes with coconut oil spray. Put 4 chicken breast in one dish and season with salt and pepper. Put into oven (while preheating is okay) and set oven timer for 45 minutes. Wash potatoes and cut in half. Put into other baking dish and season with salt, pepper, and coconut oil. Put into oven (by now they will be in there around 35 minutes). Wash broccoli and cauliflower. Rub with coconut oil and place on a third dish. Put into oven (should be around 25 minutes to go). Begin warming 2 frying pans with coconut oil or spray. Wash peppers and onions, cut, and rub in coconut oil. Prep chicken by seasoning with salt and pepper. Cook thighs on pan for around 10 minutes on each side. Cook peppers and onions in another pan, constantly stirring vegetables for around 20 minutes. After thighs and peppers/onions are done, everything from the oven will be done as well as ready to be dispersed as you please.
Below is my breakfast I cook for myself and my wife each morning. Depending on the day I will swap out my carb (hashbrowns) and replace with another carb such as a bagel, toast, or fruit, but the meal always consists of protein, fat, and carbs and is around 850 calories for me.
Time: 12 minutes
Using two frying pans, put bacon into one pan and hashbrowns into the other on medium heat. Bacon will need about 4 minutes per side. While bacon is cooking, crack eggs into bowl. After bacon is done, put eggs into frying pan that the bacon was in. Flip the hashbrowns to cook the other side. Cook your eggs as desired. Once the eggs are done, the hashbrowns will be as well. BOOM! Breakfast is done.
Above are just some examples of what I do to cook the vast majority of what goes into my body. You need to find out what works best for you. Try cooking on the weekends. Commit to cooking almost every night. See what you enjoy the most and what sets you up for a lifetime of taking care of your nutrition. Just don’t overcomplicate it – keep it simple, cook basic dishes, and avoid having to go eat out every day.
Ever since I remember, we have been debating healthcare in this country. Every politician has their own opinion on how to fix it. In reality, we need to stop concentrating on how to pay for it and instead focus on how to prevent the need for it.
Our healthcare system is based around keeping sick people alive rather than actually curing disease. At first it surprised me when people sat down with me in our gym and told me their blood work came back with terrible numbers and THEY realized they needed to lose weight. They made the decision that change needed to happen. Possibly, their physicians told them to lose weight. Even better, he/she told them to eat properly, in adequate quantities, and exercise. However, that’s doubtful. Many just don’t have the knowledge to prescribe those things. They are experts in medicine and drugs. What I do expect from our physicians however is a general prescription for the factual cure to chronic disease (nutrition and exercise) and adequate referrals to the healthcare providers that can provide them with solutions.
Physicians in my eyes do a great job at referring other physicians in their network with specialties to help treat ailments that require special attention. So why is it that a diabetic or pre-diabetic individual isn’t referred to the specialist that can cure their disease? Personal Trainers, CrossFit Coaches, Nutritionists, Dieticians, among others look at the underlying cause of their disease and treat it. Often, it’s as simple as eating real food, in smaller quantities, and adding in some sort of exercise. Instead, these individuals are referred to pharmacies only to revert to drugs as their treatment option.
I can’t fix the healthcare problem in this country. It’s too large, too complex, and way too much money in it for a little voice like me to be of a major influence. What I can offer however is micro solutions – helping one person at a time cure their own disease. You don’t have to be a victim of your aliment. You are in charge of your life. Chronic disease doesn’t have to be a life sentence to being sedentary and on prescription drugs.
If you or someone close to you is in this position, please contact us so we can help.
DISCLAIMER: There are great doctors. Unfortunately, I just don’t know many of them, especially in the field of primary care. Luckily, it seems as if CrossFit Health is aiming to fix this and create a database of doctors that want to cure chronic disease, not just treat it. If you do know of any local physicians in the Fort Lauderdale area that do promote, have knowledge, and practice preventative healthcare through exercise and nutrition, please let me know as I would love to refer them business.
They say you are what you eat. But, you’re also who you hang out with.
There are no quick ways to being healthy. It takes lifestyle change and that’s the truth of it. Of my time in the fitness profession, the biggest game changer I see to succeed in your health and fitness goals is looking who you surround yourself with. If you are constantly around people without the same goals as you, it is going to be a huge uphill battle to succeed. When you surround yourself with likeminded individuals, it takes the temptation out of things that are currently holding you back and provides the support you need to flourish.
If you want to finally make change and become the healthier and fitter version of yourself, you have two choices when it comes to who you currently hang with if they aren’t on the same page as you with their health:
Yeah, it’s harsh, but it’s also reality. If your friends don’t want to support your in your quest for a healthy lifestyle, F- them. You’ll find new, better, and sexier friends soon enough.
Do it together
What better way to get healthier than to do it with your current crew. Going on this journey with a spouse, family, or friends is an excellent way to ensure your success. You’ll know what you each are going through and be an amazing support system.
Surrounding yourself with healthy people gives you:
Avoidance of temptation
You and your bestie have your first half marathon next weekend? You both will have no problem staying in this Saturday evening and watching a movie instead of going out. You’ll be hitting brunch after the race anyway!
My best friends all go to the gym and I legitimately miss them when they aren’t in class. When I text them later that day it isn’t to remind them they wanted a deadlift PR, it’s just because I wanted to hang with them. Maybe I care about their goals a little bit, but it’s mostly me being selfish.
Healthy activities and hobbies
Paddle boarding at the beach? Yeah! Rock climbing? Sure thing. Volleyball at the park? Let’s go! This is kind of blunt, but healthy people like to do cool shit. Find some healthy people to do cool shit with. Disclaimer: beer can be drank during or after this fun shit too.
Life’s unhealthy temptations are always surrounding us. Whether it is a bacon maple glazed donut or a jalapeño passion fruit margarita, my goal isn’t for you to avoid these pleasures altogether. Rather, instead I want you to find balance of both of these worlds. The problem lies when the ones who you spend the most time with are constantly pulling you in the directions you shouldn’t be going to very often. You need friends that will run with you at 9 am, then go to brunch after. You need acquaintances that back your decision to leave a party early because of your workout the next morning. And you need supporters that are running this race with you, not telling you to skip your Friday workout to go to Happy Hour.
An African proverb states that “it takes a village to raise a child.” This works perfectly for our health and fitness too. We are setting ourselves up for failure if we try to tackle it alone or without a support system around us. This journey is hard enough, so make sure you are surrounding yourself with individuals who not only support you, but make this trip of health and fitness incredibly fun and successful.
Is the “New Year, New You” a real thing or just marketing bullshit to get you to set some goals for the new year?
Here’s the reality: it’s up to you. And I’m into it.
Every year, people make their New Year’s Resolutions and January leads to an influx of people trying to become fitter. It’s so popular to make resolutions based around health and fitness because, as a whole, America is terribly out of shape. It comes as no surprise that when people look to better themselves in the new year, their health becomes a priority. And it should be!
We constantly debate and worry about our health in this country. Which diet is best? What style of fitness is the safest? How can we better control our obesity epidemic? The answer is simple – take your health out of your doctors’ and the media’s hands and put it into your own control. Start simple and see where that takes you; eat real foods, limit processed foods and alcohol, and begin moving more. After a bit of that, see where it takes you, and determine what you need to do to continue to better yourself.
We should always be trying to better ourselves. The new year gives us that fresh opportunity and a new page in
our novels to do so. If you aren’t setting goals year-round, you should be. Setting them alone is not enough, you need to actively check in on them, revise them, and add onto them. Goals also give us a perfect way to back track, set timelines, and see what we should be doing everyday to get to that end result.
Most importantly, don’t put your health and fitness on an unattainable pedestal. Simplicity is the first start. Give up sweets and start walking. Only drink one night a week and ride your bike more often (preferably not on the night you are drinking). Or better yet, stop by a local gym (if possible, my gym) and meet with a professional who can outline your journey and support you all along the way. Regardless of your path, you can do it. New Year’s Resolutions only suck if you don’t reach them. Don’t let them suck this year.
Sean Spire is the Head Coach of ASL. He was a competitive swimmer who discovered CrossFit and Ironman Triathlons. He has his BS in Exercise Science from Florida State University.