Category Archives: Goals

2017 Activity Challenge

We as Americans have a pandemic on our hands. It’s been happening for about three decades now as we as a nation have gotten out of shape or otherwise less fit than a human should be. As a nation we are less active and as a consequence weigh more than we did 30 years ago and it’s not just the natural progression of aging. Here are some stats:

The overall age-adjusted prevalence of obesity in U.S adults from 2013-2014 was 37.7% (Flegal, Kruszon-Moran, Carrol, Fryar, & Ogden, 2016). Put another way, regardless of age if we look at all adults from age 18 and up then ~4 out of 10 would be obese. Obesity is defined by the Center for Disease Controls (CDC) as those individuals having a BMI of 30.0 or higher. Also, keep in mind that this statistic does not include those adults who are just overweight which is defined as having a BMI of 25.0 to <30.

To kill the elephant in the room, yes, BMI is arguably not a good indicator of health for individuals with a lot of extra muscle mass, however, I don’t go to the mall, the grocery, or my kids’ school and see a bunch of bodybuilders walking around feeling bad that their BMI says their “obese.”

So let’s get to it. The 2017 activity challenge!

I have a bad habit of wanting to do something for everyone and you, my followers, reap the benefits! What can I say except, you’re welcome.

First this is for my peeps who want to work on their overall health. If you’re just getting started in the fitness game or want to add to your overall fitness then your goals are as follows:


  • 3 hours of:
    • moderate intensity aerobic activity (brisk walking) per week
    • Be sure to do a warm-up and cool down for each session, but remember the warm-up and cool down does not count toward the 3 hours of  moderate activity
  • Also, 2 or more days per week of strength training that works all major muscle groups including legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms.
    • A full body strength training session should take at least 1 hour. Try for 3 sets of 10 repetitions per major muscle group as listed above.
  • The totals:
    • 3 hours of moderate aerobic activity per week plus two 1-hour strength training sessions equals out to 260 hours of activity for the year.

Alternatively, my first time fitness freaks can do:

  • 2 hours of vigorous intensity aerobic activity (running or jogging) per week
    • Be sure to do a warm-up and cool down for each session, but remember the warm-up and cool down does not count toward the 2 hours of  vigorous activity
  • Also, 2 or more days per week of strength training that that works all major muscle groups including legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms.
    • A full body strength training session should take at least 1 hour. Try for 3 sets of 10 repetitions per major muscle group as listed above.
  • The totals:
    • 2 hours of vigorous aerobic activity per week plus two 1-hour strength training sessions equals out to 156 hours of activity for the year.

For the raw runners who want to be pushed for 365 days. Welcome to 2017 grind!

Runners, get seeeeet!

Your mileage goal is 2017 +1 mile to grow on for the next year. Here’s the break down.

  • That’s ~5.6 miles per day on average
  • Or, that’s ~39 miles per week on average
  • Also, you need strength training to maintain that weekly mileage so, 2 or more days per week that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms)
  • One other suggestion: Add a cross training you love to do.  For me it’s spin class. If you like swimming then go for it. If it’s hitting the heavy bag, fine, but choose something to support your running besides just more running from the cardiovascular standpoint.

I want to remind everyone to be safe when it comes to challenges and do not get involved with too many challenges at once. It’s really easy to get to a state of over training so make sure that after you hit it hard on the road, trail, or in the gym or pool that you take a rest day and get some sleep. Also, as I always say, “You can’t outrun your fork.” so make sure that your diet and nutrition supports the activity and the challenges you undertake this year.


Always Training,


PR-ing the Purdue University Boilermaker Half Marathon

Today was the 3rd annual Purdue University Boilermaker Half Marathon. I signed up for this race last year right after running the soggy 2nd annual Purdue University Boilermaker Half Marathon. Today’s weather was a cool 47 degrees and overcast. If you are unfamiliar with the West Lafayette and Lafayette, IN area that surrounds Purdue University’s campus then let me tell you the course is a bit hilly.

The course starts out on the edge of campus near Ross-Aide stadium and heads out toward the Purdue golf courses. The first 5-6 miles are very pleasant with a few rolling hills and even includes a great deal of downhill grade running as you cross down into the Wabash river valley to the Lafayette side. Once into Lafayette you run around the downtown Lafayette area and then begin your trek back to the shores of the Wabash around miles 7-8.  It is very picturesque and filled with memories for those returning alumni, like myself, who spent our formative years at our ol’ Purdue.

Do you remember me saying a few sentences ago that you were running DOWN into the river valley? Holy hell, you have to get back to campus! Mile 8 to 9-ish is all uphill. You think a bridge would be flat. NOPE!  It looked flat from the other side! …optical illusion apparently.

Up until then I had been maintaining a nice sub 9-minute pace and feeling great! I was fueling on a strict schedule and running through the water stops without slowing down. I used the crush top cup method to pour water and gatorade down my gullet and kept running never breaking stride and surprisingly getting most of the life giving liquids into me without too much spillage.

That “last” hill felt like it went on forever and it took a lot out of me. We climbed and climbed and climbed. I passed many a runner who was brought to a walk, but I had trained for this hill as I run most all my treadmill runs at a 1% incline so I am used to maintaining pace on an incline.  By the time I was at the top of the hill I felt like I was moving so slow, but my Garmin was still telling me that I was well below a 10-minute mile pace even though I was over my 9:05 needed to come in under 2-hours. At the top of the climb we made a turn to take us over to the Purdue University hotel and through the heart of campus to head back toward the stadium.

Passing the 10-mile marker I remembered where the course goes next and I remembered I was mistaken on that “last” hill comment earlier. The course doubles back on itself to go back by the Purdue golf courses toward the finish line in order to avoid running up that enormously steep hill that is right next to Ross-Aide stadium.  In order to accomplish this the course goes up Stadium Avenue to McCormick Road, passed the fraternities near Slater Hill…yes, it’s called Slater hill because well, it’s a big hill…like the kind you can sled down in the winter time…with a couch if done correctly.

The good news! It’s not that long of a climb. The bad news! It’s steeper than the bridge I mentioned earlier. This time my Garmin told me that I WAS over the 10-minute pace for a short period. I caught more and more runners as many walked up that hill. At the top of the hill was the 11-mile marker. I had 2.1 miles to go on relatively flat terrain and I was about 95+ minutes into the race. I realized I could do 10 minute miles the rest of the way and still beat 2-hours!  However, I didn’t come here to run 10-minute miles so I pushed it to keep a pace closer to 9:20. After passing the 12-mile marker I enjoyed the last 1.1 miles. At about a quarter mile out three Fleet Feet guys passed me and I decided to stick with them. They were running an 8:22 pace which felt surprisingly good to me! I cleared passed the three as I sprinted to the finish looking at the clock right as I crossed the line.

The clock read 01:57:08.  I know a few more seconds will be shaved off since I wasn’t toeing the start line at the gun.

Afterwards I was prepared for the smile, but I was unprepared for the emotion as I’ve chased this sub 2-hour goal for a couple years through unbearable heat and more than one very chilly race. Today’s race was perfectly set with a cool temperature, a sun under cloud cover and otherwise dry conditions. I cannot be happier right now and I’ve already put my new PR medal in it’s place of honor on my PR medal holder!

In two weeks I have the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon. This is a training run for The Dopey Challenge and I am excited to run it! Next weekend I will still do a long run of close to or right at 20 miles. Looking forward to it!

Happy Training!


Tapering for Disney

Screenshot 2014-01-03 07.44.02

There’s nothing potentially more frustrating for a runner than the marathon taper…or any distance taper really. Last weekend I ran 21 miles for my last long run before starting my taper for the Walt Disney World Marathon weekend.  This will be the 4th anniversary of my 1st marathon and my 8th marathon overall. I am elated to run and go for a PR at the place where I love to run the most surrounded by fellow runners, teammates, friends and family! So all there’s left to do is…taper.

Tapering if you don’t know is a reduction in training time and intensity.  For 16 weeks I’ve been pushing the envelope on speed and distance with the goal in mind of PRing at Disney.  My current marathon PR is 5:15:07 and I have trained to come in under 5 hours for the marathon on January 12th.  My secondary goal is a PR of any kind.

With these goals in mind it is time to…train LESS?  Yep, welcome to tapering…woo hoo. Great!  Tapering…how’s that done? Train less, sleep more, eat less (since you don’t need the extra fuel for training), do more recovery activities like stretching, massage, foam rolling, go sit in the sauna, hangout and watch some Monday night football, etc., etc.  Mind numbing I know as the energy starts to store up from all the training I’ve done sine summer.

Still, it’s important. Science tells us it’s important so here’s how to do it!

T – Trust in Your Training (You’ve prepared yourself for this)

A – Adjust Your Caloric Intake (Eat less since you’re training less)

P – Perfect Your Race Day Strategy (Form a plan and stick to it)

E – Embrace the Free Time (Enjoy a few days of sleeping in)

R – Rest & Recover (Extra sleep and downtime)

Good luck on race day!

Happy Tapering!



As I was reading through someone else’s running blog today I realized I needed to update my own on the topic of the upcoming year!  Always a fun subject to write about I looked ahead at my 2013 race schedule and realized that I already have a fairly full schedule even though I’m taking a step back this year to concentrate on family and studies both of which I am excited about for 2013! So assuming the Mayans are wrong; read on for my 2013 race schedule!

2013 Race Schedule:

  • January: Walt Disney World Marathon
  • March: Indianapolis Mini Marathon Training Series 10K
  • April: Carmel Marathon
  • April: Indianapolis Mini Marathon Training Series 15K
  • May: Indianapolis Mini Marathon
  • June: Hamilton County Park to Park Relay (64 Miles Relay)
  • October: Chicago Marathon?

Since we are adopting kids this year the Chicago Marathon is a maybe as we have an Official First Family Trip planned to Disney World in the fall with an open date. If it works out I’ll run Chicago. If not, then Chicago will have to wait for another year cause we are goin’ to Disney World!

Happy Training!


Feel free to follow me on Twitter @TheRunningMan23

Back on Track to being Motivated

It’s been tough getting motivated to train over the last few weeks. My heart has just not been in it and with the holidays there is plenty to keep me doing other things than hitting the gym on a regular basis. One thing that motivated me two weekends ago was a fellow Daily Mile member who had asked for anyone who could run to go out for a mile or two since he was injured and “on the bench.” That day I managed to go outside and run an easy 5K.  Last weekend I managed a nice 10+ mile run at the gym. The miles were easy as I watched ESPN on the treadmill. This was a confidence booster as I hadn’t ran over 5 miles in several weeks. The next day I felt great with zero soreness giving testament to my enduring fitness level even though I had been taking it easy with only 1-2 workouts a week. Goes to show you that fitness does go away, but it doesn’t go away overnight.

This also reinforces that it’s okay to take some time off and cut back as long as it doesn’t turn into six months of doing nothing. I was hitting the gym 1-2 times per week getting a lot of extra sleep and recouping physically, mentally, and motivationally. Now it’s go time as I have a full marathon at Walt Disney World in 45 days!

Last Sunday I did my 10 miler. Monday I hit the elliptical and some light weight lifting. Tuesday I did some speed work on the treadmill with twelve 400m repeats. Today I duplicated Monday’s workout.

So I feel like I’m back on track, but with that being said I’d like to lend some advice on getting back on track to finding your motivation again when it gets lost in the woods.

Ways to Find your Motivation

  1. Start Small
    1. Just like when you first started being more active if you’ve been away for two weeks or two months don’t try to pick back up exactly where you left off. Go for a walk, a short run, ride a bike in front of the TV, play a sport you love, or walk your dog, but just get active again!
  2. Follow others to find motivation
    1. Someone you know likes to run, bike, swim, lift weights or play badminton. If you don’t have someone personally close to you then go out to Facebook, the daily mile, or the plethora of other websites and just watch those people go!  Many are willing to send you an “atta-boy OR atta-girl” for being active.
  3. Don’t think
    1. You can be your own worst enemy so quit thinking and start doing. Don’t sit there and talk to yourself about how busy you are for next 10 minutes. Instead use that 10 minutes to be active! A 10 minute walk is activity!
  4. Tell everyone about it
    1. Find some motivation by posting what you did on a website or start your own blog. If not then just tell the first person you see who asks, “How are you today?”  The response, “I’m good! I hit the gym this morning.” If you have a specific goal tell them about that too. Nothing motivates you more than knowing that everyone knows, you know?
  5. Find a goal
    1. Find something far enough in the future that you can train for it, but close enough that you need to start now.  Looking forward to a half marathon a year from now means you could slack for six months and still do it.  Registering for a 10K six weeks from now means you need to get going now!
  6. Daily reminders
    1. Put it on your calendar at work to remind you daily about your goal. Add an update to your mobile phone. Write a note and put it on the fridge!
  7. Find a buddy
    1. You don’t have to do the same workout, but just being accountable to someone else that you’ll show up at the gym does wonders.  You can’t let ’em down!
  8. Do your homework
    1. Subscribe to Men’s Health, Runner’s World, or some other fitness oriented magazine. Reading about exercise will keep it on your mind and perhaps motivate you to try new things.  You can also go to and find some great books on running or just about any other sport or form of exercise. Go for those inspiring stories that make you want to run out the door at 3am for a 10K run! No extra cash to buy these things?  No problem. Follow a few more fitness bloggers for free or “Like” a magazine on Facebook. Those sites put up free content all of the time!
  9. Get on a plan
    1. If you are returning and have a goal then write down a training plan even if it’s a simple one. Even if it’s a one week plan that you are going to repeat for the next four weeks that’s okay. Just get it down on paper.  And remember, write it in pencil.  Who knows, you may run an extra couple miles and need to edit!
  10. Talk yourself up
    1. I’ve written before about negative self talk or what I call the Voices of Doubt and I’m sure you’ve heard that voice in your head saying, “It’s too early just go back to bed.” or “Who cares about your run tomorrow when you can watch the American Idol finale now?” or worst of all “You’re not good enough. You can’t do this. You should give up.”
    2. When you hear those voices you should instantly say something positive. “I’m awake so I’m getting up.” or “I’m going to DVR American Idol, problem solved.” or “I am amazing!”  Positive self talk is a method used by both amateur and professional athletes so why not use it yourself.  Telling yourself, “I can do this!” is a great way to prove yourself right!

That’s it! 10 ways to stay motivated or get re-motivated. If you are state side I hope you had a great Thanksgiving. If you see me at Disney in January be sure to say, Hi!

Happy Training!


Follow me on Twitter @TheRunningMan23

Ultra Marathon Training Day 1, 2, and 3

The Program

When I first looked at the training plan for the ultra marathon I’m going to run in November I knew it was different compared to training for a 5K, half or full marathon. Some would surmise that the plan would  be exactly like a marathon training program only the long runs would be longer.

The two biggest differences in this training program are the lack of speed work and the focus on specificity in trail running. While the book does say you can put in interval training or other types of speed work it also says don’t worry if you don’t or would rather not.  Total volume of miles is the key along with “time on feet”. I like the specificity training. I’ve done some trail running the last couple weeks and have not only enjoyed the scenery, but also have loved the softness of the ground compared to running on pavement or concrete.

Day 1

Seeing how this program is a little different it is only fitting that my first workout for the ultra training program was a weights workout at noon on Monday. I hit full body alternating between upper and lower and taking it easy on the legs since I have three runs on consecutive days and two days with double runs.

Day 2

Tuesday morning I ran a 10K at the gym and I ran just under 4 miles at lunch.  The 10K felt great and I kept the speed down to around a 10min/mile pace. I could definitely feel the walking lunges from Monday’s workout.  On occasion I forget how much walking lunges help me run. If you are a runner and want to run faster or with better form then just add walking lunges to your workout once or twice a week. The 4 miler was an easy jaunt down the Monon Trail and back. On the way back I ran in the soft gravel on the side of the trail to mimic a trail as much as possible.

Day 3

Wednesday morning (today) I did an easy 4 miler at the gym with a little incline. The schedule called for 3 miles, but I wanted to make up a little mileage where ever I can since I’ll not be going long on Saturday morning as I normally would.

Friday is Fun Day

Even though it’s my first week of ultra training I am hitting the local festivities for Carb Day this coming Friday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway which means I won’t feel like running 10+ miles on Saturday morning.  This is also why I’m putting in a few extra miles on Tuesday and Thursday at lunch! I’ve said it countless times before. Plan those celebrations into your training so you don’t feel like your training is making you miss out on life.


I’m almost 100% on my training diet again making healthier choices and opting for smaller more frequent portions.  I’ve been adamant about the whey protein post workout so far and I’ve upped my water intake considerably.  I’ve also went to cutting out artificial sweetener in my morning coffee so I’m less apt to crave the sweeter foods. Every little “trick” helps.  Things are paying off as I’m down to 176lbs.  My goal is to weigh 160lbs by November as carrying an extra 16-20 pounds for 50 miles will make the task a bit more difficult.  🙂

Happy Training!


3 Runs

This past week was a good one for recovery after a brutally humid Indianapolis Mini Marathon on Cinco de Mayo. After the mini marathon my left foot was hurting a little on the bottom so I’ve taken it easy and am letting it recover well so I can start training for my first ultra marathon a week from now.  This past week I had three runs that were fantastic for different reasons. The first run was neither long nor taxing. The next run wasn’t that long either, but introduced me to a new type of running. The final run was by far one of the most enjoyable runs of my recreational running career to date!

Run #1

This run was over lunch and was a whopping 1.32 miles in length on a comfortably warm day. I don’t point out this run because it is significant, but to get back to the roots of my blog which is about being fit.  I see other bloggers and Facebookers say how they didn’t get to do their 10-miler today…blah blah.  Okay, why not an 8-miler, 5-miler, or a 1.32 miler? Get it in where you can!  I had a similar run on Saturday when i was waiting on my running partner to arrive.  I had an extra 10-15 minutes so instead of sitting in my car and waiting I ran 5 minutes in one direction and then turned around to come back to the car. A couple minutes later my friend arrived and we did Run #2! The point is I didn’t waste that 15 minutes sitting in the car. I took that small amount of time to add an extra mile to my day.

Run #2

For run #2 my friend and I went fully off road for the first time. Up until now I’ve been a user of the “Rails to Trails” areas of Indiana. These areas used to be literally where a train track once was and now they have been redone to have pavement or other type of foot path for runners, walkers, bikers, etc. Connected to a favorite Rails to Trails area are several shorter dirt trails that run along or near Eagle Creek in Zionsville. We started on these and did a couple of dirt trail miles. I even started breaking in my trail shoes  on this run which I’d been waiting to do for a few weeks until after the mini marathon. We finished up on back on the main trail and I stopped before reaching 7-miles total as my left foot started to feel a little sore and I didn’t want to push it. 6.5 miles was plenty for me for the day!

Run #3

Run #3 happened a few hours after Run #2. I had the great honor of running the Rookie Run with my 4-year old niece. Two exhilarating blocks of competition! It was so much fun to run with my niece in this awesome event.  The organizers of the run do a great job on this event. The bibs for the kids have a tear away number on it which the parent (or other family member) get so when the child finishes you can’t have the kid unless you have a matching number.  Even though I went the entire distance with her I was asked by no less than five different security people to show them my number to make sure I had the right kid.  Security was awesome!  Also, the rest of the event was top notch too. There was entertainment the entire afternoon. I can’t say enough about the event!

All in all it was a great week. I have one more recovery week before my official ultra marathon training schedule begins and I’m looking forward to it!

Happy Training!