Project 2019: Designing the Healthy Middle Age Man

Project Brief and Goals

In 2009 I was in peak health, but after 16 years of having fun in the middle of the triathlon pack, I became burned out on weekly training schedules and took the next years off except for some random running, hiking, and skiing. It was an enjoyable break, but I have added more than a few pounds and have picked up too many lifestyle habits of the sedentary.

It’s time to get back on the saddle: drop the fat, rebuild my fitness and along the journey, put in place long-term healthy habits.

“You get the first 40 years free and then you have to pay attention. Whatever you do at 40 determines what you can do at 80 and beyond.”

–Lew Hollander, age 87 (as of 1/2018). Nano-physicist and world’s oldest Ironman finisher with over 2,000 race finishes, 58 IM finishes, with a first Ironman at age 55


I’m 47 years old and I need to start paying attention. Introducing Project 2019: Designing The Healthy Middle Age Man. 

Challenge 1: As of October, 2018, I’m 53 lbs/24 kgs over my baseline ideal weight (subtract another 10lbs/4.5kgs for optimal race weight). In the last 6 months, I’ve dropped 17lbs/7.5kgs, but it’s nowhere near enough.  Daily mojo has definitely decreased, most training sessions are frustrating, my blood pressure is too high, and my sleep quality has suffered.  Luckily I don’t have any chronic injuries, and I’d like to keep it that way for a long, long time.

Goal 1: Be healthy, happy, and lean 

  • Weigh a maximum of 175 lbs/79 kgs with 155-160lbs/70-72kgs lean mass
  • Have basic biomarkers in “excellent” status, (blood pressure, blood measures, body tape measures)
  • High daily mojo
  • Remain injury free

Challenge 2: I’m going to have to change some habits in order to achieve my health goals, but I also want to put in place some daily activities that I can maintain long term.

Goal 2: Develop world-class health and fitness habits

  • Whole body fitness (endurance, strength, mobility, daily activity)
  • Nutrition (quality, quantity, and hydration)
  • Sleep habits
  • Regular adventures, big and small
  • Daily and weekly routines

Challenge 3: I’ve raced distances from 5K to Ironman, but never to my potential due to inconsistent training frequency and from executing just enough volume to get comfortably through the distance while having fun (also known as Lazy Athlete Syndrome™).  I don’t expect to reach levels of performance that would have been possible 15 years ago, but given my mediocre results, I think I can beat some of my previous PRs.

Goal 3: Return to the races

  • Return to triathlon at Zurich Olympic distance, July
  • Sub 40:00 10k (previous 10k in 57:00, PB 41:30)
  • Lausanne Marathon in <3:20 (Boston qualifying time), October

And I won’t be doing this alone…I’m lucky to be coached by Will Newbery at 9 Endurance based in the UK and to have great support and motivation from my partner Emily.

Next: Creating The Strategy