Project 2020: 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 most of the next decade 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 89 (as of 11/2019). Nano-physicist and once the world’s oldest Ironman finisher with over 2,000 race finishes, 58 IM finishes, with a first Ironman at age 55

I’m now 48 years old and I need to start paying attention. I’m giving myself a year to get it all done. Introducing Project 2020: Designing The Healthy Middle Age Man. 

Theme 1: Be healthy, fit, and happy

As of December 2019, I’m 70+ lbs/32+ kgs over my ideal weight. Daily mojo has definitely decreased, training sessions are frustrating, my blood pressure has increased, 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.

  • Lose 70+ lbs/32kg fat (to weigh about 175 lbs/79 kgs) and increase current lean body mass a bit
  • Have basic biomarkers in “excellent” status, (blood pressure, blood measures, body tape measures, resting heart rate)
  • High daily mojo
  • Pass the U.S. Navy Seals physical fitness test:

Theme 2: Return to the races

I’ve raced distances from 5K to Ironman, but likely never to my potential due to inconsistent training frequency and from executing just enough volume to get comfortably through the distance while having fun.  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 in the next 18 months.

  • A 40-45:00 10k (previous 10k in 56:30, PB 41:30). It will be a huge achievement to finish sub 40:00, but sub 45:00 should be reasonable
  • Back to long course tri at 70.3 Sardinia. No time goals yet (as of Feb, 2020), but I’ll aim for around 2:30 for a mid-season Olympic distance along the way

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: Deciding The Strategy