Running Above Pizol, Switzerland

Project 2018: Designing the 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 half decade off except for some random running, hiking, and skiing. It was an enjoyable break, but I’ve 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.    I’m giving myself the next year to get it all done–introducing Project 2018: Designing The Middle Age Man. 

“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. He’s had 2,000 race finishes, 58 IM finishes, with a first Ironman at age 55

I’ll be 47 years old this year and I need to start paying attention.

Challenge 1: As of January, 2018, I’m 30 lbs/22 kgs over my weight from a few years ago and 65 lbs/29 kgs over my race weight.  Daily mojo has definitely decreased, most training sessions are frustrating, my blood pressure and triglycerides have increased, and my sleep quality has suffered.  Luckily I don’t have any acute or chronic injuries, and I’d like to keep it that way.

Goal 1: Be healthy, happy, and lean (output goals)

  • Weigh less than 175 lbs/79 kgs (@ 6’0″, 182cm)
  • Maintain lean mass
  • High daily mojo
  • Have basic biomarkers in “excellent” status
  • Have consistent high quality and sufficient quantity sleep
  • Remain injury free

Challenge 2: There’s no point in getting lean and healthy if I don’t put in place daily habits to maintain and improve those benefits and live life to the fullest.  The whole point of calling actions “habits”, is that I don’t want to spend my time thinking about a daily healthy to-do list–I want these actions to be firmly nestled in my subconscious.

Goal 2: Develop world-class healthy habits 

  • High daily movement
  • High quality, optimal quantity nutrition and hydration
  • Regular whole body strength work
  • Daily endurance training with a mix of intensities
  • Regular mobility training
  • Reduce screen time and an earlier, regular bedtime
  • Regular adventures
  • Daily comfort zone challenges
  • Prepare the day ahead


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

  • Get close to a 40:00 10k (previous best 41:30, last 10k in 57:00)
  • Return to triathlon, beginning with Zürich 5150 Olympic Distance in July
  • Set a big endurance challenge for autumn.  Event(s) TBD


Next: Creating The Strategy