New Year’s Resolutions are BS Part 1

Comic

Do not let that title confuse you, I am a huge believer in goals, but New Year’s resolutions normally are not goals. In fact, only 8% of people actually keep their resolutions. The new year is a great time to reflect and to hit the reset button for sure, but I’m going to show you a better way than simply saying “I’m going to lose 10 pounds.” The issue that I have with resolutions, is that the majority are either, unrealistic, too drastic, not well thought out, or unsustainable. Most likely a combination of all of these.

Based on my experience, you will greatly improve your chances of hitting your goals if they are S.M.A.R.T. I did not come up with this, I was taught, and I cannot find out who to give credit to, as this acronym is all over the coaching world. I do add my own little twist to it at the end here, so hold on. What are S.M.A.R.T. goals? They are:

Specific

Measurable

Achievable

Relevant

Timely

Sustainable (I added this one, as I think that it way too often overlooked)

Specific

Generic goals simply do not get met because there is no real direction. Let’s stick with our weight loss goal above. When do you want to lose 10 pounds by? Someone can say they want to lose 10 pounds, but if they haven’t placed a date to be accountable by, it becomes very easy to pick up that next cookie. Goals need to be as specific as possible and can even help with visualization. You should be able to picture in your mind what it will look and feel like when you achieve your goal. Be as specific as possible.

Measurable

This particular goal is measurable in regard to the weight loss, but as noted, not the time line. This is an area that people often do not put enough time in to because generally they feel that what they will measure is obvious. However, there are usually multiple metrics that can be measured to improve the probability of success and accountability. For weight loss, you can measure calories in and calories burned, as leading indicators of whether or not you will hit your goals. So, as you can see, it makes sense to really think this through and not only measure the ultimate goal, but also, what I call “process goals”.

Achievable 

Surely losing 10 pounds is achievable? Well, what if the goal was lose 10 pounds in 3 days? This MIGHT be achievable, but does it make good sense? Unless you are a fighter trying to make weight, probably not. And if you set goals that are not achievable, you are likely to get frustrated, feel like you have failed, and give up. Lose 10 pounds in 10 weeks, is a much more achievable goal, that you have a much better chance of hitting and feeling like you have succeeded. And, success breeds success.

Relevant 

Your goals have to mean something to you. If you are 6 feet tall and weigh 150 pounds, losing 10 pounds probably isn’t important to you! To improve your odds of success, make sure that you clearly understand why you are setting the goal in the first place, and be completely honest with yourself. No one else has to know your why. People that I work with tell me all the time that their reasons for setting a particular goal is “stupid” or “shallow”. That, my friends, is bullshit. You want to look good in a speedo? Great! You want to climb Mt. Everest? Go for it! You do you and be proud.

Timely 

Man, I cannot stress this one enough. Losing 10 pounds by tomorrow doesn’t work and neither does “before I die”. Be reasonable here and do not underestimate the importance of this. Why? ACCOUNTABILITY. Having a time line that is achievable removes excuses and makes you accountable. If you are trying to lose 10 pounds in 10 weeks, you are much more likely to stick to eating healthy and exercising because you know that this is an achievable goal. If your goal was to lose it by tomorrow, you might as well eat the cake, because it ain’t happening anyway. And if you have a year, well you can always catch up next week, right?

Sustainable 

I’ll give you a little taste here, but this will be a post on its own within a few days. When people find out that I lost 130 pounds, they say “Great job! You must be proud?” Well, I am. But not of the weight loss. Anyone can lose weight, I am proud that I have SUSTAINED the weight loss. Going back to the 10 pounds in 10 weeks, you can achieve that in so many ways. As an example, let’s say all you eat is cabbage soup and you lose the 10 pounds, is that sustainable? No way. And once you start to eat other food, guess what? You will most likely gain the 10 pounds back and maybe more. So how do you sustain your gains, whether it is weight loss or anything else? Here’s a hint: Lifestyle change, process, and process goals. The journey my friends…  I’ll address this in detail next post.

I hope that this post and this blog helps! To receive new post notifications, newsletters, and post previews, please SUBSCRIBE!

For behind the scenes photos and comments on my training and personal life, follow me on Instagram: joe_the_runner  Strava: Joe Randene  YouTube: Joe Runner

Questions, comments, feedback? Please leave them in the comments section BELOW and we can have a discussion!

 

Eating with Intention

Fridge

Anyone who has followed me and read most of what I have written in regard to diet, knows that I believe diets do not work. In my humble opinion, you shouldn’t be “on” a diet, what you eat “IS” your diet. What I’m trying to say is, when I restricted the amount of food that I ate so that I could lose weight, I failed to sustain my weight loss every single time. Losing weight is as simple as calories in vs. calories out, but there are many levers that you can pull. My experience has been that by putting my calorie burn on hyper drive via running AND changing my diet, I have been able to lose 130 pounds, and more importantly, sustain it.

So, what do I mean by eating with intention? Great question! When I went on diets and restricted the amount of food that I ate, I was very often hungry and irritable. I didn’t change my diet, I was simply eating the same type of crap that I was eating before I went on my diet, but much less. Did it work? Well; yeah. Temporarily. And, because I was still eating crap, my body was still getting revved up on sugar and then crashing, causing me to have stronger and stronger cravings to eat. Pissed off, hungry, and craving food like an addict is NOT sustainable.

However, once I started to look at food as fuel and my diet comprising everything that I eat and drink, I realized that I could eat a lot of the RIGHT foods and I wouldn’t be hungry and irritable. This is eating with intention. I look at my diet AND what I’m trying to accomplish comprehensively, and then eat accordingly. Let me provide you with some concrete examples of what I am trying to say.

As a runner, I look at my year and build my race plan and training around several goal races. I literally will schedule training blocks and training breaks for the entire year. If I am in a training block and my goal is to feel good for my workouts and runs, and possibly lose some weight (running is easier when you are lighter), I’ll eat “clean”. Clean for me means very little refined sugar, no alcohol, no junk food, plenty of vegetables and fruits, and lots of lean meats and fish. Normally I’m running 50 plus miles a week and I can eat as much of this type of food as I want without gaining weight. It’s easy for me to say no to a beer or a piece of cake, because I know that it will harm my training and take me further away from my goals. Honestly, I am very rarely hungry during these training blocks when I am eating clean. I believe it’s because I can eat large amounts of food and with no refined sugar, my body isn’t having the blood sugar crashes and creating those hunger cravings.

You’re probably thinking “Yeah, that’s great, but you never eat junk food?” Rest assured, I absolutely do! During my break periods, I still run 25 to 35 miles per week, just to maintain my cardiovascular fitness and keep my metabolism primed, but I eat and drink what I want. THAT is still eating with intention. If I know that I am taking a month break and I want to drink some beers, I don’t feel guilty about it at all. In fact, give me that second piece of cake as well! Why? Because I earned it and it’s good for my soul. I also know that at the end of the break there will be another training block and I have the discipline to start eating clean again and I’ll burn my break food off. The great thing with scheduling these things is that I can choose to take my breaks when I know I would be at my weakest! Thanksgiving and Christmas anyone? Fourth of July cookout? Why make life hard on yourself?

There you go, some real-life examples of eating with intention so that you can apply them to your own life. Every piece of food and every beverage that I consume has meaning, and I make sure that I understand what and why I’m consuming something. Even if it’s a simple “Hey, this beer your drinking has no nutritional value, but you are on your break and you love a good beer so, enjoy!” I make sure it fits with my current goals and if it doesn’t, I stop myself.

I hope that this post and this blog helps! To receive new post notifications, newsletters, and post previews, please SUBSCRIBE!

For behind the scenes photos and comments on my training and personal life, follow me on Instagram: joe_the_runner  Strava: Joe Randene  YouTube: Joe Runner

Questions, comments, feedback? Please leave them in the comments section BELOW and we can have a discussion!

Joe the Runner Interview on Sany Delight’s Blog

Sany

Sany Delight is a social media personality and Chicago foodie that I met via FitBit. She was attempting her first marathon and we struck up a conversation and I offered to help her with her training and nutrition. We have become friends and I am proud to say that Sany completed the Chicago Marathon!

She has profiled me on her blog asking questions such as “Why is running such a large part of your life?” and “What advice do you have for those that hate running? How do you get someone from disliking running to actually enjoying it?” and many more! Please click here to read the profile and enjoy! Thanks Sany!!! And if you want to see some great food, check out her Instagram!

I hope that this post and this blog helps! To receive new post notifications, newsletters, and post previews, please SUBSCRIBE!

For behind the scenes photos and comments on my training and personal life, follow me on Instagram: joe_the_runner  Strava: Joe Randene  YouTube: Joe Runner

Questions, comments, feedback? Please leave them in the comments section BELOW and we can have a discussion!

I Hate the Dreadmill! But…

treadmill

I’m an optimist by nature. Where people see challenge, I see opportunity. Where people see the ugly in the world, I choose to focus on the beauty. Deep inside I know that there is more good than bad, and that we are lucky to be alive at this point and time in history, and that the next generation will be better than ours. BUT, I cannot seem to embrace the treadmill. Running and going nowhere just doesn’t appeal to me. I’ll run in rain, snow, heat, ANYTHING to avoid it. When it comes to the treadmill, I am a hater and, dare I say, a pessimist. Yuck!

So, when one of my followers asked me if I thought they could train, almost exclusively, on a treadmill, and be effective, I had to put that all aside and be objective. As much as I hate the dreadmill, it is still a great tool that should be in any runner’s toolbox. The reason that I say that, is that there are many pros to the treadmill despite the boredom and monotony of feeling like a hamster on a wheel, and there are ways to cope with the negatives, such as listening to music, watching TV, or varying your workout. Let’s dive into those positives.

Convenience – If you have a treadmill in your home, or at a hotel where you are staying, it definitely makes it easy to squeeze a run in no matter the time of day. And if you are at the gym, you can easily do cardio and cross train. I often use the treadmill when I travel if I don’t have a lot of free time and need to sneak in a run.

Safety – As the days get shorter, more of us runners are forced to run in the dark, which can be dangerous for many reasons. We struggle to see the terrain which can cause falls, and drivers struggle to see us! And, unfortunately, women have the added risk of assault during their solo runs as well. All of these risks are mitigated via the treadmill.

Control of Your Workout – When running on a treadmill, you can control your pace, your incline, and your decline. You literally can cater a workout to your specific needs and ensure that you hit it all by just pushing buttons.

Control of Your Climate – Whether it’s hot outside or cold outside, rainy or sunny, you can control the climate and get your run in. Trust me, I understand that eliminating the elements can actually be a con, especially when you go to race and the weather is bad, but a question that someone asked me regarding training with lupus got me doing some research and really opened my eyes to something. Many illnesses, including lupus, are impacted by heat, uv rays, cold, etc. And people that are training through these issues can really benefit from climate control. So instead of losing valuable training miles due to variables that are out of their control, the treadmill is very often the perfect solution for them.

Despite the fact that I prefer the trails and all of the beauty that they possess, my conclusion is that you can train, almost exclusively, on a treadmill, and achieve your running goals. My opinion is that, just like any training plan, you need to build your workouts with intention. Every run should have a purpose with clear goals, and you should run consistently, ensuring that you are building your cardiovascular fitness. If your race has uphills and downhills, replicate those during some of your sessions. And while the treadmill will never replicate all of the variety of running outdoors, you can achieve a high level of fitness using one, and show up on race day with confidence.

I hope that this post and this blog helps! To receive new post notifications, newsletters, and post previews, please SUBSCRIBE!

For behind the scenes photos and comments on my training and personal life, follow me on Instagram: joe_the_runner  Strava: Joe Randene  YouTube: Joe Runner

Questions, comments, feedback? Please leave them in the comments section BELOW and we can have a discussion!