I remember the excitement when I completed my first 1.5km nonstop run. It took me ten minutes to complete. I told myself never to forget this moment. Never forget what it takes to start at the beginning and build to this. As I continued to build my distance my confidence and speed also began to increase over time. Learning to pace myself for a 1.5km was actually a challenge for me since I had been a 100-400 meter distance sprinter and only knew one speed which was go as fast as you can. Now I was having to learn how to pace properly and be patient with the process of building endurance.
For me this was fun and through the years of training and racing for me I always took the time to embrace the process of learning how to run each distance. Each one has a different type of intensity, a different type of element with racing strategy, a different type of training. I remember standing at the start line of my first 70.3 Ironman and my coach telling me to embrace every moment good and bad, because there will never be another first. This is something I took to hearth and have never forgotten.
Whenever speaking to a first time triathlete or runner I remind myself of these things which has also helped me as a coach throughout the years; to never forget what it is like to start from the beginning and embrace the training process of every distance. This got me thinking about all the first time runners and how most get started, the mistakes they make and moments they miss when ambition takes over the value of growing into the sport.
Anyone can open a magazine and read about how to run your first marathon or go from couch to 5km, but there are things which most ‘How To’ articles don’t write about for the beginner runners.
The more you do it for you and not because you have been pressured into this “If he can do it I can do it” mentality, the more running will become part of your life. It is something you can do anywhere and almost anytime. Running helps you learn a lot about yourself. You will love it, hate it and feel everything in between. Your feet will blister, skin get tanned and possibly even loose a toenail or two. Running…it is a primal survival skill and we all have in us. It brings out that side of us which society represses. To run is to live. Welcome to the pride.
In 2017 Aditya Birla Capital Health Insurance started an initiative on World Health Day (7th April) called 'Jump for Health'. I was privileged to be able to get on board with helping them from the start. This program is to help get people moving while also helping those who are in need of a prosthetic leg walk. Last year we were able to get participants from all over the globe involved. This would not have been possible without all of my wonderful friends, teachers, school mates and colleagues I have known throughout all these years.
Last year we were able to donate over 500 legs to people in India, and this year we want to do so much more.
This can only be achieve by getting as many people as possible involved. Every jump counts! (seriously, they have someone tallying constantly throughout the month)
What You Do:
1. Record yourself jumping a minimum 10 times.
Who Can Do It?
1. Anyone - so get involved, don't wait to be nominated.
2. Kids - this is a great school or club project and takes very little effort. It is helping people in a much less privileged life be able to walk and costs absolutely nothing to do.
This goes now through the end of the month - so please, join in and do something great for those less fortunate.
Please feel free to contact me with further questions: firstname.lastname@example.org or +91987564110 whatsapp.
My head has been spinning for the past few months as I have quietly observed the number of fitness 'experts' and 'coaches' who have popped up because they know how to market themselves, have followers and likes or have finished a marathon or Ironman - it is mind blowing. For the number of amazing experienced coaches and trainers who have spent decades fine tuning their craft, I understand the frustration to being pushed aside for not playing the popularity game.
I do a lot of 'fixing' these days after these new 'popular' trainers and coaches have had their hands at newborn athletes. I thought it might be of benefit to give you a few things to think about before hiring a coach or trainer. You really should conduct an interview with the person who is going to take over the management of your Health and Fitness Program. That is a huge responsibility and your health is a lifelong investment, so know who you are hiring.
Anyone can become a certified personal trainer if they know how to take a test. TRUE. So it is easy for someone to appear intelligent about what they are saying if you haven't studied exercise science or physiology. There is a huge difference between theoretical and practical training. Just because one program works for someone, it doesn't mean it will work for you. I did an interesting study a few years ago at a very popular gym in Mumbai on trainers.
I spent a week observing trainers working with their clients, all while running endless hours on a treadmill. Every single trainer gave all their clients the exact same program. The only variance between women and men were the women got lighter weights and more reps. Same exercises, same type of programming for everyone each day. That is NOT personal training.
I have competed in over 100 races throughout the years in distances from 5km road races to Ironman distance triathlons. I have made it to the podium in over half of those, most all being in Sprint and Olympic triathlons. I have taken 3rd in US Nationals in two different events and 13th at World Championships and know what it takes to train to compete and win, not just finish a race. I started running at the age of 12 and haven't stopped for 30 years. Every sport I did became a study of biomechanics to gain an edge over my competitors, which eventually lead me to a position as Star Trac Coach. I have spent over 15 years working in the fitness industry constantly working to improve myself as a coach and sharing as much knowledge and education as I can - giving real science and not theoretical information to clients and other trainers.
So what should you be looking for?
Training Trainers in Moscow, Tel Aviv & Chennai. Helping build the level of education is essential and I loved the decade of work I got to do throughout the world doing this.
It doesn't take much to improve your quality of life. You don't need a gym membership or money to make healthy choices and put into action which can positively affect your life for years to come. All it really takes is a little bit of personal responsibility.
Check out Kimberly's TEDxNUV Talk about how simple it is to invest in your health and why it is so important.
While everyone is off to a new start with the new year with their health and fitness regimen, I have been spending it healing. I suppose it happens to all of us at one time or another; I got injured. I tore my calf muscle kicking a football. True story - I just passed it and came down on it normally.
To the hundreds who have sent well wishes, I greatly appreciate it. Also, there have been endless comments about how I should have done this and that and what I should be doing to heal it, I decided to open up and share a few thoughts and answer a few of the questions I have been asked.
I often have to remind myself that I grew up in a world with a very different medical system which strongly encourages prehab before surgeries and movement for healing the body. It is very rare cases where complete rest is necessary for injuries.
Now, allow me to address the 'You need to rest.' Because there seems to be a huge misconception that when there is an injury to the body that we should be on complete bed rest and not move.
As upset and frustrated as I want to be over an inconvenient injury as such, I am trying to be positive. Let's face it; I don't need surgery and it is a torn muscle. There are worse things that can happen in life! It is humbling for me to have an injury like this when I have lived my life with not many. There is theory and practical application - personal practical gives you hands on experiences you can't read from a book, so this experience helps me become a better trainer.
With this injury I am taking this an intelligent approach and am learning from this healing process. So rest assured, I got this! Sending much love and thanks.
Decades ago the first fitness tracker came onto the market as a pedometer. Then came the heart rate monitor. Even the simple fitness watch with just stopwatch was an incredible asset to runners for decades. In fact, that is where I started; running on a 400 meter track and keeping splits from my watch in my head to figure my pacing. As my distances got longer, I learned to calculate distance by my pace splits. It is something I still do in my head to this day. But I love how much technology has helped us take the guesswork out of our movement patterns, motivating us to move more, giving us a realistic look at our input and output.
Call me a loyalist, I have used Garmin for almost a 15 years, but that doesn’t mean I have haven’t tried other brands. In fact, when fitness tracker companies such as Jawbone and FitBit came onto the market, I tried them out to see what type of data they had to offer and to be able to have an honest opinion when clients and gym members when they asked me for my professional opinion. At the time I was currently using a Garmin Forerunner as well for my triathlon training and competition. I found them to be of great motivation for daily basics of wellness. But as soon as Garmin put out their vivofit, I had it on my wrist within a week of its launch. It was the integration of data with Garmin Connect and other apps which I found to be superior.
I spent months tracking gym members and asking them what they were doing with their data. Most of them said, “I just try to get to 10,000 steps like they say.” I always like to ask who is ‘they’. No one really seems to know. Regardless, it was a good start and more importantly it was great to see members were becoming more conscious of the need to move more, thus creating a change, a new good habit. This was good. But what else could you do with that data collected?
This is where fitness tracking really got personal and interesting to me. Living in the heart of Chicago, walking to work every day, training for triathlons and teaching fitness classes five days a week kept me very active and allowed me to be able to eat more than the average person. Months before I made my full time move to India, I knew my work habits and movement patterns were going to change drastically and we all know we don’t have the friendliest walk about cities here in India. On top of that, my food was going to completely change to an Indian diet. My lifestyle was about to change and I didn’t want to become less fit or gain weight based on less movement and different meals.
I was proactive and gathered 4 months of data from my Garmin vivofit.
1. Steps: daily, weekly and monthly
2. Sleep: how many hours a night I averaged and the percentage of deep sleep I was getting.
The data I gathered was fundamental to my health. My first week living in India I just allowed myself to live what I thought would be my ‘normal’ life. I immediately had to make changes. Steps dropped by over 70%. My sleep on the other hand was frequently interrupted by barking dogs at all hours of the night, which took months to be able to sleep through.
It took a very conscious effort to be able to maintain an active lifestyle like I once knew. While I only average around 17,000 per day now days, I eat less and more fresh. I have not gained weight, once been sick or lost a high level of fitness. My training has changed, but also have my goals. Overall I have adapted and maintained a healthy lifestyle and a seamless transition from one culture to another without it affecting my health.
Now my lifestyle consists of an extreme amount of traveling and my Garmin vivomove is an essential travel piece I cannot be without. It is my staple Garmin piece, because not only does it looks great, but also gives daily information which is valuable to everyone and anyone who wants to live a healthy lifestyle. The way Garmin Connect integrates to all I do with helping me maintain my lifestyle is incredible and unlike any other brand I have tried.
I love my other watches like my Fenix and even my old Forerunner (which I have used to the point where it might be on its last charge), but these are for my training. They give an entirely different level of data and information which I will write about at a later time.
Fitness Trackers give us a realistic look at how we are truly living our life. When we humans were made to move and we live in a society which restricts us from that, they really can help us maintain and improve our quality of life. Having qualified trainers and professionals who know what to do with that important information and help you assimilate it even makes the purpose of tracking more valuable. How do you use the data you collect?
I have had a lot of opportunities over the years to get to work with other companies who works with tracking technology and have always turned them down. To me, I was hoping I get an opportunity to be tied to the Garmin Brand. Being a consumer of the brand for this long, nine watches and two GPS devices later, I am delighted to stand by the Garmin name.