Start Where You Are…


It would be an understatement to say that Arthur Ashe, the first black male tennis player was quite an accomplished individual. There is a great quote of his that will be the underlying theme for this post…

“Start where you are, use what you have, do what you can”

Start where you are

  • Start at your current fitness level.
  • Be honest with yourself as to what you can actually do right now.
  • Wherever you physically are, accept and appreciate that.
  • If you are in a place of discomfort because of inactivity accept what you did to bring you to this moment & be empowered that you are doing something about it now.
  • If you feel as if your quality of life and fitness level is good…what are you doing to ensure that it stays that way?

Use what you have

  • Join a community! It could be… a gym, dance class, water aerobics class, or even an online group that holds each other accountable.
  • How can you alter your sleep schedule to get 7-8 hours of sleep?
  • How can you improve what you are eating or your portion sizes?
  • What equipment do you have available at home?
  • What exercise equipment can you get to use at home?
  • Are you already a member of a gym but not using it? It is time to cash in on that investment or use that money in a better way to help your quality of life.

Do what you can

  • Find a sustainable way to improve your quality of life. You can either make sacrifices or investments now…or be forced to do them later.
  • Hire a personal trainer.
  • Get a qualified nutritionist on your team so you are more educated that what you are putting in your body is good for you, specifically.
  • Do you have a gym membership that you are not using? Cancel it and use that money in a way to improve your quality of life that you actually use!
  • Obviously what you can do financially to invest in your health has to meet your budget. Recognize that investing in your health starting now can have positive benefits in the future…but not overnight.
  • Avoid the instant gratification pitfalls. Better movement takes time and consistency!

Memories Are Built On Movement



I was leading a group hike in San Marcos and having a great conversation with a woman that was talking about the amazing experiences she has had in her life. She and I were discussing how important little and big moments are in life. She was and is a vigilant person when it comes to her health and well being.

As we rounded a steep hill and came up on the ridge to see the sun burning off the morning fog I was talking about how she was able to what she enjoyed doing. She would not be able to have so many memorable moments in her life sitting in her house. She had to physically move. She had to perform simple and complex movements not only for everyday life activities but other ones that facilitate what she did for work and for enjoyment.

There are times in our life where our focus is on movement. When we are younger it is a learning process discovering our world. Then as we get a bit older and playing is a large part of our development we move in so many ways. As adults, both parts may fall off where jobs, careers or raising a family can become our priority. Injuries sharpen our attention on our bodies as to what we are unable to do or are aware of pain when moving in certain ways.

I challenge you – be more aware of how much movement is a part of your life. It should not have to take injury or pain for you to recognize this. Making this connection is a step in the direction to practice better ways of moving. Sitting back and not being proactive can lead to restrictions on what you can physically do. As you find ways to improve how you move that not only facilitates better movements…but also more memories!



The Power of Patience When Improving the Quality of Your Life

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One word can be a driving forward force or a weight that can hold you back from reaching goals that involve improving the quality of your life.


When it comes to patience and improving the quality of our life being patient with ourselves and the process is what the bricks that line the street to our goals are made of. This could be patience in listening to your body after an injury and to adjust, recover and learn from what happened. Or being patient and understanding that losing weight takes time, regaining your mobility takes time, getting stronger takes time, as does regaining your body awareness. None of these happen overnight. Understand that chiseling away at any of these takes time.

If you are working to regain something like strength or balance – understand that it did not erode overnight. That took time. The kind of strength training you were doing was not sufficient or consistent enough. Think about the amount of time it took for your balance to become so challenged that you started noticing it. It was more than a span of weeks or months. That took years. Initially, it may not have even been noticeable. Perhaps as it became apparent it was not addressed.

Think about how over the years bad posture can add up. For example, wearing shoes that are not good for your body (like heels!). Or ignoring a nagging tightness that adds up to some sidelining pain. It has a snowball effect.  I don’t point this out for you to beat yourself over the head about that amount of time.

I instead point this aspect of time to give you a perspective. I understand if you are frustrated and want that goal for your health to be reached tomorrow. Especially in this day and age of instant gratification, instant text messages and especially ads that infer that they can get you quick results you become accustomed to thinking like that. Often this is not the case. If it does happen it can be questionable if that movement improvement is truly sustainable.  Recognize instead the power in doing something about your health and well-being. That empowerment can be exciting and stimulating. This commitment takes work and I see and hear many testimonials from individuals that have come far because of their own work and the help of other people.

Obviously being patient and giving excuses are completely different. For example, being patient while improving your hip mobility does not mean doing mobility exercises every once in a while. Instead, this means being patient with not seeing immediate results when consistently doing the mobility exercises. This patience includes recognizing the small improvements as they add up to big ones. Setbacks are frustrating and they can shatter our patience. You are human and you feel things. After you allow yourself to feel what you feel – while pressing reset and putting the pieces back together, be patient with the rebuilding process. As you put the pieces back together, think about how that setback happened and how you contributed to it.

Finally, Practice patience with your process. You could feel as if you are doing all of the right things and you are not seeing the results that you seek. Nothing can be more frustrating than that feeling. If you feel stuck improving the quality of your life, reach out to allies, fitness professionals and other qualified health professionals who can guide you down the right path to your goals. When you find someone you trust that takes your goals and interests to heart, understand that they see the long-term benefits to seemingly sometimes small choices.




The Fitness Triangle


Draw a strong & healthy foundation for your life to rest on. Three important things are in play when moving better in life to improve your health or sustain what you have. Your mind has to be in the right place. Find out what really interests you. Also be consistent in moving, exercising, whatever you decide to do. Lastly, always mix things up and keep your body guessing.



Where is your mind at? What motivates you? Taking the time to move better in life comes in many shapes in sizes. You can’t miss the countless gyms and boutique studios popping up. Depending on who you are – it can be welcoming or overwhelming. Follow that path if it attracts you & shop around for not only something that is good for your pocketbook but also makes you want to come back again! Join a group fitness class or get outside and join a hiking group. Sign up for a race & start training for it. Grab a friend to join you on your fitness journey.

Don’t turn that brain off from moving better those many other hours of the day when you are not exercising. Using your feet as a mode of transportation, taking a break from sitting at your desk and standing up is also so good for you. Do what you can with what you have – start with that.

Where is your mind at when it comes to what you are putting in your body? Moving well is only one piece of the puzzle. Be mindful of what you use for fuel. This does not mean an all-or-nothing take on what you eat…it means that you have balance. Seek out qualified professionals to help you if you want to get advice about what foods are good for you and how to compliment all the work you put in moving better.


Be consistent just like Forrest Gump…you don’t have to run though.

After you find what you like to do – DON’T STOP. The movement, exercise, activity that gets you blood flowing & raises your heart rate that you keep on doing is the one that is good for you.  Make it more than one activity. There is no substitute, pills or supplements for consistency. Be consistent about moving.

Think of an analogy of driving a car up a gradual incline. If you take your foot off the gas pedal the car will eventually stop and start coasting back. If you keep your foot just enough on the gas pedal you still are moving forward. You don’t have to (or should not) slam that foot down and floor it for your workout regime. You need rest days for your body to heal & rest!

Yes, this also means being consistent about what you are putting in your body too! You are only as healthy as what you are eating. Make sure that there is more of the good stuff coming in than the bad stuff. Also, Water…lots of it.


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Mix it up and go for a hike! Find a challenging trail & put one foot in front of the other.

Variation to your regime is the magic potion. You are consistent at moving every week – but are you doing the same exact exercise at the same exact pace/weight/stance/etc? If so eventually your body would get bored.

Think of eating your favorite meal every single day for 365 days. No matter how much you loved it, it would get old. Think of reading a article and each sentence was the same. Think of reading an article and each sentence was the same. Think of reading an article and each sentence was the same. Think of reading an article and each sentence was the same…

Got it?

Mix it up! Change your intensity. Change the speed. Change your stance. Change from standing in place and moving weight to moving with weight. Your workout routine should not be the same every week.

Of course there are other important things to keep in mind when focusing on a lifelong journey of health. Just keep in mind these three things on your journey to continue to build on that foundation that you have built. Drop me a line if you want a coach in your corner to help you set that foundation!





What It Means to Listen to Your Body

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You may have heard this many times or read it…

listen to your body.

However there is often very little explaining of what it means and what you should be doing. It really is not that cryptic or ambiguous of a phrase. This is important, so let’s pull down the curtain.

Let’s keep it simple…

Scenario #1

You are walking barefoot on the sidewalk to get the morning paper and didn’t see a shard of glass. Pain happens, possibly some cursing – but it hurt. You stop walking and investigate if you can pull it out or hobble back to the front door & get some tweezers.

You felt pain, stopped and investigated.

Scenario #2

You and a good friend went out for some dinner. On the drive home on the highway you were behind the wheel and your stomach started turning…really turning. There are ten miles to go until your exit but there is a rest stop coming up before then.

You pull off the highway & take that rest stop exit because your stomach was doing somersaults… so make a b-line for the bathroom.

Yes, these scenarios are fairly straightforward – you felt or noticed something going on in your body and you were attentive to what was going on. You did not ignore the pain or uncomfortableness. Instead you were vigilant and decided to do something about it.

Now enter two other scenarios…

Scenario #3

You have been putting down a respectable running regime the last month on the trails. There was no pain or any issues. You are now up to 10 miles twice a week. This week you decide to switch things up and do the same amount of mileage on the pavement instead at the same pace. You find after the second round that halfway through you feel some pain below your knees. The following week instead of the 10 you decide to decrease the road runs to a respectable 6 and then work your way up over time. Also, you sprinkle in some more stretching. Over time that pain subsided and eventually went away.

You backed off on the mileage on the roads and worked your way back up. You also increased the time stretching after runs to target any tight muscles.

Scenario #4

A bagel and a coffee has been your go-to breakfast for a while now. However, you find that by 10:30 a.m. you start dragging and have to grab another coffee to keep on point the rest of the day.  Today you wake up and decide that you are tired of the never-ending battle to stay alert. You begin trying out different things to eat for breakfast and seeing what your energy level is. Soon you found your go-to breakfast that did not leave you wondering why you were always so tired.

You decided to change up your breakfast after you found that crashing before midday was a pattern. After noticing the pattern, you edited & kept on editing you breakfast until you found what would not send you back for another cup of coffee.

You know what it means…now listen!

Honestly if in any of the scenarios someone just ignored what was happening and kept on going – the outcome would not be good. The argument is made often that you can just push through it especially if it is pain related to exercise. I would counter that eventually that pain will come back & will not go away. The solution can be as simple as taking a look at what has changed to make your body react that way. It is one thing if you are uncomforable because of a challenging workout that is targeting those leg muscles during lunges. It is another if you are feeling a sharp pain.

Of course, there may be many things in the mix like stress, muscular imbalances or running form that can be a wild card. Just fight the urge to be stubborn and think that it will just go away (like never addressing tight calves -yes runners I am talking to you!). When it comes to what you put in your body, of course that can be complicated. But again, if you ignore what you are feeling and it is not changing – why not see what you can do about it?

Above all, if you listen and can’t figure out what is going on then talk to a qualified professional that can be your guide. She or he can use their experience, knowledge & objective view of what is going on to assist you. 

Empower yourself to take charge of what is going on with your body. You have a choice – be proactive! You don’t have to do it alone.




Six Ways To Weave Exercise Back Into Your Life

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If it has been a while since you have seriously started exercising again it can be tempting to hit the ground running. Figuring out a plan of attack is a better way to set up yourself up for sustainable success. Below are 6 ways to weave exercise back into your life.

  1. Don’t restrict yourself to the stereotypical ways to exercise. Of course – going to the gym, getting a membership, attending fitness group classes etc. are all awesome ways to improve your health and move towards your goals. However, joining an intramural sports group, hiking group, biking to work or getting your hands dirty tending to your garden are all good ideas also. What works for someone else may not work for you, so explore the options in and out of a gym setting.
  1. Look at your week – find the time to schedule your activity. Hold yourself accountable to the times you set aside to exercise. If you are still paying that gym membership and have not gone for months – consider ending it. Use that money in another way that will move you towards your fitness goals. Also – work with the time that you have, then revisit your schedule in a month or so to see how you can make more time.
  1. Find a community. If you don’t already have a buddy or friends that can help welcome you back into the fray…seek some out. If you enjoy posting your workouts online and having others hold your accountable, then give it a shot. Start your own fitness blog & give updates. You will be surprised about how supportive others are & are inspired by your efforts. Offline or online find some sort of community, individual or fitness professional that will cheer you on and hold you accountable at the same time. You are not alone.
  1. Avoid defining yourself by being out of shape etc. Focus on your future of making exercise more a part of your life! You are taking ownership of your health and making an important recognition of its importance. Start making the right choices now. Be patient with your progress, exercise is not one size fits all!
  1. Recognize that exercise is an important piece of the puzzle. Exercise is a substantial move towards a fitter you. At the same time recognize other things that contribute to it like: stress, sleep, what you are eating on a constant basis. As you start getting into your exercise groove start try tracking what you are eating for a week, how much you are getting sleep and what your energy levels were. Turn to qualified individuals if you need guidance on those areas so you can see more gains.
  1. Stop Making Excuses. Until someone comes up with an invention for someone else to exercise and you receive the health benefits…you have to do it yourself! You know yourself better than anybody. If you know you don’t have the energy to workout when you get home after work – then do it in the morning. If you don’t like exercising outside – then get a gym membership and use it. If you work better under pressure – sign up for a race 4 or so months from now. You can do this. Be a fitter version of yourself.


You got this! Welcome back!




Five Good & Five Not So Good Reasons To Hire A Personal Trainer

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Photo Credit – Erin Thompson & Techie Design

Hiring your Personal Trainer is more than choosing the individual that you can work with.  This choice is also one where you have to be honest with yourself.  A motivation to workout or to make healthy choice has to start from within.

Five Good Reasons For Hiring Your Personal Trainer

  1. You have had a hard time achieving your goals and are looking for some guidance to meet them and set other goals.
  2. Time is an issue but you can see where you can make time in your busy schedule to work out 3-4 days a week.
  3. You want to be a more in shape version of yourself.
  4. You are going to work out, exercise, etc…for yourself.
  5. You want to lose body fat in a reasonable amount of time.

Five Not So Good Reasons For Hiring Your Personal Trainer

  1. You are expecting someone to tell you what to do every day.
  2. You don’t have time to workout & don’t see any way there could be time, but some way it will work itself out after you hire her/him.
  3. You want to look exactly like that Personal Trainer.
  4. You are going to hire that trainer to make your wife/husband/society happy.
  5. You want to lose body fat…lets say 20 lbs in 4 weeks.

It is entirely possible to train yourself. Without a doubt it is possible to knock down those goals and be your own trainer. You keep perspective about your progress. You want your progress to be sustainable. Yes we all of days when we are off, that is part of the process. Keep the big picture in mind. Do your research about what you don’t understand about your body and recognize that sleep & nutrition are just as important as that workout. Keep your body guessing – doing cardio every day or any same workout every day will not lead to sustainable gains. Lastly, the un-measurable things are by far the most important – how you feel, your self worth, being able to move better…..vs. looking at a scale every day. So train yourself with respect…

Think of a personal trainer as your secret weapon. You have someone in your corner that is thinking about the big picture. They understand when to push you and when to back off. He will ask you questions to get you thinking more about what you ate this week and how it affected your workouts. She can target that weakness and eventually make it a strength. She is able to see your form better and can adjust you so your body is moving better. This individual should be experienced in the way to properly introduce conditioning and strengthening exercises in a way that is good for your body.  Lastly your secret weapon will tell you to stop and look back, you will be amazed how far you have come.

Set yourself up for investing in a path to success, either as your own trainer – or looking to work with a trainer.

As always, feel free to contact me if you have any inquires about Incremental Fitness & interest in working together to meet your goals here in sunny San Diego!



Ragnar Trail Relay Snowmass 2016 Review

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In between my loops chilling. Nice kicks huh? I will review those bad boys made by Salomon that I was able to test run in another post.

So my 1st Ragnar is in the books. I was a part of a great 8-person team that took part in the Ragnar Trail Race through the mountains and trails of Snowmass Colorado. Our team arrived the Thursday before & those of us that had not met got to get to know each other over some good old fashioned carb loading..nomnomnom.

I have seen Ragnar vans for the road races in San Diego before. There the teams drop off the runner while the rest of the team is in the van & meets them at the next point & there the next person hops out & the fun continues to the end point.

Aside from this being different terrain, all of the trails intersected at the start/finish line.

There were three loops: Yellow -3.5 miles, Green – 4 miles & Red – 6.7 Miles. Red was labeled the hardest, Yellow the Intermediate & Green the “easiest”. Note the quote marks around green. The map is below so it can give you an idea about the routes. Notice the elevation levels below. If you can’t clearly see it, you can look at the PDF here..

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It was of course convenient that the rest of the team could stay in one place while someone was running.  There were alot of vendors there selling things and also handing out free stuff. Nuun was generously providing water spiked with their yummy hydration pills & they were also for sale too. Coffee was on hand at most hours of the day & there was even some ice cream sandwiches that were perfect after the loops were over or in between if you wanted to risk pigging out on ice cream sandwiches in between the loops. (I chose to pig out after)

The Loops: Yellow, Green & Red

Okay so the nitty grity – the loops themselves. Below I have a picture of how the order was on each 8 person team, but first a review of the loops in the order that I did them…

Yellow: It had some steady incline pretty quickly and in many sections it was just more efficient to power-walk up them and get back to running when the trail flattened up a bit. Once you got to the highest point of the loop the decline was pretty drastic in some sections and some short rolling hills. Some of the decline was almost like bobsledding, it curved and went down at the same time.

Green: Remember my quotes? Okay I was not the only one that was not a fan of this loop. I think more than anything it was the expectation that since this loop was to be the easiest it would be, yes, surprise easy. It was horrible or ridiculously difficult, it was a bit tricky as there was not a straightforward up & down as there was on the Yellow. Not as much bobsledding as in the Yellow, just a bit flatter in some points. I ran this one at night. That was interesting. Running with a headlamp is one thing on flat land. But running downhill is another ballgame. Your depth perception is all off. I had to back off a bit when running down hill & about a mile into the loop I got turned around for just a couple feet and found the markers again. Whew. But I didn’t like this dang loop haha. Talking with other participants I was not the only one. But keep in mind how much you may like a trail is all subjective & the fact that you push through the run for your team is what it is about.

Red: Out of all of the loops this was was my favorite. Yes it was the hardest, but you were rewarded for your hard work. Again, efficiency is key & power-walking up steep points or just to take a break before running again is a good idea. The view from the top was G-O-R-G-E-O-U-S.

View from the Red loop. If you have never had a runners high, you will get it looking at this from the top.

The Order of Runners

I didn’t really understand the order until the actual day & we started. I was #2. So I did my runs in a gradual order. Other people as you will see have different orders. I really liked mine as I eased into the lengths.  Now what is not on the picture below is the time we ran. A veteran to Ragnar understands this. Someone is always running from the start of the team running to the last leg. My first leg was early afternoon, then around 10 in the evening & last around 5:30 in the morning. Eating in between to fuel for the next run is important. Sleep was interesting, some people in our team slept more/better than others. I was of the other kind – that didn’t really sleep much. But we all pushed through it & slept soooo good after the race was over in a bed.

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Squeezing into a shady spot next to one of our tents & resting/napping.



Obviously the weather plays a part in a run or race. It was largely a cloudless sky during Ragnar. So that meant chilly & beautiful night star filled skies…and very sunny & warm days. Overall I can’t really complain about the times I ran and the weather. It was warm & sunny during the Yellow loop..but I was glad my Red loop was early in the morning. The sun was really beating down on my teammates that ran it during the day. They did well & pushed through it but still it was not the most comfortable run I am sure.


Where our team called home for about 25 hours & on the right the larger picture of the campsite. We had a large tent & 3 smaller ones.

Overall Thoughts About My First Ragnar

The staff, volunteers, First Aid Tent & the vendors that were working the event were all awesome. The event was well organized and for the most point with a few exceptions the setup, flow and order of the event was really impressive. It was cool meeting other people participating in the race & I even chatted with a few during it when we were scaling some steeper points. The trails are not to easy, not too hard, juuuust right. I heard that last year there was a good amount of rain, which I can only imagine how difficult and dangerous it made trails with a substantial drop off not far away from some points.

I would definitely say that picking or choosing a good team could make or break one’s Ragnar. The team I was on was perfect. Everybody wanted to do their best, didn’t give anybody grief about their times, cheered everyone on & didn’t take Ragnar too seriously. Thanks to my girlfriend who I probably would not even have done this race if it was not for her roping me in not soon after I met her last year!

I probably could have trained more for this but I felt as if I did well. I beat my estimated times & finished strong each time. No altitude sickness, and I was not too gassed (not enough to stop in my tracks) going up the hills.

Now the last question is if I would do this one again. Hmm, err. That I am not sure about. I did enjoy it but it was quite grinding. That Red loop was a perfect end to my runs. Such a beautiful view. I can’t say it enough. So absolutely no regrets… stay tuned!

As always feel free to contact me about my Personal Training services or any inquires you have at [email protected]






Why I do Goruck Endurance Events…& How My 3rd Tough/Challenge Went

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Why I Do Goruck Endurance Events

Individuals that don’t know me that well usually give me a weird look after I explain about just doing my latest team endurance event with Goruck or looking forward to the next. The usual question is “Why the heck do you do that?”

End of the day I do it to push myself to get outside of my comfort zone. This is the hardest event I do each year. Although the obstacle course races can be challenging they don’t come close to a Goruck Tough (formerly known as Challenge). This 12 hour event will be a physical challenge, that is guaranteed. However the biggest part is the mental aspect. You have to push through moments or maybe hours of uncomfortable and difficult “exercises” that the Cadre (Goruck representative with military background) decides on. Also this is a TEAM. when it first starts usually everyone is focused on their performance, how fast they are going, how well they can carry something & the list goes on. Eventually the Cadre gets it through your heads that it is about the team working together and not you alone. It is really cool to see the team come together.

Also there is always a really diverse group of people that come together to do the event. During the 12 hours you get to know people especially the ones you are next to or working with to meet some goal specified by the Cadre.

I would say watch the video above & check out the website. You don’t have to do a 12 hour one… there is a “Light” which is not as long…or if you are more fearless than me do the “Heavy” which is 24 hours. You don’t think you can do any of them? I doubt that. The reason is that you are only thinking about what you can do yourself. With a team you work together. You hold each other up. You may be sleep deprived but everyone else is and they cheer you on. You speak up when you need help. You feed the person next to you carrying a weight swedish fish (I have been on both sides).  Someone hurts their ankle, a teammate takes the weight from them so they can recover and keep on going. You learn how communication skills do not have to be spoken & often it is better if only the leader at the time speaks. Everybody has a weakness. In a group everyone can support each others weakness with their own strength.

You do it & come out the other side feeling so accomplished with a sense of camaraderie with people you didn’t even know 12 hours prior. Paraphrasing what it says on Goruck’s website “signing up is the hardest part.” It really is.

How Memorial Day Goruck Tough Went

Class #1958. Great group, good & tough 12 hours with them. We pushed through it & came out smiling (and a tad bit sore).

It was a good event that started the evening of the 28th in San Diego. Just because I have done a few before this one I know they can all be different. We had some fun exercises, some difficult team movements we had to figure out and some times where we were absolutely gassed… But everybody pushed through. The past ones I have done left one of my knees sore a couple of days after. However this time my knee was fine after it was done & my shoulders were good. I credit it to the 60# sandbag I have been working with since after the Challenge last year in San Diego. I think getting under it doing various exercises (squats, shouldering, turkish getups…) strengthened my knees and my back.

For Memorial Day we each had to affix to our bags a laminated picture of a fallen solider killed after 9-11. I chose Airman First Class Kcey Ruiz who was only 21 years old when she was killed in Afghanistan.  At different points during the event the Cadre had people talk about their hero & why they chose him or her. As it was on our bags the entire time and in line we always were looking at a picture on the bag in front of us. As a result of that many of us asked each other about their hero and talked about them. I really liked how the pictures were made part of the event.

The new patch from the Memorial Day event & Kcey’s photo on my ruck.


So another Goruck event in the books! Ragnar (my 1st) in Snowmass Colorado is coming up this weekend!!

 Any questions or inquires about my Personal Training services here in San Diego feel free to contact me at: [email protected]



Do Your Homework On That Upcoming Event

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It is always important to know what you are getting into when doing a race. Here are a couple tips to help you avoid showing up completely unprepared. These tips can also help you shape your training.


Loon Mountain Race… definitely some terrain here. Photo: Joe Viger Source

Is this a flat course? Is it full of wonderful hills? What are other bloggers reviews & suggestions on things to watch out for? You don’t want any surprises.

Okay let me rephrase this – you want to train properly for the terrain of the race so it reduces the chance for surprises. Cross training is really useful but still you want to spend some time becoming acclimated to that terrain if it is  possible (sometimes it is not). You want to have the confidence that you can tackle some hills and not be gassed at the top. If mud – read advice of others and the race organizers themselves about what to wear.  This will all help you decide what you should wear on race day.

For instance you don’t need to wear trail running shoes on that race on pavement, but mud or trails it is a good idea for traction. Or another example, its not a good idea to wear cotton clothing with pockets in a race where you will for sure be getting good and muddy …as you will end up carrying around extra water weight plus some mud in your pockets.


I won’t insult your intelligence that you are aware that the ½ Marathon is …..yes a ½ Marathon. In comparison many Obstacle Course Races (OCR) don’t necessarily list the actual length rather rank them by other names like “Sprint.” But that usually is easy to find out on race websites or discussions of past participants. Plan and train accordingly. Just keep in mind if it is an ocr the distance is only one piece of the puzzle.

In comparison endurance events like Goruck are a different beast. There is a general length (and time frame) but length is not that relative. Check out my post about Goruck


Not necessarily the hardest obstacle, but still there is more than way to get over it. This was my way.

Specifically for OCR’s they will have a pretty thorough layout on their website of the obstacles you will have fun getting over under and through. Some will have some surprises for you and reveal what they are on race day. Keep in mind when you know the obstacles in that 3miles race – train for that. You may be able to run a blistering 3miles. However  some gnarly obstacles will test your muscular strength, agility and endurance you will be wheezing on the side if you are not prepared for them & trained for endurance.

A plus when you do it as a team then you can help each other over them if someone needs help. But still people are often helpful at such races and provide a boost or helping hand. Blogs and  youtube videos talk about good strategies for some obstacles.

Yes, you may not be able to train specifically for encountering every obstacle. However you can at least know what kind of movement (crawling, jumping up and over, etc) you will have to do. You can still get stronger and more efficient doing those movements even if you don’t have a 8 foot wall handy to practice climbing over.

Rules, Checking in, Bag check & Other Stuff

It is good to know ahead of time if there are rules of penalties if you cannot complete an obstacle . Some events will have volunteers at each station making sure you complete the obstacle & direct you to an area to do an exercise as a penalty before moving on. Other events may be okay with you running around an obstacle if you can’t do it.

There may be specific things you have to bring like water or items that are banned (earphones). Also know what time bag check opens to give yourself time to drop your stuff off and get ready. If it is a big event make sure you know what race wave you are in, you don’t want to miss it!


Post Race Beer-> The choir of angels crescendos!!!

I saved the arguably most important thing for last. Is there a beer garden? Where exactly is it? It is very important! Where is it located? Make sure you know. Don’t be that person that forgot their ID.  Know well in advance if there is a free drink ticket on your bib and where the garden is. Don’t lose that ticket & make some new friends in the garden while trading stories (and tip the people serving you). You don’t drink? Cool, but feel free to hand that drink ticket off to a fellow finisher that does!

Have fun, race safe & as always if you have any questions or are interested in my Personal Training services & want to Get Incremental… feel free to contact me at:

[email protected]