“You don’t have time. You make time.”
It’s that time – a new interview in my series of awesome fit folks on the blog.
Fair warning: If you ever try to use the excuse of “I don’t have time to work out,” stop it and read this. Blog pals, I’m pleased to introduce you to: Jake Greenstein!
L: Tell me about your fitness background – did you compete in a lot of sports growing up?
J: No. Not at all, actually. I mean, I took swimming lessons as a boy, but nothing intense. I started wrestling in elementary school and did that all the way through high school but that was the only sport I competed in.
L: So no running then? I’m surprised; you seem like such a strong runner. I assumed you had done it forever.
L: (says silently to herself, “I’ve seen you run – you’re wicked fast and make it look easy. That doesn’t just happen accidentally.”)
J: Now I love running! I’ve been doing it about five years, races from 5ks to marathons. But before I got into it, I was like a lot of people out there – I thought running was stupid.
L: (says silently to herself, “Yep. Been there.”)
About five years ago, my sister dared me to run a half marathon. I didn’t want to but I couldn’t let her beat me. So I did, then I was hooked. Half marathon is my favorite distance now too.
L: I know you’re training for an Ironman triathlon, but it can’t be your first triathlon ever…right?!
J: I’ve done a handful of Sprint and Olympic triathlons, and four half Ironmans.
L: So, what made you decide to take the leap to the full Ironman?
J: The winter after I ran my first half marathon, a buddy and I were having a few beers while watching the Ironman World Championships on TV and we decided that it would be a great idea to someday do an Ironman.
L: Yeah, things tend to ‘sound’ like a good idea on the couch. In sweats. With a beer.
J: True! But the next day, it still seemed like a good idea so that was the start of a dream obsession…
L: You said you’d do an Ironman ‘someday’ – that ‘someday’ is coming up pretty soon now!
J: Yes, August 7. Ironman Boulder.
L: So we’ve gotta talk about the training – you have a unique training plan I hear?
J: The training plan that I’m following is based on time not miles, which is a first for me. I started officially on February 22 and so far I like it.
L: What’s an example of an easy week and a harder week?
J: The easiest week was 1.5 hours of swimming, 5 hours of biking, and 2.5 hours of running. The biggest volume week is 3 weeks before the race and will be 3.5 hours of swimming, 11 hours of biking, 5.5 hours of running.
Then I try to fit in strength training and I have one scheduled rest day per week, but I usually do yoga on that day.
L: People who don’t know you might think you don’t have a full-time job, a wife or kids – but it’s pretty much the opposite!
J: Yes, I’m a designer at a manufacturing facility that builds large tillage equipment. I have an awesome wife, Emily, and two boys. Kaden is five, Noah is two.
L: One of the things that bothers me is when people complain they don’t have time to work out. Clearly, you don’t ‘have time’ – you make time.
J: Absolutely. Emily is a gym rat too so it’s part of our lives, and we work together to fit it all in. We both get up around 5:00 every morning. If I have to swim, I go to the gym and she stays home and runs on the treadmill. Other days, I will stay home and bike or run so she can get her gym time. A couple of days a week, I have a.m. and p.m. workouts. Luckily, our gym has a daycare so we drop the boys off and can get some training in after work.
L: (Feeling lucky her husband is supportive of all her running and fitness goals. Loves hearing about other couples who are supportive of each other like that.)
L: I have to think Ironman will be the biggest accomplishment of your athletic life but what has been your biggest thus far?
J: I have placed in my age group in a few smaller races but I’m more focused on some bigger goals after Boulder. I want to qualify and race the Boston marathon; I’ve been thinking about that for a couple years now. And someday, I hope to qualify for the Ironman 70.3 World Championships.
L: Time for my most important question: What is your favorite food?
J: By far my favorite is Buffalo Wild Wings – traditional wings with honey bbq and blue cheese. Followed by a little birthday cake ice cream. Good to reward yourself every now and then!
L: (Is no stranger to #TreatYoSelf moments.)
L: Do you have a personal “slogan” or quote that you really believe in?
J: We have a chalkboard at the top of our stairs that we write inspirational quotes on. My favorite: Relentless Forward Progress. Some dude had it tattooed on his arm. I love it!!
L: Lastly, the part I’ve been calling “Anything but the Obvious” – what’s something totally unrelated to fitness and all the obvious stuff that you’d want people to know about you?
J: About seven years ago I started a repainting fishing lures to pass the time during the winter. It has grown from a hobby into a part-time job, and I now have my own bait that I designed being produced and sold in some stores.
So, a part-time job. A full-time job. A wife. Two kids. And training to be an Ironman. Feel like I need to go take a nap now…
Follow Jake and his journey to Ironman glory on Instagram @runjakerun70.3