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This 3 part series, written by John Huddart, a health coach and Ironman triathlete, explores how to best approach a goal, as big and complex, as getting healthy.
In his last article, he outlined a story of resilient health, as he was able to train for 7hrs, party till 6am at a wedding, and still get back to life 24hrs later as a high functioning 9/10.
In this article he outlines 3 critical concepts he used to train and finish in the top 10% of Ironman Canada (as a total novice, in just 1 year), which are now the same training principles he uses to help his students.
THE 3 ALLIES OF CREATING SUSTAINABLE IRONMAN HEALTH
While you can certainly just jump in and get started, anything worth achieving in life requires foresight and planning – as my hero and author of The1 Thing, Gary Keller writes, “If you want to continue improving on your goals, at some point you’re going to need a plan. This is not a want, it’s a need.”
Here’s a breakdown of 3 core concepts I believe will save you a great deal of time, energy and if used together, will all but guarantee your success in health.
(At LULORA we use these 3 tools to help students get healthy but you could use them in any pursuit you like.)
THE 80/20 PRINCIPLE OR PARETO PRINCIPLE
I was introduced to the 80/20 rule by Tim Ferriss, the author of the “4 hour” books and a leading proponent of the 80/20 method.
Pareto, a 19th century Italian economist, found that there is generally a disproportionate relationship between the effort you expend and the results you create: The ratio of 80/20 indicates the most common relationship he found.
This principle can be applied to your health, finances, happiness – you name it.
But when it comes to your energy, weight and mental focus, the 80/20 rule suggests there are going to be certain changes you can make which will exceed others in terms of the benefit it creates.
That is to say, if you’re trying to lose weight, boost energy and improve mental focus, you are going to get a disproportionate amount of results from your effort in upgrading certain habits, foods and exercises over others.
If you’ve never heard of the 80/20 principle before I encourage you to research it – it will change your life.
By using the 80/20 rule you’re able to ensure that you are being strategic and economical with WHERE and HOW you expend your effort. This keeps you from running your willpower dry and burning out but also ensures you experience the necessary benefits and rewards to inspire your next and greater challenge.
Still, there will come many times in a pursuit of health in which you will fail.
Accountability is the tool we use to help lessen the duration of these failures and to prevent them in the first place. As a practice, accountability takes the responsibility of achieving your goals and uses a strong social standard of ‘not wanting to let anyone down,’ to re-inforce it.
We offer community challenges like your green smoothie breakfast challenge, throughout our entire program and support positive outcomes using some cool tools I learned from the social scientist, Charles Duhigg, like habit tracking and habit triggers.
We also challenge our participants to pair up with an accountability partner inside our members community where they’re able to hold one another accountable using daily or weekly ‘check-ins.’
Using the 80/20 rule in combination with the checks and balances created using accountability makes for a strategic approach to any single task. But, without an overarching strategy or plan to ensure we’re focusing on the right tasks at the right time, we could very well be heading in a direction that isn’t any use for our big picture goal.
For instance, our entire approach at LULORA is based around a 6 step strategic path that promises to guide students into the right habit, at the right time – this is what sets us apart from most diet or wellness program out there.
Using the 80/20 rule in our first program, Wake Up With Energy, helps students create a powerful health promoting morning routine. A choice we make because the majority of people’s breakfasts are broken and are a key contributor to their poor health - this one change can inspire dramatic results.
After this we continue with a focus on the low hanging fruit, by addressing the two most health robbing habits of the modern era: sitting and sugar.
Then, before we challenge you to develop a new relationship to exercise (something we call natural movement and functional fitness, in our Strong, Fit & Empowered program), we first ensure you have mastered sleeping, rest and recovery inside our Sleep Mastery & Stress Management program.
This will ensure you achieve the physical transformation you seek without adding any additional stress that exercise can create.
As you create a more resilient body and enjoy more robust health, we then guide participants into our Clean Body Cleanse & Detox Your Home System.
This program integrates multiple detox therapies to address our underlying environmental toxicity – A major component of poor health and disease.
With a foundation of powerful healthy habits we then guide our students into our longest and most robust program – what we call Fit For Life.
This program integrates several challenges, a 100 day habit creation program as well as traditional dietary practices, supplementation guides, meal planning training and a whole lot more.
Using this strategy and guiding students from one sustainable habit into the next, we gradually see a progression from health confusion into health confidence and empowerment.
Curious what these three tools look like in practice?
Here’s an example of how I made the three components of a healthy lifestyle work for me and went from being a total novice in swimming, running and triathlon, to racing an 11 hour Ironman and finishing in the top 10% of my age category in just 1 year.
The 80/20 Rule:
Using the 80/20 tool I knew where to expend MOST of my effort to get the MOST reward.
Even though I had never swam before, I decided to spend most of my energy, training on the bike and coupled my limited run training with yoga and mobility work.
Big idea: Focus on the bike, don’t worry about the swim, work to improve mobility for the Run.
The How and Why of my 80/20 choices:
- I could build far more fitness and endurance capacity on the bike than I could swimming or running.
- Running is also hard on the body and I could train for 5+ hours on the bike and not require as much recovery time as a 1hr run...
- The swim would be just 1-1.5 hrs of the race while the bike could be 5-7 hours of the race. This meant marginal gains in the water wouldn’t translate into a better finishing time.
- Everyone complains of cramps and mobility issues on the run so I decided to couple my running training with yoga and mobility work.
Signing up for 11 months of training is one thing, but actually showing up everyday to do it is another beast altogether. Using the power of accountability I (mostly) stayed the course.
I integrated accountability into this race in 2 powerful ways
- I had 3 accountability partners - My teammates and I were in it together and no matter how wet and cold the weather or how tired and unmotivated we got, we always supported one another to get out there and get our training done.
- We made our goal public - Our entire road to racing ironman was public on the LULORA blog. Collectively we had hundreds of family members and friends rooting for us. We had to show up!
How do you go from total novice to racing the world’s toughest triathlon? For a goal as big as Ironman we needed to have a detailed strategy: Here’s 3 examples (from many others)
- We learned insider tips and did both key workouts and training camps with several professional national team tri-athletes including Ben Greenfield, a top ranked triathlete and serious health wizard. On deck were key nutrition, mindset and equipment tips that helped focus our 80/20 efforts.
- Like I said, I’d never swam before and I was going to be swimming 4 km’s with 2000 other people in a lake, before sunrise….The swim was an intimidating factor for me so, I decided to listen to another piece of Tim Ferris’ advice on how he learned to swim – also a novice with a fear. On his recommendation, I used the Total Immersion Program by Terry Laughlin who’s as much a Yogi as he is swim coach. Even though I didn’t start swim training till 3 months out from race day, I swam 4km in 73 minutes.
- On recommendation from coaches, my teammates and I also bought a year long triathlon training program from Endurance Nation, that told us what workout to do, every single day. As a result there was never any energy lost wondering what workout to do, instead we just did what the program told us to do, tested our results, and, at then end, the outcome was all but predetermined – we became Ironmen.
Worth mentioning is that using these tactics, 2 of my 3 teammates also became fathers within 2 months of race day and both bought houses and moved cities. Without this strategic approach - they would have burnt out and never finished as successfully as they did.
Using the 80/20 rule to guide my efforts and ensure the choices I made were leading to real results vs imagined progress my teammates and I were able to train effectively while still handing full time jobs, fatherhood and relationships.
My 3 teammates kept me accountable in times when doubt crept in, and we leveraged one another personal networks to create the best outcome collectively possible - this included gear sponsorships, professional coaching and race day support.
Lastly, the year long Endurance Nation training program grounded the entire goal in a level of strategy that was invaluable. Having a manual or a path to follow for a goal as big as this was irreplaceable.
Ultimately, it was the experience of training and racing Ironman that served as the major inspiration for my business LULORA, to create the Mind Body Freedom program.
Using the Endurance Nation program as inspiration, we asked ourselves, what journey would someone take to progress from health confusion to total health confidence and empowerment?
Inside LULORA’s Mind Body Freedom program, students make this uniquely strategic journey as they break away from the zoo-like, status-quo of health, and recoverer their birthrights as strong, functional human beings.
Participants develop these uncommon levels of health using a whole foods diet, natural movement and functional fitness, stress management techniques and advanced wellness frameworks, that are all based in bio-hacking principles, lost traditional wisdom and cutting edge research.
We are accepting just 100 qualified and motivated students in our Spring 2016 program.
Kick off is May 1st 2016
Questions, thoughts or comments?
Feel free to reach out to me directly: firstname.lastname@example.org
Or join us on instagram @luloralifestyle