IronDad? IronHusband? Ironman – Jake Greenstein

“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.

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Loggin miles training for Ironman Boulder

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! 

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Fitting it all in

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

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4 Responses to IronDad? IronHusband? Ironman – Jake Greenstein

  1. Farber says:

    I also loves running, It give me power to express myself. this is my passion and it is slow way to start your fitness, which turns in big exercise scedule.

  2. Feisty Eats says:

    Great feature on Jake. He’s definitely an inspiration as well as his wife & sister. Good luck, Jake. Imagine if Cori never dared you!

  3. Pingback: Achieving Goals – Not A Solo Sport | Run Like A Girl

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