4 Essentials for Training for a 5k

So you want to get back in shape? Awesome!  You want to get into running or your company is organizing a charity 5k? Even better! Luckily I just ran my first 5k just recently. Let me show you where to start. Here are my 4 geeky essentials for training successfully for a 5k.

1.  The Running App 

First things first, we need to have an app to keep track of your progress. While there are several out there, I have continued to land on an old standard, the Nike+Running app.  To put it simply, I enjoy the aesthetics and feel for this app. It has also stayed free to use all of the features, which some of the other competition has not. I also like the fact that you can link shoes to specific runs. Keeping track of the miles that you are putting on your shoes is actually very important as parts of the shoe may be wearing out before they seem visually worn out.  Another plus to the Nike+ app, is the fact that you can pick a “Power Song” which you can trigger during the hardest part of your run at the push of a button. The right beat at the right time could be incredibly helpful.

2.  The Health App

excercise is only a part of the health equation. In order to keep you on track in your diet as well as keeping an overall picture of your health, you need a health tracker.  Apple’s Health app does an alright job of managing the database of the health data gathered by your phone.  I however like to see the data presented in a way in which makes sense, and can be seen at a glance.  Azumio’s Argus app is that and more.  It accesses the step counter from your phone to count your steps, calculates your basal calories (calories burned by your body, simply by existing), and it keeps track of the nutritional information of the food you eat.  Food can be entered in a variety of ways; by creating a recipe, search or by scanning the bar code on the food’s packaging. Two of the coolest Argus features are the ability of the app to record your pulse using the phone’s camera, and the ability to monitor your sleep using the phone’s accelerometer. Which ever app you choose, you MUST get a full picture of your health, not just the things that you are doing to exercise.

3.  The Plan

The main thing that helped me was using a plan.  I am terrible when it comes to making a decision. My personality type makes me seem somewhat indecisive, simply because I am very much of the “measure twice cut once” mentality.  The fact that I got on a plan, and now my workouts were chosen for me was a big plus. It let me get out of my head and start to move around. Also a plan creates a baseline for data to be collected during your workouts.  Get on a plan, take the guesswork out of your workout, so that you can focus on working hard and finishing strong.

4.  Get up and Move

This is what it all comes down to. You have to put in the work in order to see the results.  There are going to be days when you feel amazing and everything is going well. Cherish those days!  Conversely there will be days when you will feel terrible (usually the afternoon or day after you ate something unhealthy). Those are the days when it is 10x more important to get out there and move!  If you are on a plan, you don’t have to focus on what it is you have to do, you can just focus on getting through the workout.  Get out there and get it!

Have I missed something? What would you add or delete from the list? Let me know in the comments section. Also if this list was helpful to you let me know in the comments or tweet at me @dadthegeekblog.


It’s #TransformationTuesday

Another Tuesday is here, so that means it is time for an update on my personal goals for the year!

Running has been going really well. I have been following the plan laid out in the app that I am using. I have been using the Nike+ app. The “Coach” function sets out with a plan after you enter the kind of race you would like to train for (5k, half, or full marathon). As of today I am down about 12 pounds from when I started running.

I have also signed up for a local 5k race. It should be a great time, and will be my 2nd race ever. It is a point to point which means you don’t run in a circle. It should be a great time, and I can honestly say that I am looking forward to it.

I also have been working on BB-8. I have gathered a parts list ,according to the parts that a fellow builder has used. I am quickly realizing that this is going to be a very expensive endeavor unless I can come up with some alternatives to his design. I priced out his version of the internal pieces for the ball, and it comes out to a hefty $802. I am thinking that I will get a job over the summer in order to offset the cost of building the droid. I did get a chance yesterday to briefly check out a local store which has a ton of spare parts and is a popular spot with the local R2D2 builders club. 

Things are going well on other fronts too. Let me know what you are doing to better yourself this year in the comments section below! Also be sure to check out my Facebook and Twitter. Also follow me on Instagram  and Periscope @dadthegeekblog.

Transformation Tuesday Update

So a few weeks ago I posted that I would be posting updates to several of my goals for the year on Tuesdays going forward. It has been a couple of weeks but I wanted to give an update on them. 

The first is my weight. I am happy to report that I have begun training for a local 5k. In doing so I have began to loose weight. I am excited by the prospect of beginning to loose more weight and get healthier. I do have a little bit of a larger goal. My sister and mother recently completed a half marathon. I am hopefully looking to begin to keep up with the pack so to speak. I would love to be able to get in good enough shape to run in a half marathon with my sister and mom. 

The other thing that I am working on is putting together my parts list for building a fully functional BB-8. There are many great builders who are a part of the BB-8 Builders Club on Facebook, but there is one builder who’s has made the best build in my opinion. The even better part is that he has made his build public on his website. Check him out here. Just like him, I plan on making my build public by posting videos of my build and tests of the mechanics. 

Let me know what you are working on for your Transformation Tuesday in the comments below. Also check out my Facebook and Twitter. Also follow me on Instagram @dadthegeek and Tumblr @dadthegeek.

Author Profile JRR Tolkien

“Tolkien  was an English writer, poet, philologist, and university professor who is best known as the author of the classic high-fantasy works The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion.

He served as the Rawlinson and Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon and Fellow of Pembroke College, Oxford, from 1925 to 1945 and Merton Professor of English Language and Literature and Fellow of Merton College, Oxford from 1945 to 1959.[1] He was at one time a close friend of C. S. Lewis—they were both members of the informal literary discussion group known as the Inklings. Tolkien was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II on 28 March 1972.” From Wikipedia.

This is only a snippet of the life of the writer who brought us Middle Earth and such epics as “The Lord of the Rings.”  Check out the link for more information from this amazing Geeky author.

Let me know your favorite Tolkien book in the comments below. Also be sure to check out my Facebook and Twitter. Follow me on Instagram @dadthegeekblog.


So it is #TransformationTuesday and one of the things that I have yet to do is share many of my goals for the year. I know, pretty late with the whole New Years Resolution thing. I am planning on sharing my progress on the following goals during #TransformationTuesday going forward.

The first goal is a bit crazy. I saw The Force Awakens and absolutely loved the new droid BB-8. In fact, I enjoyed him so much that I plan on making a complete 1 to 1 scale replica. The plan is also for this thing to be fully functional. I am looking for it to be of the same caliber as the Astromech (R2D2) droids people have built.

Another is to finish building the modular game board for playing miniature war games at home. I have all of the plywood cut, it is just a matter of coating it all and finishing all of the terrain pieces.

Finish painting my Warhammer 40,000 models is the next goal on the list. I have several different pieces which are in various states of completion. Some are still on the sprue, some are cut and primed, and still others simply need basing.

The other two goals are about completing projects around the house. The first is to redo the backyard, so that we have somewhere to entertain both the kids as well as others this summer. The other is to finish reorganizing the garage, mainly so that we can fit a car back into the garage, and so that I can have a workspace in the garage for all of the other projects already mentioned.

I am sure that I will find other projects throughout the year. Each Tuesday I will share some progress from at least one of the projects that I am working on for #TransformationTuesday.

What projects are you working on this year? Tell me in to comments below. Also be sure to follow me on Twitter and like my page on Facebook. Also I am putting out some content on Tumblr and Instagram @dadthegeekblog.

Bounce house crazy

Over this weekend, Claire attended a birthday party. Like many kid’s parties, the most amazing and awesome item of kiddom made an appearance. The bounce house was by far the mark of a fantastic party when I was a kid. They were the source of entertainment and games and at a party of 2nd graders was second only to the cake or goodie bags (depending on the kid).


Photo credit: http://www.123rf.com/photo_27074273_having-fun-playing-in-inflatable-jump-house.html

Being at this party as an adult and having a child, I now understand the need for all of the ignored rules printed on the outside of the bounce house. If used incorrectly, these things can be death traps! I do NOT mean to speak ill of the hosts of the party. They were very good at monitoring the number of children inside the balloon of death, yet even with close monitoring, there were still injuries, still tears, and still upset preschoolers. 

Kids were bouncing everywhere; into each other, into the walls, and onto the floor.  They even seemed to be a little more crazed than usual. Claire came off of the thing with wild hair and a mischievous grin on her face. With this look I coined the phrase “bounce house crazy” to describe her look. 

We have now received an invitation to yet another preschool birthday party.  This time instead of a bounce house the kids are going ice skating… I can only imagine what is in store for these Florida kids when ice (something incredibly foreign to them) and blades enter the mix.

Please be sure to let me know what your favorite kind of party to attend was when you were a kid. Also be sure to like the Facebook page and follow the Twitter feed for more updates.

Year in Review …2015… DadtheGeek turns 2

It is hard to believe that 2015 is over. This year has been incredible, and incredibly busy. As a teacher, I tend to think that the year begins in August and ends in May, but 2015 was a particularly great year,mane I am sad to see it go.

My 2015 resolutions began well, however I did not meet my weight goal. I did however end the year weighing less than when Instarted the year, so I’ll take that as a small consolation. My wife also gave birth to our son, our second child, who is growing like a weed! I ended my second year and began my third year teaching full time. I am still having a blast! 

I am looking forward to this year that we are already a few days into. I have even written several of the things I want to accomplish down in a notebook. My plan here is to carry the notebook with me, and to write down and work on the ideas in this notebook throughout the year. Maybe things will happen, but maybe they will not, who knows. I am determined though not to dismiss ideas immediately. I want to give every idea a chance before I decide whether to work on an idea of to cast it aside. 

I don’t really have resolutions this year…I have goals. Some are private, and some are public. Many of which I will share on this blog…just not in this post…

Welcome 2016! Leave a comment below with your New Years Resolution or Goal. Also check me out on Facebook and Twitter.