Love what you hate, says Marathon Mike. “Do one thing a day that you don’t want to do. This hardens the mind and makes tasks you want to do that much better.”
What a great way to grow your mind 1% and enable you to knock out a big goal.
Check out this interview with the Marathon Man Mike Savage and he breaks down how he overcame an un-athletic body to go on to crush big goals on the hockey rink and his first marathon.
SGPT: Tell us about yourself?
MS: My name is Mike Savage, I am 39 years old. I am originally from Long Island, NY. My family moved to the Pocono’s in Pennsylvania when I was 10, and I moved back to Long Island for work a little over 16 years ago. Pennsylvania was a great place to grow up, especially if you were into outdoorsy things!
In hindsight, the opportunities offered to kids in the schools out there at that time was off the charts compared to what I see available to my own kids today. We received skiing and swimming lessons as part of the school curriculum. There were all sorts of sports teams and clubs, which I participated in many. I eventually gravitated toward hockey and made that my primary sport up through college, and still play today!
Today I live in Kings Park, NY with my wife Amy and three kids (11, 9 and 6). I work for Equitable Holding Co. managing sales of their Variable Annuity products for the Long Island Territory, and when I’m not working, I am dividing a conquering with Amy getting the kids to Dance, Gymnastics, hockey, wrestling, piano lessons, scouts, or any of the other million of activities we seem to end up a part of.
You will notice most of my posts come early in the morning, that’s my time. I am early to rise, and thanks to Coach Brad creating programs that can be done at your own “grinder” on your own time, the SEALgrinderPT (SGPT program) (and especially the Underground Bunker) has certainly given me the opportunity to train on my terms, and I hope it continues to lead me down more new paths in training in the future.
SGPT: Were you an athlete growing up?
MS: An athlete growing up may be a stretch, but I do believe I grew into one. I was decent at baseball, mediocre at best at most other sports I played, but when I was 13 I found Hockey. I wouldn’t say I was necessarily a natural, but it was the most natural I ever remember feeling playing a sport. I went from learning to skate at 13, to playing Junior B in 4 years. I continued playing in college at Shippensburg University. It was a club team, but we got to play our home games at the Hershey Arena, and I still get chills when I hear AC/DC Thunderstruck thinking about running out of the tunnel onto the ice for our home games!
SGPT: How did you get started running?
MS: This is a great question, because I absolutely hated running, and to be totally honest, I still do! My hockey days (where games actually mattered) ended in February of 2005. In 2008 I found myself in the middle of a financial crisis working at a major financial company in NYC. Stress levels were through the roof, but also as a 24/25 year old, there was a lot of going out and partying, and all of those things began to catch up with me. Add to that a 4 year break from real athletic activity, and it was the perfect storm for creating motivation to try something new. One day in the gym in my apartment building I hopped on the treadmill and decided I was going to start running, and eventually had an epiphany that I was going run a marthon…and three months later I tore my Achilles tendon, and that dream died….
SGPT: So what did you do then?
MS: To continue where I left off, the marathon dream in 2008 died after my injury. History doesn’t repeat itself, but it tends to rhyme, or something like that! Fast forward to 2020, the conditions are eerily similar, except I had no access to a treadmill so I began running outside. This was when I caught the running bug, running outside is a game changer if you’re used to being a casual treadmill runner.
SGPT: You mentioned you hated running and to love what you hate. Can you elaborate on that more?
MS: If I had a choice in a workout, running would be much farther down on the list. In David Goggins book “can’t hurt me” he said to do one thing a day that you don’t want to do. This hardens the mind, and makes tasks you want to do that much better. That’s how I feel about running and why I do it. First thing in the am, I bang out the one thing I really don’t want to, and the next task is now that much easier to accomplish. I am a big believer in that methodology.
SGPT: How did you train for your first marathon?
MS: I was at a point during COVID (since there wasn’t a ton else to do) where I would run a 5k on Monday, a 10k on Tuesday and a Half Marathon on Wednesday every week. That lasted almost two months. In December of that year I ran my first 30k, and that’s when I set my eye on the Full Marathon.
I signed up through the Nike Run Club app along with a Virtual Marathon Challenge to run the full Marathon at the beginning of the year. The app has an 18 week training program you follow and the final run is “The Big One”. That run was this past Saturday. I can attest that the last 5 miles are a complete mind fu**, and that’s where things begin to cramp break down.
The weather was less than desirable, the course was very hilly ( the NYC Marathon has a little over 800 ft of elevation, this course was almost 2000 ft), and my technology failed at 21 miles in. SGPT helped me prepare in many ways with the 1% greater training, the “virtual BUD/s” a few years back, and the daily training put out in the bunker all helped muscle through that not only physically but also mentally, and there was no way I wasn’t crossing that 26.2!
SGPT: What is your next big goal?
MS: I plan on re running this race one more time. I want to try it in better weather and hopefully without technology fails so I can get a more complete breakdown of the race. I am also running the Murph on Monday, I would love to break 50 minutes fully rx’d so we will see!
SGPT: What book or podcast are you reading now?
MS: I am reading “The Wim Hof Method” by Wim Hof…pretty interesting insight into health and the benefits of cold on the body and breathing, I’d definitley recommend to those looking for natural ways to help your body feel better.
I’ll take my podcast lineup question offline, but I tend to listen to a lot of conservative political podcasts, and there are many great ones out there if youre into that sort of thing!
Thank you very much for the interview, and thank you for the consistent motivation through the app and your coaching. The SGPT programs have been an integral part of my training, and the consistency in my training for years. I plan to continue until I physically cant anymore.
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SGPT Interviews SEALFIT 20X Challenge Finisher Mark Clingen
Are you interested in training for an endurance event like SEALFIT 20X, GORUCK or a Spartan Race? Do you want to increase your human potential so that you can move faster to your goals?
Do you have a big event on the horizon and you want to finish the drill?
Looking to get out of a rut and push forward to beat yesterday now?
Get individual coaching from SGPT Coach Brad McLeod. Check out coaching here: