Jim Ingle set his sights on the National Senior Games in the Twin Cities this month. “All it takes is all you got, and that has to be your attitude,” Ingle said.
Ingle turns 66 in July, and he has trained to run the 50, 100 and 200 meter sprints at the College of St. Thomas in St. Paul. He has been involved with the senior games for 10 years. “It’s been a 30-year goal for me,” he said. He is currently the chairman of the board of directors for the state Senior Games.
This will be his fourth National Senior Games. They hold them every two years, he said.
Preparing for the games is more than training, it is a lifestyle for Ingle. He started his career as a phy ed teacher and coach, and he now is the fitness coordinator for the Mille Lacs Band. “I feel I’m on the threshold of my career,” he said. “It keeps me young, it keeps me active, it gives me a reason to train. The intensity is important. Through longevity and attrition, I hope to win.”
He took part in the Minnesota Senior Games in St. Cloud in May where he took home a gold medal in the 200 meter and two silver medals for the 50 and 100 meter sprints. Those finishes earned him a place in the National Senior Games. In the nationals his goal is to make the finals. In his first National Senior Games he missed the finals by one tenth of a second. Now he wants to get down to 172 pounds with a body fat of 7 percent. He is below 10 percent now, but hopes each pound and percentage point will prove the difference with a tenth of a second.
In addition to a strict training regime, Ingle depends on a traditional native diet with wild rice, fish, locally raised grass-fed beef, free range chicken, and salmon and lake trout from Lake Superior. Processed foods are not part of his diet.
“Running workouts are conditioning,” Ingle said. “Power and strength equals speed. Core development is essential in running.”
As part of his training he takes part in five non-running core workouts to build strength and stamina.
1) He runs 50 flights of stairs.
2) He calls this workout set, “legs.” These are special forces workouts – one set of 40 lunges, 40 straddle hops, 40 squats and 10 star jumps. The goal is to do one complete set in one minute.
3) Circuit – this is a cross fit timed workout. Ingle does 30 seconds of exercise, then he has 30 seconds of rest which he uses to get to the next exercise. “It’s a good cardio exercise,” he said.
4) In the weight room he does a day of heavy lifting.
5) A day of regressive burnouts in the fitness room. He does 40 reps at each piece of equipment before moving on the next one.
There is also one more set of exercises he does, the baby SEAL, this he got from the special forces unit, but the SEALS do a more intense set, Ingle said. The baby SEAL includes 300 pushups and 300 squats in 25 minutes. He said real SEALS do twice that.
Ingle has six or seven people working through this regimen with him. Having others participate gives him incentive to work a little harder.
“This whole thing is about goals,” Ingle said. “Without goals, without visions, what have you got?”
The Mille Lacs Band gives all employees 30 minutes a day to workout if they chose to take advantage of the program. Ingle is the cheerleader for those who come to the fitness center and he helps them identify the workout plan that will work for them, and it helps him also.
At the end of the day preparing for the National Senior Games has been a lifelong endeavor for Ingle that is probably going to continue for many years to come.