Biking, swimming, running are no sweat

If Ronald Rich’s garage – complete with piles of old bicycle wheels, three wall-mounted racing bikes, and drawers full of bike shoes, gloves and water bottles – doesn’t hint at an obsession, leave it to his nightstand.

Where most would have an alarm clock and book, the CEO of Ronald B. Rich & Associates in Farmington Hills has two new bike inner tube boxes, and a pair of jogging shoes is not far off.

“I love it and I need it every day,” said Rich, 50, of his triathlon-inspired workouts in biking, swimming and jogging. The collection and construction attorney balances his 50- to 60-hour work weeks with training from his West Bloomfield Township home.

Rich used to be a competitive runner. But after hurting his back, he has dedicated his early mornings and late evenings to 50-mile bike rides, shorter runs and one-mile swims, all in the name of triathlons.

For more than 20 years Rich has raced in triathlons across the country. In his home office, a wall of old newspaper clippings is proof. So is a throw made of old race T-shirts hanging in his basement, as are the race medals hanging from a light next to his bed.

But for the unabashedly active Rich to successfully compete and race, weekdays are regimented: a workout, work, dinner, more work, and finally, another workout.

Days start at 6:30 a.m., with either a bike ride or a jog.

He rides 25 to 40 miles from his home twice a week on his ultralight Calfee racing bike. On Saturdays, he lengthens the trip to as much as 50 miles and couples it with a swim or jog. On Sundays, Rich joins a group of about 15-25 that treks from West Bloomfield Township to Fenton, Milford and Ann Arbor, sometimes riding 75 miles.

Twice a week he jogs between 5 and 8 miles, and returns home by 7:30 a.m.

At night, after returning from his office around 7:15 p.m. and eating dinner with his family, then working in his home office for a couple hours, Rich dives into his backyard pool around 10 p.m.

The pool is his backyard haven.


It measures 20 yards from corner to corner and has a right-angle shape. He swims 80-100 laps, about a mile, using a buoy to isolate his upper body after biking or jogging in the morning. He says the lights and stars help him calm down after the daily rigors of collection law.

“Every family should have a pool because it just creates a close family unit,” he said. “My family has been so supportive with everything I’ve done – they’ve been great.”

Rich packs his running shoes for every trip, business or pleasure.

“I can sit in a lawn chair for 30 minutes, but then I have to jump in the pool,” he said, recalling a family vacation to Aruba two years ago, when he ran every day and couldn’t sit next to the pool without an urge to do laps.

“People say I’m hyper. … I’m active,” he said. “When you’re somewhere around the world, and you’re not going to be back there again, you have to see everything. With running, you do see everything.”

Over the summer, Rich competed in a triathlon in Ohio, and other races.

“My most relaxing time of the day is when I’m working out,” he said. “No phones – it’s my time to get away. To me, this is easy.”

* * *

My Workout

* Who he is: Ronald Rich, 50, CEO of Ronald B. Rich & Associates, Farmington Hills.

* When he works out: Usually in morning, 6:30 a.m., seven days a week.

* Where he works out: Home gym and pool, Jewish Community Center in West Bloomfield Township during winter to swim.

* His routine: Bikes 25-75 miles three to four times a week; runs 5 to 8 miles two to four times a week; swims one mile in pool every day; sit-ups and stretching before bed every night.

* Fitness tip: “Everyone should do some type of physical activity daily, depending on their capability. I don’t suggest a vigorous routine immediately, but you will find after time that the amount of exercise can, and will, increase to a comfortable level.”