Hillsborough residents—and fellow triathletes—Carole Zydiak and Linda Rapacki both shared the same get-fit advice with me when I interviewed them about their races.
Working out, it seems, needs to be a priority.
It’s a basic principal (at which I’ve been failing this week), but it’s their suggestion that’s the key: both said to physically schedule workouts in a phone, online calendar, planner, what have you.
It’s also something I’ve not tried before, but makes sense. If I look at it, the workouts I’m most likely to make are the Team in Training practices where I have to RSVP to an attendance poll. The workout’s already blocked into my schedule, so it’s usually harder to miss.
It’s also a commitment to other people, which I know is another aspect of working out successfully. However, there aren’t any running groups in Hillsborough of which I’m aware that cater to beginner runners—and it’s the one section of the Team in Training plan where we don’t have group work-outs.
As you can guess, my biggest challenge in the entirety of triathlon training is the running. It’s also the area I would most like to improve—but actually getting in the runs has proved almost impossible, either from scheduling or, this week, getting over being sick.
Oddly enough, the times I’m most energized to run seem to be after other workouts, as long as it’s an enjoyable workout. That’s probably why my last non-race run (before getting sick) followed the hour-long kickboxing session at Master Yu’s Blackbelt Institute in Bridgewater.
Let me say this first: though I’m interested in martial arts, I’ve never taken lessons. To put it in the least politically correct manner, Wii boxing showed me I punch like a girl. My only experience with kickboxing was during a high school gym class, and I wasn’t a fan.
Master Yu’s class is not like high school. And that’s a good thing.
For one, the class is all cardio, and definitely at a faster pace than high school. Chris Yu, the school owner, leads a high-energy workout but also recognizes the need for slower recovery periods.
Of course, everything’s based in martial arts and boxing techniques. Participants will also be doing ab work, legwork and upper body work during portions of the class.
Yu’s enthusiasm is constant through out the workout, whether it’s kicking, punching (I kept throwing the wrong punches), or helping a student with form.
While sneakers aren’t required for the workout—since it’s in a Dojo, Yu will allow participants to workout in bare feet—water should definitely be a cannot-do-without. This class will make you sweat, whether from the punching, kicking, and more aerobic drills or the agility exercises you’ll do.
Yup, you read that correctly. You’ll be trying out different types of footwork during the class, and also doing running and push-up drills. And, as someone who swims semi-regularly (but hates push-ups), I can say the push-up drills were an excellent workout—by the end, I couldn’t do another push up, and lost count of the number we completed.
The weird thing? After finishing the class, I did go for a run. It’s a class that gets you pumped, whether you’re working out for just an hour or sticking another workout on the end of it.
Next week’s trial? Scheduling workouts—class or otherwise— in an old-school, paper planner.