Tracie, Twarna and Judy, affectionately called the marathon trio, signed up for my two days a week small group total cardio-kickboxing program in January 2014 to help them prepare for and support each other in preparing for the upcoming Nike Women’s Half Marathon in Washington, DC on April 27th. These ladies, who are in their mid to late 40s years of age, inspired me with their energy and perseverance to run their very 1st half marathon. I was honored to be selected to help these ladies improve their endurance and physical capabilities in handling the arduous task of a 13.1 mile run.
I loved how the marathon trio pushed one another during each one-hour training session through 45-second circuit training rounds, through endless core exercises especially planks, and through those high intensity cardio power rounds. Their friendly competition among one other also contributed to them pushing each other beyond their perceived physical limitations to new heights of physical endurance and strength.
That’s the beauty of a small group training environment. It allows me to create a supportive environment where even new participants feel comfortable joining the group; where participants are personally introduced and called by their first name during their very first session. It enables me to create a fun but challenging workout environment where participants know that I have my eyes on them to correct form, to encourage them, and to push them to hang in there even when it feels difficult.
As with any client, I assess their strengths and weaknesses, and then develop programs to help them improve where needed. With only a short amount of time to prepare the marathon trio, I knew that I had to increase intensity and duration quickly. I, therefore, created workouts each week that extended the duration of the cardio rounds and increased the intensity of the power rounds which included intervals of moderate and high intensity exercises. I also included a significant amount of lower body conditioning using a variety of lower body cardio-kickboxing, strength and flexibility to help them prepare for the arduous task of a 13.1 miler.
During the three months of training with the marathon trio, I saw vast improvements in their endurance levels. Each session, they would push themselves a little harder and a little further even though they felt tired or felt that getting through a particular round was too difficult. I’ve seen a vast improvement in their muscle development and toning as each session includes a fair amount of upper and lower body strength training. But their training did not end there. The marathon trio not only attended my sessions 2 days a week, they also ran and walked extended miles on Saturday mornings each week in preparation for the race.
The big day in April arrived and Judy and Twarna seemed up for the challenge. Tracie was there also to support them as she had done every step of the way. Not only did Judy and Twarna meet the challenge, they exceeded their own perceived physical capabilities and got through the race faster than expected. Even, more importantly, they recuperated quickly with only minor feet and knee challenges. My heart was overjoyed when they returned to the training program a week later. It was totally understandable that they needed a week to recuperate. And here we are training for the next event or, maybe simply training to be healthier and stronger. Whatever the reason, I am grateful for the opportunity to positively impact their lives and grateful for the marathon trio positively impacting me as well.
R.G. Fitness and Wellness Solutions provides small group training for anyone in the Washington DC Metro looking to improve their endurance and strength or simply to achieve better health.