This year, in addition to my other New Year’s resolutions, I’ve added one to be better about doing core work. I’ll admit it: while I’m almost fanatical about completing my prescribed run workouts, I’ve been really bad about consistently doing core work. This is the year I’ve committed to try to do something about it. The experts say that it takes six weeks to get a habit engrained in your brain. Here’s hoping.
For the uninitiated, core work is basically a fancy way of saying abdominal work. After three babies and four-plus decades, my core ain’t what it used to be. I’ve been wondering for a while if some of my endless injuries couldn’t be even slightly the result of a weak core. And, everything you read these days indicates that to get faster and stronger, you need a strong core. Okay. Okay. I get it. Time to work on the core!
As much as I used to lament my rest days, now I cherish them. Ah, a rest day! I can be a slug. Well, not really as those of you that know me know, but you understand, right? No workout clothes are required, but there’s always something on my plate, so get showered, get dressed and out the door.
While my current training plan calls for two rest days each week, it also has the caveat that I should be doing core work on those days. Huh? No more complete rest days? It’s just twenty minutes, but to my brain, that’s still a workout. But, do I even bother to dirty some workout clothes for a measly twenty-minute core workout when I just as easily pull the clothes I wore out of the hamper from the night before? That’s what I usually do to walk the dog anyway. One problem solved.
Problem number two: what core workout do I do? There are so many out there, but this time, in hopes that I’ll stick to it, I’m gonna do my own thing and go with what feels right for that particular day. I plan to do a combination of yoga and traditional abdominal work with maybe some Pilates thrown in for good measure. I miss doing a traditional yoga class, but there hardly seems time for it anymore with all the other workouts each week. Plus, I haven’t found a class at a good time for me. And lastly, I miss my old yoga instructor in Miami. He was great and his workouts always kicked my butt, in a good way.
Coach Joe is great for the running, biking and swimming questions and concerns and for the motivation that I need. He, like me though, hasn’t been great about doing consistent core work. It was time to bring in a fresh face so, in addition to Coach Joe, I have a new coach this year. My new coach doesn’t say a whole lot, but he’s demanding and gets right up in my face when I’m struggling. His gaze is steady and reproachful when I’m starting to tire. His praise and motivation, when given, help me to laugh and smile, a huge plus when my muscles are on fire or about ready to give out. Occasionally, he will deign to stretch with me but, like all good coaches, he has his own times to work out and his own workouts that he strictly adheres to. Oh, and I forgot to mention, he’s really ripped and, I think, quite handsome.
Meet my new coach: