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Zumba for Runners and Triathletes

Posted by David Hardy
David Hardy
VTR Expert
User is currently offline
on Thursday, September 12, 2013
in Training

This is the first of several articles designed to get triathletes and runners to try something new this off-season. All season long we either run, bike, or swim and do very little else. Even if we wanted to try something new, chances are there is just not enough time in our busy lives. As the off season approaches I encourage everyone to take a break from the training grind. This is the time of the year when you are free to expand your horizons and do something other than running, cycling, or swimming for fitness.

I am no different than anyone else. Other than golf I really have not done any other sports or exercise programs outside of my comfort zone. I am probably the least likely person to try anything new. Rather than continue this trend and because I know there are others out there like me I decided to change. My goal is to show that runners and triathletes can try something new and hopefully encourage people that are afraid or hesitant that it can be fun to try something different.


What is the first thing I tried? Well, you can probably guess by the title of this blog....Zumba! Now what is Zumba? According to Wikipedia:

Zumba is a dance fitness program created by Colombian dancer and choreographer Alberto "Beto" Perez during the 1990's. Zumba involves dance and aerobic elements. Zumba's choreography incorporates hip-hop, soca, samba, salsa, merengue, mambo, and martial arts. Squats and lunges are also included.

Why did I choose Zumba as my first new topic?  My mother-in-law has been talking about Zumba for several months. During a couple of family cookouts I heard her mention how great Zumba is and how much she enjoyed going to the classes. She mentioned she has lost weight and is now going regularly. Now at the time I knew nothing about Zumba. I just assumed it was like Yoga or something similar. When I decided I wanted to start writing about new things I wanted to pick something I knew nothing about and the first thing that came to mind was Zumba. I figured, "How hard can it mother-in-law is doing it, right?"

I decided the best place to go was the studio that my mother-in-law attends. I contacted Nicole Detellis who is the owner of Fuse Yoga & Fitness in Londonderry, New Hampshire. I explained that not only did I want to attend one of her Zumba classes and write an article about it I also wanted to film my experience. This is View The Race....everything is about video. Nicole was accommodating and agreed to my request.

My Experience

First off you really need to understand I had no idea what Zumba was all about. I purposely did not want to find out much about it prior to attending the class. Again my goal is to show that anyone can try something new and you don't need weeks of planning to get out there and give it a shot.

I arrived at the studio feeling a little self conscious. I was happy to see that the class was small and everyone was very welcoming. Nicole was terrific. She welcomed me and made me feel at ease despite the fact I still did not know what I was in for. Everyone gathered in a room that looked like a dance floor with a wall mirror in the front of the room. A few seconds later the music started and Nicole started leading the first workout set. I was caught a little off-guard as there were no announcements or "starting gun".

Now right off I realized I was not dressed properly. Unfortunately I do not have any workout clothes other than Spandex tri shorts. I figured Spandex would not be welcomed so I decided to wear some old golf shorts and a loose fitting race t-shirt. I wore running shoes but found that for Zumba there are special shoes with no tread that work well. Check out these Zumba Shoes on Amazon. It would have made it a little easier to slide my feet on the floor but it didn't really matter.


 My impression of Zumba is similar to the definition. It is basically completing a dance routine for each song with a little aerobics mixed in. Since I had no previous knowledge of the routines I basically had to follow the instructor and try to mimic her moves. This is easier said than done. Nicole is a fabulous instructor with high energy and an obvious dance background. I was very impressed and at times felt like I was at a show watching her perform.

I really have only danced at weddings and have definitely never performed a solo dance routine. Despite this fact I had a fun time. The class was one hour long and time seemed to fly by as I tried to follow the moves for each song. I did not feel overly strained but I started sweating heavily about 20 minutes into the class. By the end my shirt was soaked. I think I would have got an even better workout if I completed more of the moves and really was able to get into each song. Due to my lack of ability at times I was a little lost and ended up skipping some of the movements. I am sure I would do better if I tried it a couple of more times.

My Review

If you like to dance then Zumba is for you. Everyone knows someone that likes to dance and is probably not working out. Encourage them to take a Zumba class or better yet bring them to a Zumba class and give it a try. The energy in the class is great and makes you want to learn the moves for each song. I think this would be great cross training if you want to work up a nice sweat and have fun for an hour. Instead of cycling on the boring trainer or running for 30 minutes on the treadmill try a Zumba class. It was a lot of fun, and I may try it again.


Want to see how I did? I am posting a few videos of my experience at the below link. If you promise not to laugh you are allowed to watch this video. Seriously...promise...Better yet focus on the instructor.

Click Here to watch my Zumba experience!

Thank you

Special thanks to Nicole Detellis from Fuse Yoga & Fitness. If you are interested in Yoga, Zumba, or Surf-Set Fitness check out her studio. The welcoming atmosphere and great instructors will make it easy to stay in shape this off-season.

**Fuse Yoga & Fitness is offering a "New Student Pass" for only $25 for 25 consecutive days. This is good for ANY class at Fuse Yoga & Fitness.***  

Conveniently located just off route 93 (exit #5) in Londonderry, NH.

Contact Nicole ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ) or stop by to try out a class.

Why wait?

Click here for this week's workout schedule.


Fuse Yoga & Fitness

182 Rockingham Road

Londonderry, NH 03053

Phone: 603-432-1626


Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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What motivates you in the off-season?

Posted by David Hardy
David Hardy
VTR Expert
User is currently offline
on Friday, December 07, 2012
in Training


As we get deeper into the off-season some of you probably have not been training much and some not at all. Of course there are probably some of you that have already signed up for an Ironman event next year or an early season marathon and your training is still in full swing. After training right through the off-season for the last 3 years I am faced with my first real stretch of time where I am not signed up for a big event and don't really have a "reason" to train. In some ways this is liberating and in others it is a little scary. My whole identity for years has been focused on my training plan and preparing for either an Ironman or marathon. In some ways I feel a little lost without my training plan "blanket".

After fumbling around training randomly for the first 2 months post-Ironman, I decided to enter a few races to determine my fitness level. I entered a 5k on Thanksgiving Day and 3 days later I entered a half marathon. I did not have stellar performances in either of these events but it got me back in the game. Unfortunately there are not a lot of races to choose from for the next couple of months. Racing every weekend or even every other is very difficult with all of the Holiday commitments and limited race schedule. So now what?

I needed another plan to keep me motivated....Sign up for a big event in 2013? No....not ready....Then I remembered something I always wanted to do. I hesitated to write a blog post about this because it is not that big a deal and also it may not be that smart. I have always wanted to run every day for an entire month. I know....why? It isn't even that cool or exciting...I think I watched a news story about a guy called "The Raven" who has run 8 miles a day on Miami Beach for 35 years in a row. This intrigued me and I have occasionally thought it might be cool to do a very limited version of this insanity. After much deliberation (with myself) I decided I would run a minimum of 4 miles a day for the entire month of December. Now I am not running the same course, I just have to cover the miles. Again I am not writing this because I think this is an incredible feat. This is just something that will keep me motivated for the month of December and then we will see what happens....I post all of my workouts day by day here if you want to see if I make it.....who knows maybe if I am successful I will keep going....Remember this quote from the movie Forrest Gump ?

Forrest Gump: That day, for no particular reason, I decided to go for a little run. So I ran to the end of the road. And when I got there, I thought maybe I'd run to the end of town. And when I got there, I thought maybe I'd just run across Greenbow County. And I figured, since I run this far, maybe I'd just run across the great state of Alabama. And that's what I did. I ran clear across Alabama. For no particular reason I just kept on going. I ran clear to the ocean. And when I got there, I figured, since I'd gone this far, I might as well turn around, just keep on going. When I got to another ocean, I figured, since I'd gone this far, I might as well just turn back, keep right on going.


                                                  What keeps you motivated?



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