Four years ago, Bridgette Yoder, 43, of Lansing, took part in her first 5K race. As a result, she was hooked on running and fitness. She gradually ran more events, took High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) classes and added distance.
Now, she’s competing in duathlons and triathlons with the goal of participating in an IronMan Triathlon (2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bicycle ride, and a 26.22-mile run, raced in that order).
“I had serious doubts about my ability to complete this type of race,” she said. “I then joined the Playmakers Tri Team and began my training. I was running, biking, and swimming 4-5 days a week. I felt great. My confidence was growing. My strength and speed were increasing. On the day of my first triathlon, I showed up and it was nothing but pure adrenaline! My family was there to support me and I felt extremely proud of myself when it was done.”
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She said her workouts are for her health, and also to serve as a good example for her children (ages 10, 5 and 1).
“I want to show my children what it means to be healthy and active,” she said. “My children watched me finish what I started, even though it was hard. I know this is something that we cannot teach, that they must see with their own eyes and will having a lasting impression on them.”
She said when she’s not running or training with the Playmakers Women’s Running Group or Playmakers Tri Team, she takes part in early morning HIIT classes. She said it’s a total body workout.
“I try to schedule my workouts so they will not interfere with family time during the week after school,” she said. Yoder said she doesn’t follow a strict diet but does look to make healthy choices. “I usually have strawberries, blueberries, or watermelon for breakfast, some kind of protein for lunch, and dinner might be chicken and veggies or a quick oven pizza,” she said.
Get moving. “My advice for others is to simply start,” she said. “Don’t wait until you have the right shoes or you look cute in your activewear. Find an accountability partner or join a group of likeminded folks to encourage, support, and uplift you.”