Listen to Your Body Podcast 348 - Improve Your Fitness Over 40 w_ Robin Legat

Improve Your Fitness Over 40 w/ Robin Legat

How many times have you told yourself you’re too old or it’s too late to get started on something? The idea of starting a new athletic pursuit after 40 seems impossible to many people, but there are so many people out there proving every day that it can be reality.

Listen to Your Body Podcast 348 - Improve Your Fitness Over 40 w_ Robin Legat

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Key Takeaways

If You Are Ready to Explore Your Athletic Potential, You Should:

  1. Redefine what athlete means to you
  2. Stop waiting to become perfect or elite
  3. Get out of your comfort zone 
  4. Focus on activities that light you up inside

Live Agelessly With Robin Legat

One of those people is Robin Legat, a badass obstacle racer who helps women over 40 explore their athletic potential, gain confidence, and overcome life’s obstacles. Robin is passionate about helping women live agelessly by sharing her wisdom and preparing women to run their best obstacle race. She believes that exploring your athletic potential at every age can help everyone expand their lives.

What Is An Athlete?

To Robin, being an athlete means having a body that is moved with intention and is tested from time to time. That’s it! You do not need to be perfect or elite to get started. Once you can find an activity that you enjoy, the fire you get from that feeling will continue to motivate you. 

Being able to accomplish something that you never thought you would be able to do can give you joy that affects more than just your fitness but really impacts your whole life. You just have to be willing to show up at the start line.

You Don’t Need to Be Perfect, You Just Need to Show Up

When you gain the confidence to put yourself out there and participate in an experience, you can still feel your ‘superhero’ moment even if you don’t do it perfectly. While your preferences of which activities you engage with may shift throughout the different seasons in your life, the positive benefits you can get from pushing yourself out of your comfort zone can be life-changing. 

By redefining the rewards and benefits that come from taking on challenges, you can gain the confidence to overcome life’s obstacles and explore your athletic potential at any age.

Are you ready to run your first obstacle course race after listening to this episode? Share what you loved most about Robin’s approach to fitness over 40 with me in the comments below.

In This Episode

  • How Robin went from a ‘non-athlete’ to a roller derby star and obstacle course racer (11:44)
  • Tips for redefining what an ‘athlete’ is in order to see yourself in a more expansive way (20:15)
  • Why it is okay to recognize which training lights you up inside and which training is not for you right now (25:47)
  • The top 3 things you need to know about obstacle course racing (30:24)
  • The importance of strength training when obstacle racing (34:55)

Quotes

“One of the things I am trying to break down in my little corner is the rewards and the benefits that come from taking on challenges such as obstacle races, that’s just one example, but the rewards and challenges that come from stepping beyond your comfort zone, taking on new challenges, and discovering your ability to do things you never thought you could.” (11:19)

“Obstacle racing is a lot of being a grown-up kid. You are doing monkey bars, and rope climbs and crawling in mud, kid stuff. And we forget that. We lose track of that and forget how fun that side of ourselves can be, and you can access that at any age if you want to.” (19:36)

“That’s why I love helping women, particularly women over 40, find that thing that lights them up. Because that can be life-changing in regards to your relationship with exercise and training and how you view yourself as an athlete.” (25:44)

“All that other stuff does not matter. You need to have the ability to show up to that start line, just like I needed to have that ability to show up to my first roller derby practice. So know that you can get from the start line to finish line.” (30:26)

“When you see you just did something, that you have never done, that you didn’t think you could ever do, that’s an amazing feeling that permeates into all areas of your life. And that’s why I want to reach women over 40.” (41:30)

Featured on the Show

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Improve Your Fitness Over 40 w/ Robin Legat FULL TRANSCRIPT

Steph Gaudreau
Be honest. How many times recently have you said to yourself, I can’t do that. I’m just too old for that, or it’s too late for me to get started? If you’re like many people, the idea of starting a new athletic pursuit after the age of 40 seems impossible. And yet there are so many people out there every day proving that it can be a reality. Today on the podcast, I’m welcoming a very special guest who helps women over 40 explore their athletic potential so they can gain confidence and overcome life’s obstacles. You’ll learn about my guest’s surprising start to her athletic career. Three things you need to know if you want to do an obstacle course race, and the part of your training that you cannot skip. If you want to do your first obstacle course race. The Listen To Your Body podcast is all about helping women who lift weights get stronger, fuel themselves without counting every bite of food, perform better in and out of the gym, and take up space. I’m a strength coach, nutritional therapy practitioner, and certified intuitive eating counselor Steph Gaudreau. This weekly show brings you discussion about building strength without obsessing about food and exercise, lifting weights, food, psychology, and more. You’ll learn how to eat, train, recover, listen to your body, and step into your strength. Hit subscribe on your favorite podcast app. And let’s dive in.

Steph Gaudreau
Hello, my lovely friend. Welcome back to the podcast. I can’t believe how close we are to 350 episodes of this show. It is mind-boggling and also really incredible. It feels like a milestone number for some reason. We just recently in the last couple of months celebrated the sixth year of the podcast but there’s something about 350 episodes that feels significant. So we’re almost there. Thank you for being along for this ride. It’s been incredible. Today on the show I’m welcoming my good friend, my Instagram real co-star, and badass obstacle course racer, Robin Legat. Robin is an incredible coach and trainer. And her mission is to help women over 40 explore their athletic potential, so they can gain confidence, overcome life’s obstacles, and live agelessly. And today Robin is coming to the show to share some of her wisdom that she’s accumulated from all of her years in the roller derby world and now helping women run their first or best obstacle course race. I always learned so much from Robin, we’re such kindred spirits in our mission. She really believes in exploring your athletic potential as a way to expand your life. And I’m just really glad to welcome her to the show because I know you’re going to be really inspired and learn a lot. And if you want to run an obstacle course race, she is your person. She’s an expert at it. So you’re going to learn all that and more in today’s show. And before we jump in if you want to get on the waitlist for the next round of strength nutrition unlocked, this is my group program online that is going to help you build muscle, get stronger, have more energy, perform better in and out of the gym. And yes, expand your life without having to micromanage every single bite of food that you eat. And really doing it in a way that is supportive of your health and your well-being and your strength. Then go ahead and get on the waitlist for the next group. You can do that at StephGaudreau.com/link. Alright, let’s go ahead and jump into this episode with the wonderful Robin Legat.

Steph Gaudreau
Hello, Robin and welcome to the podcast.

Robin Legat
Hey, Steph, thanks for having me. I’m excited to be here.

Steph Gaudreau
Hey, I’m waving in your direction, roughly.

Robin Legat
Oh, is that like literally in the direction of where I live? I think I’d have to turn around behind me. I’m like the freeway is you go this way then that way and I think I wave back here. Okay, there we go. This is some great audio happening right now.

Steph Gaudreau
Quality show.

Robin Legat
Let’s talk about like, looking in a direction. We’re on the right track here.

Steph Gaudreau
For anybody who doesn’t know Robin and I live actually not too far away from each other now which is cool because recently we met in person. After stalking each other online for many months and mutually adoring each other’s mission in the world. We’ll talk about that soon. But I’m still waiting for the Academy to come to us with our Academy Award nominations because if you haven’t yet seen our Instagrams perspectively, highly recommend it. Yeah, missed all of the reels that we’ve been making together.

Robin Legat
Yeah, I mean, I don’t, you know, I don’t want to come across as like, boastful. But, um, the day, the reels we made in that day we spent together are like, they may as well be made in gold. Like, encased in 14 karat gold, because they’re the greatest Instagram Reels that have ever been made. And I, you know, I feel like I’m actually being humble right now, in saying that. I’m actually holding back and being very humble and saying that they are the greatest pieces of internet art created. And if you have not seen them, your life is worse for it. So go to both of our Instagrams and look at them, because we are the best actors that have ever acted. And I’ve been humbled when I say that.

Steph Gaudreau
We were in rare form that day. I got together and sat down and chatted for a while and then just started filming.

Robin Legat
It took us a while to get started. I think we were really nervous or like, didn’t know how to like, just take the first step. And then once we started going, it was like hours later instantly. And it’s like where did all the time go? We’ve just been cranking these out was one after the other cracking ourselves up cracking each other up, like laughing at ourselves and our alleged genius. Yeah.

Steph Gaudreau
Yeah, there were a lot of gym bros. There was some rollerskating from you. Yes. Lots of weights and fitness stuff. So yeah.

Robin Legat
Playing around on playgrounds, children’s playgrounds, like moving children out of the way so that we could go across monkey bars, play, climb up the slide and go down the slide.

Steph Gaudreau
It was it was perfection. And it was wonderful, because I’ve been able to introduce my community who doesn’t know you to you and the things that you really stand for, and you’re passionate about, and your areas of expertise. And we have a lot of overlap because you’re specifically talking to women who are in their 40s and beyond. Yes, that tends to be for the most part who I work with, although typically, I’ll you know, I’ll kind of there’s a range there, but I haven’t specifically use age necessarily as part of what I do, but it’s just what happens, right? We have women who are coming to us and feeling like is it too late?

Robin Legat
Right, right. And they’re bombarded with a lot of messages or information or misinformation that leave them confused about what they what would make sense in regards to the training and grads to their nutrition grads to recovery. So I think, you know, our, our message, our mission, our attitudes are both very similar. And I think women over 40 connect with that because the typical fitness messaging in the industry can feel intimidating to that particular demographic, I think and so I think that’s why, you know, we’re a little off beaten irreverent. And I think that’s, again, I’m putting it lightly. But I think you know, that’s that demographic connects with our realness, I should say, you know that it’s like yeah, we’re not influencers we’re not fit profits pros, you know, are what am I? I don’t know why I’m I’m sorry, I’m over 40 so I’m like forgetting the words like we are fit pros, like we actually are. But you know, that that whole influencer fitness influencer culture is like not remotely what we are.

Steph Gaudreau
Well, here’s the thing, I think, you know, I started my full-time business in 2013. The word influencer wasn’t in the lexicon in that way. You were a blogger?

Robin Legat
Oh, yeah. Yeah.

Steph Gaudreau
You weren’t even like, I don’t even hate the concept of YouTubers was a thing at that time. There was YouTube.

Robin Legat
But yeah, people weren’t becoming famous through it.

Steph Gaudreau
No, and so it’s been really interesting to see how that’s evolved. And simultaneously, we’re, you know, people are on social media anyway. And then who are they, you know, who are they seeing as sort of the average or not average, but those sort of what’s held up as the model of fitness and who is given access to that who is being, you know, show who is part of that community and so it just gets a little bit narrow. Sometimes when You’re thinking, wow, like maybe I want to do an obstacle course race sounds fun. But people my age do that kind of stuff?

Robin Legat
right? And that’s the thing. It’s like, I assume people know that because I’m in that world. But if you’re not in that world, you may not think that’s the case, you may not think there’s a place for you. Or you may think that it’s just a bunch of like, burly bro dudes, I mean, my husband thought that you know, when he did his first obstacle race, and he’s, you know, I’m 46 he’s slightly younger than me, but not very much like by month, and I remember when, when we did our first race together, he was intimidated, because he thought it was just gonna be like, burly bro, dudes that are gonna look down on you if you’re not like that. And that’s not the culture, even one little bit everybody’s actually like, the nicest people you’ll ever meet. And so if you don’t know, you don’t know what you don’t know. So you may be intimidated, just like being intimidated to go to a gym for the first time you’re intimidated to go to a gym for the first time. What is an obstacle race look like to you, you know, so that’s, that’s something that’s one of the things I’m trying to break down. In my little corner is, you know, the rewards and the benefits that come from taking john challenges such as obstacle races, that’s just one example. But the rewards and challenges that come from stepping beyond your comfort zone, taking on new challenges, and discovering your ability to do things you never thought you could in an obstacle race, a very, accessible way to do that. So that’s, that’s why it’s become a passion for me and, and I love helping people see that in themselves through that type of race.

Steph Gaudreau
How did you get into obstacle course racing? Because you were really into roller derby?

Robin Legat
Yes. And even that…

Steph Gaudreau
That’s not for the faint of heart.

Robin Legat
It’s not, yeah. And you know, my story with that is sort of interesting and weird. But you know, my whole life was I was not an athlete. I have not raised an athlete. I played one season of, youth soccer and was not good. I was so not good at that, that at my wedding, my dad gave a speech about how surprising it was that I became an athlete and as an adult, because of that season of soccer. When I was not, oh, yeah, I know. Um, but But yeah, so you know, my whole life. I was the last kid pick for teams. You know, in PE class in high school, I was the person hiding off in the corner. So I didn’t have to run. Like, just the idea of being an athlete was so foreign to me that, you know, I didn’t even like working out like, I didn’t know what to do at the gym. I had no interest. I would try it. I dabble here and there.

Robin Legat
But I just wasn’t into it. And then I moved to Los Angeles, in 20, and 2003. And when I moved to LA, I didn’t really know very many people. And LA is not an easy city to meet people. So for my first six months in LA, I was actually pretty miserable. And so I remember one day at work. I went online and I went on Craigslist because you know, when you mentioned like, YouTubers weren’t a thing. Yeah. When you started like social media wasn’t a thing in 2003. So I went on Craigslist to the activity partners section, which, in 2021, sounds like a horror show. Yeah, like you would never think to do that. But back then you could like make friends on Craigslist because there was no other place. This was pre-Friendster. And so I went on the activity partner section of Craigslist and found an ad for a new roller derby League, a women’s roller derby league called the LA Derby Dolls. And I was, you know, the one thing the one active activity that I enjoyed doing as a kid was roller skating, I was a kid of the 80s you know, everybody roller-skated in the 80s.

Robin Legat
And so I was intrigued, and I decided to go check out a practice and I’ll tell you like that, right? There was scary. Like gathering up the courage to go to a roller derby practice. I was, uh, I think I’m 29 years old at the time, a lifelong nonathlete. I’m like, What am I doing, but I got to check it out. So it’s like, it’s sort of a testament to taking that step and doing that scary thing for the first time because you never know what’s on the other side of it. And on the other side of it, for me was a life-changing experience that would consume my life for the next decade-plus, so I played roller derby for 11 years after that. That’s where I discovered I was an athlete, and, and I did make friends. I made friends for life. I met my husband. While I was playing roller derby he proposed to me during a game. If you look up “roller derby proposals” online, you will find the video for it. It’s delightful.

Steph Gaudreau
I’m gonna go do that.

Robin Legat
Yep, it’s delightful. It’ll make you cry. He proposed to me while I was wearing gold hot pants. So he proposed to me on the track. We got married on the track and I changed my career. That was another big thing that happened where prior to joining roller derby before I moved to LA I was a radio DJ in my 20s couldn’t find a radio job in LA and was working random office jobs. And when I was playing roller derby, I discovered that I really loved teaching skaters how to skate And I would be teaching people who sometimes hadn’t been on skates since their third-grade birthday party, teaching them this, you know, first, the fundamentals and then this full-contact sport. And I’d watched them progress over time and step into their confidence like I did, and eventually end up playing on teams and playing on all-star teams that I got to do that with probably hundreds of skaters over the years. And that made me want to do that with more people. And so I went back to school and got my training certification. And that’s how I ended up in this career I am in now. And I know your question is how did you get into obstacle racing? And I haven’t answered that yet.

Steph Gaudreau
That’s okay, this is how I answer questions as well.

Robin Legat
So anyway, I play roller derby through my 40th birthday, I eventually decided to step away for a number of reasons that had nothing to do with my body being done. You know, they move to a location that was a farther commute. And it just, I don’t know, it felt like time. And so there was a period of time where I’m like, okay, what’s next, I got into CrossFit a little bit. And I’m like, maybe I’ll do these competitions. And that’ll be my, you know, air quote, retirement sport. And then, at that time, I was also teaching an outdoor boot camp. And at the end of the year, this was 2015. I retired from roller derby in 2014. But at the end of 2015, I wanted to do a year and bonding activity for my boot camp group. And so we decided to do a Spartan Race, and they had one in LA in December of 2015. And I got a group of 14 people together, and we ran the Spartan Sprint. And I remember that experience, it was at Castaic Lake up, you know, just north of LA. And at the end of the race, everybody’s like, yeah, that was fun. I’m so glad we did that. And I’m off in the corner. Like, when can I do it again?

Robin Legat
When’s the next one. And so like, when I get into something that’s just like when I get into something, I really get into it. That’s how you play roller derby for 11 years after like, wanting to just meet new friends. Like, I just got so into it, that I did it. And people thought I would never stop. And they were shocked when I did. Well, that’s obstacle racing now, and it lit up the same sort of adrenaline centers in me that roller derby Did you know, roller derby is, for those who don’t know, it’s an intense, full-contact sport on rollerskates. It’s kind of a mix of, you know, football and hockey and a race on roller skates, and people literally hit you, they hit check you and shoulder check you and knock you down, and you knock them down. And it’s very, very physical. And I missed that feeling. And obstacle racing, although nobody’s like hitting you, by hope not, that’s not cool. You know, you’re still like, you’re crawling in the mud, and you’re flying across monkey bars. And you’re doing these like very physical things. And it lights me up in that same way.

Robin Legat
But the cool thing, you know, after 11 years of being on a team, and, you know, following team dynamics, which was That was amazing. I was on, you know, my team, the Tough Cookies, the best team in the world. I love being on a team, but you get to a point in your life where you’re like, I want to be in control of my training schedule. And I want to be in control of when I compete and how I compete. And so that’s where, you know, now I’m in my 40s, like, obstacle racing fits better for me, because, you know, I’m a morning person now. And roller derby was always like night practices. And so I get to get up and train first thing in the morning. And I get to decide what races I do, and what competitive level I do. And so it’s there’s a lot of freedom. And that that is right for me at this time in my life. So I ran my first race in December 2015. I need to go back and get my count going. Again, I kind of lost count over this last year where things went wonky, but it’s over, it’s probably about 65 races that I have done since that first race. So like I said, when I get into something, I get into something.

Steph Gaudreau
I love that and we’re recording this with video as well. And I can see all the medals lined up.

Robin Legat
Yeah, this is a sample of my medals, there’s a lot more in the closet that did not make the cut.

Steph Gaudreau
I love that story, especially how he really kind of dove in and sort of took that leap of faith almost to really get started in roller derby. And then how that progressed over the years. And you’re really that sounds like finding what works for you and what you value and what works for your lifestyle and still finding ways to tick that box of To me it sounds like just being a grown-up a big kid. Right? Right.

Robin Legat
Yeah, obstacle racing is a lot of grown-ups a kid like you’re doing like monkey bars and rope climbs. And crawling and mud is kid stuff and we forget that like we lose track of that. We forget how fun that side of ourselves can be and that you can access that at any age if you want to.

Steph Gaudreau
One of the things that oftentimes I feel like comes up when we’re talking about athletics or working out or having an active lifestyle or getting into a new sport is the term athlete. And how so many people don’t consider themselves athletes, obviously on my side of things that tend to come out more and then Nutrition side of things where we’re not feeling enough and eating enough to support our activity levels. But I’m wondering how do you define or sort of help people define for themselves what an athlete is so that they can see themselves in a more expansive way?

Robin Legat
Yeah, I know so many people struggle over that. And I think I struggled briefly over that I, I distinctly remember, the day I first labeled myself as an athlete. It was, you know, a few months after I joined the roller derby league, and at that time, the league was very new. And all we were doing was skating laps. We weren’t playing roller derby, we were just in a rink, doing endurance laps, but we can feel like our fitness is changing and our cells changing. And I remember going out for drinks with some skaters and over beers. I don’t remember which one of us said, it’s like, you know what, I’m an athlete now.

Robin Legat
And we’re like, yeah, we’re athletes now. And we clinked our beer bottles, and that did that day, that day forward, like, I was an athlete. And that’s as that’s like, as simple as it has to be. Like, if, you know, I believe that, like, if you have a body that moves, you’re an athlete, and even more, so if you move it with intention and, and test it from time to time. You know, that’s I’ve looked at various definitions of athlete, and it’s like, you know, the Nike definition, which is like, if you have a body that moves, you’re an athlete, right? And then I’ve read another definition, where it’s like, if you have a body, you move it, and you test it, where it’s like you, you kind of put it to the test from time to time. But it can mean whatever you want it to mean, like, nobody defines athlete for you.

Robin Legat
But what it isn’t what it doesn’t have to be as elite. You know, it doesn’t have to, that’s what people get stuck on is they think you have to be like an elite level, top-level competitor. You don’t even have to be a competitor. Like I think I saw you say one time like I’m an athlete, that’s not in a competition season. And that I remembered that, obviously, but it’s like, Yeah, exactly. Like you can define what it means for you. But it doesn’t have to be limited. Its fluid. It can be any level, you know, you can be a weekend warrior, you can be someone who just kind of challenges yourself in a fun way with friends. Or you just, you know, you’re getting up and moving. You know, that’s that all. It’s all-encompassing for me, as far as I’m concerned. If you call yourself an athlete, you’re an athlete like, so why not do it?

Steph Gaudreau
Yeah. I love that. And yeah, I totally agree. I mean, I’ve, I’ve been in sports and competing on teams for almost my whole life and recently, when well, that recently, four years ago, when I started Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, I was kind of coming out of a period of competing in Olympic weightlifting. I mean, I’ve competed in CrossFit, triathlons, mountain biking, half marathon, like you name it, right? Soccer, I’ve done a lot of different things. And it was one of those first times in my life where I just thought, this is something I want to do for the fun, the fun of it. And it’s not that we don’t take it seriously, or want to improve, because we do. But I’m not stepping out on the competition floor in the traditional sense. And I would, I would not consider myself an athlete.

Robin Legat
I think once you start defining yourself that way, it’s hard to stop defining yourself that way. I think it influences your life forever at that point, and it’s just a matter of your level of intensity. But you still train with intention, you know, you still enjoy the experience of training. And I think that’s the shift. At least that was the shift for me because prior to roller derby I didn’t enjoy working out, I would try because it’s like, I thought I had to, I knew it was important. But I, I didn’t enjoy the experience long, at least not enough to stick with it. And then roller derby was that thing that changed it for me. And it was an important distinction because all of a sudden, I found this activity that lit me up like I loved doing it. Even the part where we were just skating laps. Like I loved feeling my heart rate up high.

Robin Legat
I love passing people, I love pushing myself. But I’m coming from this place of like not working out. So it was very, very challenging to start. And the more time I spent wanting to get better at the sport, the more I realized that there I needed to do work outside of just skating to do that. And so I started getting into cross-training. And all of a sudden I had this desire to cross-train. I had this desire to exercise because it served the purpose of helping me get better at this thing I really love doing and want to get better at. I wanted to be good at it. I wanted to be of service to my team, and valuable to my team. And so it created this desire and I think that’s a shift that often happens in line with people viewing themselves as athletes, I think is that that kind of starting to enjoy the experience of working out and training and, and having, having a driving reason to do it and that fuels that desire. So that’s what happened to me. And that continues. Now with obstacle racing, like working out. And training is a non-negotiable part of my day, it’s my favorite part of my day sometimes. And I love the feeling and so that’s why I love helping women, and particularly women over 40, find that thing that lights them up. Because that can be life-changing in regards to your relationship with exercise and training and how you view yourself as an athlete.

Steph Gaudreau
I love that. I think I hear what you’re saying especially the first part of what you said is you can do things that are physically very challenging, and still find them very gratifying and rewarding. And I will use the word positive here in a very, you know, loose sense, but very positive for you. Versus there are some physical activities. If you were going to tell me we’re going to go run a half marathon, I would say it’s going to be hard. And if I’m not going to enjoy it, yeah, I’m not going to enjoy it. It won’t light me up. And so I’m okay saying that’s not for me. So that I think there’s this thing sometimes in the world where it’s like, if it’s too hard, it either means it’s dysfunctional. Like if we do hard, challenging, hard, physical things like we don’t like ourselves, or we’re just aiming for self-punishment. But I think there’s some nuance there.

Robin Legat
Yeah. Okay. And, you know, it’s, it’s interesting when you tap into it, or when you cross over. And I can use running as an example because I used to hate running. Like I when I was skating when I was in the thick of roller derby. So something about roller derby, if you don’t know, but typically, roller derby skaters go by roller derby names. And my roller derby name was Susie snake guys. So fun fact, right there. And, um, when we would have practices where we would do off skate stuff, and then the trainer would be like, Alright, we’re gonna run I’m like, Oh, no, no, no, no, Susie Don’t run. Like that’s, that’s not we don’t do that like I am, I have a large chest. And at the time, they didn’t make sports bras that were strong enough for that. And I just that’s not an experience. And, you know, I could skate for hours, but I couldn’t run for five minutes. And that’s, you know because it’s how I trained. But I don’t know, like, why it changed. But at the tail end of my roller derby experience, I think it was because I was about to turn 40. And I’m like, I want to run a half marathon for my 40th birthday.

Robin Legat
And I had, up until that point, like run a couple of five K’s and like 110 K, so I was starting to dabble into running, maybe they started making sports bras that actually supported. But I started to dabble into running and just slowly start expanding my running ability. And then I ran a half marathon for my 40th birthday. And now I run all the time. So when I retired from roller derby that also helped with my transition and obstacle racing. But now I actually really enjoy running. And this is someone who likes my first metal racks as Suzy doesn’t run on my very first metals on my metal rack, this is Suzy Don’t run. So that’s another distinction is you know, I’m not saying like, well, if you don’t like something now just wait, you might, you know, try it again, keep trying it, you might like it. I’m not saying that. But it doesn’t mean that you, you know, you may in the future like you we are dynamic humans that change over time. And for me, it changed and now I know I run all the time.

Robin Legat
So you never know and it seasons of life, right? So you just get into what you get into at the time. Like right now I don’t have a desire to go back to roller derby. I still love skating. But you know, there was a period of my life where I never thought I’d stop skating. I never thought I’d stop playing roller derby. Now like I’ve done that, I don’t know that I want to do that again. But now I like running. So just be being open to these like shifts over time. And you know, shifts of your level of commitment, your level of intensity, like that’s okay to have these things shift. But the one thing that stayed consistent as these things shift over time is I now have a really strong and deep relationship with fitness and training. And it is a very core, it’s a core part of my lifestyle. And it’s thanks to the sports that I have done that have made that happen. So I love that. Yeah, I love it.

Steph Gaudreau
Okay, so say hypothetically, let’s say I have a woman in my 40s but I am.

Robin Legat
Nice, nice. We accept our age. So you know, my podcast is called seasoned athlete and I have everybody say their age on the podcast. So I’m just gonna be like we accept our age here.

Steph Gaudreau
Now we do I was born in the 70s. So So I will have it in my 40s and I come across your I listen to you on this podcast or I come across your social media. And I’m like, okay, I am in I want to do an obstacle course race. What are some of the top? Well, I there, sir, there are lots of things to know. But what would be the top three or three top things you would tell me or you would want me to know about doing an obstacle course race?

Robin Legat
Okay. So um, I would say the first thing is that you can finish this race, like no matter where you’re starting from, you can get from the start line to finish line of this race. That whether you run whether you walk, no matter how many obstacles you’re able to complete like you have the ability to do it. To start with having that that confidence that you can do it because I was just looking at a thread on a Spartan group the other day that’s like, What’s what? How tough to remember the exact question was like, how tough do people need to be to do a Spartan Race and a lot of these is a coach’s thread, a lot of them were answering like, well, you got to be able to flip a tire and you’ve got to be able to do this obstacle, this obstacle, then one person answered, it’s like, you got to be tough enough to show up to the start line. And I’m like, ding, ding, ding.

Robin Legat
That’s the right answer, in my opinion, like, all that other stuff does not matter, you need to have the ability to show up to that start line just like that. I needed to have that ability to show it to my first roller derby practice. So know that you can get from the start line to the finish line. So that’s number one, I’d say number two is you probably won’t be able to do every obstacle on your first race. And that’s okay. Like most people don’t complete every obstacle, but you don’t have to be perfect to do it. Like I think what holds a lot of people back and particularly women and women over 40 is they think it’s like, well, if I can’t do every obstacle, like, I can’t do this, or I’m not going to do this race until I can do every obstacle. You know, I think it’s better to put yourself out there and experience the experience, even if you can’t do everything. And I’ll tell you like I’ve run over 60-65 Spartan races, I don’t have a perfect race yet.

Robin Legat
Like there are obstacles, I fail in every single race. And it’s okay. So being okay with the obstacle failure is a big one because it teaches you like if you want to continue doing it, okay, this is what I need to work on next time, it gives you some real-time feedback of what you need, what what you can work on for the next time. And that’s the type of stuff that fueled me, from race to race is like, I’m going to really hone in on this obstacle because I really want to get it and when you get it, when you finally get it, it’s like this massive sense of accomplishment. So that’s number two. And that plays into number three, which is you will be able to do more than you realize. So you know, when people think about taking on these obstacle races, they think it’s like, well, you know, I’m not going to do until I can do everything, or I’m going to fail everything. And it’s gonna be awful, and I’m going to hate it. And it’s like, No, you might fail some stuff, but you’re gonna be able to do more than you think you can. And it’s going to be an amazingly positive experience throughout.

Robin Legat
And bonus number four, because I like to go above and beyond is that everybody on the racecourse is super nice. They will help you they will offer to give you a hand even if you have to go out there and race by yourself. You know, someone is always there to help you get over a wall, help you out, encourage you along the way as they run by you. There’ll be like a job Spartan things like that like everybody is so amazingly encouraging out there. And so that’s what helps make it just a really, really awesome experience. So, you know, hopefully, that you know, someone listening is who’s been on the fence is like, Alright, I’m gonna sign up for my first race.

Steph Gaudreau
I’m so old. I’m like, when is the next one in Southern California?

Robin Legat
Um, well, I think that would be Big Bear in October, which is a notorious one, one of the hardest ones, but you can do it. That elevation but yeah, I’ll be there all weekend. Okay. All right.

Steph Gaudreau
I haven’t recently there since I was racing mountain bikes so that would be that’d be exciting.

Robin Legat
Yeah, they have, you know, it’s up at snow summit, which may Yeah, yeah. And so they have all these trails that look like mountain bike trails and you’re running on them or hiking on them. But um, but that’s actually what they call a trifecta weekend. So they’re gonna have all three distances that weekend, which for Spartan is the sprint is 5k, Subarus, 10k, and the Beast is like a half marathon. And so you can be I’m doing all three, which is a little bit insane. But so in my mind, you could just do the sprint, you know, I think they even have a trail race where you could just do running, uh, no obstacles, but obstacles are fun.

Steph Gaudreau
The last question I have is strength training, the importance of strength training, and obstacle course racing preparation. What would you say to somebody who is sort of thinking well, I just need to you know, get my mileage in and up my miles and you know, lifting weights doesn’t help you get you to know any better at running.

Robin Legat
Yeah. Okay. Okay. Obviously, yeah. And with obstacle racing, it’s sort of, yeah, it’s multifaceted. So for the running side, you know, you and I agree that strength training is crucial to run training, I strength train to help me get better at running. You can you know when I first started running, I did Kashi 5k that helps you get the distance, you know, you can complete a 5k. But if you want to get faster if you want to get better at hills, which a lot of these races have hill-climbing, I mean, we were just talking about Big Bear that is one of the hilliest races they have like your power hiking A lot of it like so you need those strong legs. And also running is repetitive stress, it’s the same motion over and over again. And if you’re not strengthening all of the muscles, around your knees, around your ankles around your hips, you’re potentially setting yourself up for injury because of that return repetitive stress.

Robin Legat
So this helps you avoid injury, it helps you get faster, helps you get stronger up those hills, and it will help you have a better experience while you’re running. So you know, I’ve worked with clients who used to run and just run and they’re like, I can’t run anymore. Because of my knee. It’s like my knee hurts if I run for more than 10 minutes, and then I got them into strength training. And they’re like, now I can run it doesn’t hurt anymore like that. And combined with a good pair of shoes. Sometimes that’s what you need. Sometimes you need more than that. But you know, it’s a game-changer. It was a game-changer for me to incorporate strength training. Now that’s just one facet of obstacle racing. There are also obstacles. So you know, and in a Spartan Race, which is my specialty, I’m a Spartan, certified coach. There’s a variety of different types of obstacles, there’s hanging obstacles, grip obstacles, there are crawling obstacles, there are strict obstacles you are, you know, they have tire flips, and heavy sandbag carries. And hoists where you have to like use a rope to pull up a heavy bag, strength training helps with all of that. So it will make all of that easier for you. And I’ll tell you they have alike, you know, men’s and women’s weight switch, you know, whatever about that.

Robin Legat
But, you know, it’s pretty cool when you go and I just did this at my last race, but when you lift the Benz hoist, and I remember going over and several people like no, no, no, that’s not the women’s wanted over here, like no, no, I got it. looked at it for fun. And it’s like having the ability to do that’s really empowering. Because it’s much heavier, but you know, so having the strength and the power, the agility, the functional movement strength for things like crawls, like strength training helps with all of that. So yeah, I work with a coach, and strength training is an essential part of my obstacle race training program. I would not be if I did just running, you could get from the start line to finish line kind and you know, but would you have a good experience? Would you feel exhausted winded broken down by the end if you didn’t also, strength train? Very likely. So yeah. It’s, it’s, it plays a big role. And same with roller derby like, yeah, I could have, you know, I think a lot of skaters just focus on endurance, or at least back then they’re probably much better at it now. But back when we first started, we didn’t know what we were doing. Like, it’s like, we just did better endurance. But it’s like, once I started lifting weights like that made me harder to knock over. roller skates. And even now like now, I do fun skating where I tried to dance skating and some of those moves that I work on. Like, I can tell I’m, I’m adapting to it quickly because I do a lot of squats. I do a lot of lunges. I do a lot of deadlifts. Like my legs are better equipped just to do this, like fun stuff that I do. So, yeah, strength training,

Steph Gaudreau
Always strength training. Yeah. A little bit like preaching to the choir here. But I know, I know. But I think it’s important because oftentimes we have folks in the community who listen to this show. And that strength training isn’t their main thing. They’re like, Oh, I also raced obstacle courses or I also run or I also raced bikes, or I ride bikes or whatever it happens to be. And just even for myself, when I first started racing bikes, I was only doing endurance stuff. And there was a race that I did in Orange County. It’s a very long, hard race up in the Santa Anas. And the second time I did it, I had had almost a year of string trading under underneath my belt. So say and I was way faster. Go figure that same exact course. So my worry was oh if I lift weights, I’m going to get bulky, bigger. Did I get more muscular? Yes, because that’s just my body type. I add muscle very easily. But I got way faster, which was the goal of the race.

Robin Legat
So yeah, I mean, imagine like with your cycling with running when your legs are stronger, they don’t have to work as hard to push you farther faster. So it’s less effort. And more distance and speed and you set yourself up for prs, which always feel amazing. Like, yeah, for my first half marathon that I ran, when I was 40, I think I just did the couch to 5k for it, or I did the couch to 10k, then 20, I spent like a year just doing those programs. And it’s like, yeah, it got me to the finish line. But then when I went running, like, the next year, it’s like, I was doing more strength training. And that’s when I had an opportunity to then get better get faster PR, you know when I finally got a sub two hour half marathon, that’s because I was strength training, my legs were stronger and, and it feels good to PR. Like, that’s a great feeling when you get a personal best. And it’s those little moments that, that drive you to keep doing more to keep challenging yourself more, when you see that it’s like, I just did something that I’ve never done that I didn’t think I could do. Like, that’s an amazing feeling that permeates into all areas of your life.

Robin Legat
And that’s why I want to reach out to women over 40 because I think, you know, there’s, there’s a tendency to have a very insular life where it’s like, my life is work, my life is taking care of my family. And you kind of put yourself you know, farther, farther back priorities. But when you start putting yourself first and allowing yourself to have these experiences that make you feel like, like a freakin superhero, like that reflects into all other areas of your life that makes you more excited about your work, or maybe about asking for that promotion, like you all of a sudden feel more confident, or, you know, you got your kids looking at you and seeing how cool you are and wanting to emulate you. And so there’s just like so many positive benefits that have nothing to do with fitness. That that can be life-changing. And that’s what I love helping women tap into his like, yeah, changing your whole relationship with fitness. And, and but also like seeing what happens into all other areas of your life. And the confidence that comes with it, the empowerment that comes with it, and seeing how it affects all areas of your life in really amazing ways.

Steph Gaudreau
I love that. We’re gonna end it there because that was beautifully said and just give me the warm fuzzies all over. I love it. Yeah, I cosign that. All right. So if someone’s listening to this right now, and they want to learn how to work with you about your programs, find more about you on social media, any of that stuff. Where do you want them to go?

Robin Legat
Okay, I’m gonna start with the list. So, my website is RobinLegat.com. My social is the same @RobinLegat on Instagram, and my podcast is called Seasoned Athlete. It’s all about athletes over 40. I do interviews with athletes over 40. I do my own coaching episodes, helping you live your best, most athletic life over 40 and that is SeasonedAthelete.me or @seasonedathlete on Instagram. And then I if you are thinking about running an obstacle race, if you’ve listened to this, and you’re like, yeah, I want to try it, I want to do it. I have an upcoming workshop. It’s a combination. It’s a movement-based masterclass, as I call it, or a workout and workshop, and it’s called Seasoned Athlete Live Start Line Strong and in this event, we will get up we will move and you’ll learn what types of movements actually translate well on the course. So as your it’s not just mindless exercise, but you’re going to learn stuff about why we do what we do and learn movements you can do anywhere that will help you get better on the course to help you get stronger on the course. And then while we take breaks, I will talk about you know, best practices for training, fueling, and prepping for your first race, your next race or your best race. And you can find out more about that at RobinLegat.com/live.

Steph Gaudreau
Perfect. We will link all of that stuff up in the show notes. Yay. This has been so fun as always to connect you and it can create some amazing magic here and there will be more Reels coming out and I’m sure we’re gonna need to put the next one on the calendar.

Robin Legat
Yeah, we have to create some more gold do and the world needs us. Where are we to deny them?

Steph Gaudreau
I know. It would be rude of us to hold back.

Robin Legat
Mm-hmm. very selfish.

Steph Gaudreau
We can’t do that. No, Robin Legat, thank you so much for being part of this podcast. Really appreciate you and we’ll talk soon.

Robin Legat
Thank you. This was fun.

Steph Gaudreau
Okay, are you ready to run your first obstacle course race after listening to this episode? Because I’m seriously considering it and the fact that Robin and I live in the same city makes it even more tempting. I know she couldn’t really help me to prepare if that’s what I want to do. So if you’re feeling like that, go ahead and check out all of Robin’s links. You can also get a transcript of this episode, and all of that in the show notes is at StephGaudreau.com. Also, if you found this episode to be fun, inspiring, you learned something, then go ahead and share it out on IG Stories tag Robin and me. That way we can reshare repost and amplify what you had to say. Make sure you subscribe to this podcast on your favorite podcast app. And of course, if you want to get on the waitlist for Strength Nutrition Unlocked for the next round, which we’re planning to be kind of the end of September beginning of October. You can get on the waitlist over at StephGaudreau.com/link. I will talk to you again next week. My lovely friend, thank you so much for being here, and then till then have an incredible week and stay strong.

 

 

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Hi, I'm Steph!

Lord of the Rings nerd, cold brew drinker, and depending on who you ask, crazy cat lady. My mission is to help you fuel for more, not less: bigger muscles, strength, energy, and possibilities. We’ll do it with my signature blend of science, strategy…and a little bit of sass.

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