Running is a hobby that doesn’t happen overnight. Just like CrossFit, it takes a special dedication.
At San Francisco CrossFit, Coach Nate Helming has created a class to meld the worlds of strength and cardio together.
The class is broken down into three sections. The beginning is a dynamic warm-up, followed by a controlled strength workout. Finally, the class will end with a two- or three-movement Metcon. The important aspect is athletes do the amount of work their training allows. Helming sees coming in and doing the 10- to 15-minute warmup as better than if you didn’t come in at all.
“There’s one thing of learning to suffer, but it’s another thing to learn to suffer in a coordinated fashion where you are still moving really well,” said Helming. “I always tell them that if they can suffer in here and always make that choice to be better, then you will set yourself up to make that choice outside when you don’t have a Coach on your shoulder, and that’s going to ultimately be a win for you.”
At CrossFit South Bay, their endurance program is set up in a similar style. However, instead of a strength section, they work on a particular skill, like footwork, explained Forrest Jung, the owner of the Box.
There are several lessons these Affiliates have learned from running endurance programs:
1. Jung learned early on that in order to start an endurance program the first step is determining if you have the resources for it to succeed. After deciding that, schedule out what a month of programming would look like and aim for small goals first. “We started with a 5K training,” said Jung. “Even if you crush 5Ks and you want to do runs that are longer than 5Ks, this should improve your top end speed. It is kind of like CrossFit where there is a goal. We aren’t running to just run.”
2. Running as a hobby has been known to create communities. Hitting those groups with marketing strategies can bring in new participants to your endurance program.
3. Helming explained the running community will respond better to a Coach who understands their needs and pains. “I found that it is crucial to understand both sides so that when someone is like, ‘You know that funky feeling you get at Mile 10?’ and I know what they are talking about,” said Helming. “That’s why you, as a Coach, need to go and run a 5K if you care about getting running people in there because then you will meet them on the course and then you can pursue the outreach.”
4. Most importantly, make the class look appealing and fun, said Jung. He compared the class to his members needing to be more mobile, but never wanting to participate in mobility classes. By putting on classic 80’s movies in the background and creating a fun, social hour with mobility mixed in, it has increased their class attendance. “You have to make it look fun, and people are missing out if they don’t show up to it,” said Jung. “You want to make it where people are like, ‘Oh man that’s cool,’ rather than just, ‘Yeah, I don’t want to run.’”