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5 Steps to Become a Better Runner

Running season is here in Fargo! Here are 5 tips to help you get back into running after a long winter.

5 Steps to Become a Better Runner

1) Start Slow

I know you are anxious to get back into running, but be sure to have a plan that fits your current ability level. When someone decides to train for a marathon, they don’t start out by running 26.2 miles on the first day. Select a distance that you can comfortably cover, and slowly bring that volume up. For someone just learning about running or getting back into running I recommend starting out with a 20 minute walk a few days a week. For a beginner, a sample program would look something like 20 minutes, run 1 minute, walk 90 seconds. For an intermediate it may look like 2 miles 3 days a week. For advanced runners there are several different variations and programs to get the volume you need. After you get more comfortable with your baseline you can start to add volume by adding in an extra day of running each week, or adding miles to one of the days. Be sure to stay with this new volume for a few weeks to allow your body to adjust, that way you will be able to recover in time for your next run.

2) Warm Up & Cool Down

It’s easy to just jum right into a run and think “I’ll just warm up as I go.” Thats not the best plan, you wouldn’t load up the bar with your 1 Rep Max squat without any warm up, and you shouldnt do that for running either. A good warm up for running that wont add much time to your workout is 5 minutes of stretching, followed by 5 minutes of walking leading into a light jog and eventually into your running pace. A proper warm up is critical to preventing injuries. Cooling down can be just as important to your injury prevention as your warm up. A proper cool down gradually brings your body back to its pre-exercise state. A good cool down can be as simple as a 10 minute walk at the end of your run followed by 5 minutes of stretching. The extra time is well spent on a proper warm up and cool down.

3) Explore the Area Parks

There are several parks in Fargo that offer great running opportunities. Believe me, a run is much more enjoyable when the scenery consists of more than your neighborhood block or city buildings. Check out an interactive map of Fargo Parks. My personal favorite is any of the trails along the Red River, as long as they are not under water of course!

4) Be Consistent

It is extremely unlikely to set out and be an all star runner on your very first day. Determine what days you can work running into your schedule. Make a plan and stick to it! No mater where you are on your running journey, a dedicated plan that you are consistent with will get you where you want to be. If your goal is to run a marathon or a 5k or even just to get outside you have to commit. Be sure to warm up and cool down each and every time you run. If the weather stops your run try your best to fit it in another day. A good way to make sure you stay consistent is by telling your self what you DO want to do instead of what you don’t want to do. Instead of “I don’t want to go for a run today because it’s raining.” Tell yourself “I feel like doing extra recovery today so that I can run more on Saturday.”

5) Find a Running Partner

Finding someone to run with can be great fun. You can hold eachother accountable and challenge one another to push toward your goals. There are several members around our gym who would be willing to help you find a running buddy. Another great resource is Beyond Running, not only can they help you get all of the apparel and shoes you may need, they are extremely knowledgable and will point you in the right direction when it comes to finding running groups as well as some advanced tecniques to improve even more.

 

If you found this blog helpful, leave us a comment with your running plan!

Make the Most of Your Open

The CrossFit Open is one of the largest fitness competitions, it is also a lot of other things. I would say without a doubt that the most important part of the open has absolutely nothing to do with the leaderboard. Sure, it is really cool to see how you stack up against people in your community, state, country, profession, or any other cool filter you can put on the leaderboard. At the end of the day, does it really matter where your name falls on some fancy spreadsheet?

4 Steps to Guarantee an Awesome Open

  • Participate in weekly challenges
  • Dress Up
  • Don’t worry about the workout
  • CELEBRATE YOUR FITNESS

Participate in the Weekly Challenges

The weekly challenges are not just random tasks for you to complete to earn a point for your team and a star by your name. They are a great way for you to start new healthy habits! Keep drinking enough water, taking your fish oil, and getting enough sleep. Your body will thank you. The plank, squat, and other physical challenges are things that someone does daily to turn a weakness into a strength. Spend your time practicing the things you are less comfortable with. Before you know it you will be comfortable with it! The pay it forward type challenges are great as well. It makes us feel good to help someone out, and it makes us grateful when someone takes time out of their day to help us. You don’t only have to send someone an “atta boy” during that week, do it year round! You never know when someone is having a rough day and you telling them “great job” will give them the motivation to get up tomorrow and do great things. I know it sounds cheesy but it is real! Think about how good you feel doing all of these things. Why wouldn’t you do them all the time?

Dress Up

There is a prize for the coolest costume. It’s almost as big of a deal to win that contest as the “pooping or working out” trophy! Honestly, it is just way more fun to work out as The Rock, or Rocky, or in a sweet tuxedo cutoff than a boring person in a grey shirt and black shorts! You can be black shorts and t-shirt dude or dudette every other day of the week. (Provided you wash them!)

Don’t Stress About the Workout

If you come to Icehouse I can assure you that we prepare you for the open. We don’t know what the workout is, but we do prepare you to handle the work. We won’t trash you on Thursday night. Our programming is designed with the open in mind. You can come every day of the week, and be fine for the workout on Friday. While you are at it come in on Saturday too, the team workouts are designed to help you get moving again.  Be worried about getting your costume ready so you can take down the perennial powerhouses, or how much food you’re going to eat after, NOT the workout. You are fit. You already work out. It’s just another workout… except we all do it together on a Friday night while wearing costumes with beers and food afterward.

The Open is a Celebration

The CrossFit Open is a celebration, a celebration of fitness. Celebrate how far you have come. Celebrate how hard you have worked. Celebrate your dedication. Celebrate the small victories in a workout. Celebrate the extra pull-up. Celebrate sticking to your plan and not coming out of the gate too hot. Celebrate EVERYTHING especially the achievements of others! We all love Icehouse for the community, show everyone how much you care by cheering for them, even if you don’t know them! Tell them that they are AWESOME, and then introduce yourself, they will be happy to know that they have your support and will give you theirs in return. CHEER loud and proud! CELEBRATE like there’s no tomorrow when you see someone do something awesome!

 

 

Routine is not the Enemy

Routine is not the Enemy

Routine is not the Enemy

Although it can feel like we are stuck in a rut sometimes, having a routine (or lack of routine) can have a big impact on our lives. If you know me, you know that I have a set of things that I need to accomplish in a day, otherwise you could call me “Mr. Grouchy Grouch!” Getting enough sleep, eating enough, getting my workouts in, and several other non- gym related tasks are certainly on that list. Having a routine helps me get those things done each day.

Make a plan!

The key to any good lifestyle change is to have a plan. When I say make a plan I don’t mean, “I plan to get my ‘poop in a group.’” That doesn’t help you at all. I really mean make a plan. One with a clearly defined goal, and the steps you will take to get there. It can also be extremely helpful to visualize what your life will look like when you accomplish it. This helps you remember why you set the goal in the first place and will hold you accountable to putting that plan into action. Once you have the plan, all you have to do is put it into action. If you would like to start getting up at a certain time each day you could just set an alarm and hope for the best. In the long run you will be much more successful if you set yourself up to BE SUCCESSFUL. If you want to add to your routine getting up earlier, it really starts with going to bed earlier.  Removing barriers to success leads to… You guessed it. Success. Take your plan and go back as far as you need, remove all the barriers, and then you’ll be left with a clear path to success.

Success is a Habit

Once you learn to remove the barriers for success, you become successful all the time. It becomes a habit, and habits become routine. By waking up on time you remove a barrier for the next thing you need to do in your day. This is a domino effect. It keeps going forever. You wake up on time. Then you have breakfast on time. If you have breakfast on time you have plenty of time to get to work. If you get to work on time you get done with work on time. If you finish work on time you get to the gym on time. Most importantly of all if you get to the gym on time you don’t have to play catch-up by warming up with extra burpees. (Burpees are a great full body warm-up by the way!) It is easy to see how this cycle can keep going on and on! This is what the saying “success leads to more success.” Games athletes don’t keep going back to the games because they made it there once, they go year after year because they routinely do the things needed to get them there.

What should be in my routine?

The simple answer is whatever you need to do to be successful. That also includes all the steps to achieving those little successes. All of us need to drink enough water, so it is natural to add that to our list. We make it routine by constantly doing the things that allow us to drink enough water, and then by drinking enough water, I accomplish this task by filling up my water bottle between every class and then drinking it in class. It can really be that simple.

Routine is NOT the enemy!

I’m not saying that you need to regiment your entire life so that you only do the same things in the same order each day. Or that you should eat the same meals each week. All I’m saying is that a little bit of structure can make your day a whole lot easier. People who have consistently good nutrition habits either have the time to cook several healthy meals each day, or they take the time to cook them once or twice a week and then add it into their routine to grab a container before they leave in the morning. Those little steps that are a part of your daily routine can make a huge difference in helping you accomplish any goal, big or small!

Coach Jordan’s 2018

Coach Jordan’s 2018

Wow, 2018 was something else. I don’t know if I have ever had a year with so much personal growth and change. Looking back on who I was at this time last year, I’m not even sure I can recognize that person. 2018 sure brought a lot of changes. I am excited to find out what 2019 has in store for me!

Becoming a Coach

This year I was asked if I would like more responsibly at the gym. Obviously, I said yes. I had been essentially stealing knowledge and experience from the coaches at Icehouse for over a year. I had also coached a few kids’ classes and I thought I was ready to jump in and start coaching “the big kids!” WRONG! I have read a bunch about the scientific principles of strength and conditioning as well as how we train to get desired effects. Turns out there is much more to coaching than a technical understanding of movement and how those movements produce a response.

I can remember the day my mindset shifted from “I know enough.” To “I know NOTHING.” I had just coached my first “regular” CrossFit class, I did a lot of things wrong that day, messed up the clock, forgot to teach a movement, and had the class run over about 10 minutes; all hard lessons that I have learned more than once, and I’m sure I will learn again. Along with what I thought I knew, one other thing changed that day. My perspective on what I was actually doing at the gym. I suddenly had a why. I decided after that class that I want to influence the members at our gym, the same way that the other coaches and all of the members influence me. I truly believe that I learn something from every class I coach and that I use those lessons to be a better coach. Not only do I try to use those lessons professionally, but I also use them personally as well. You can learn a ton about how you interact with others based on how they react to you after you just made them do burpees and thrusters for an hour! Seeing all of you come into the gym and put in the work, regardless of what else is going on in your lives is a powerful inspiration that I use for my own goals.

Speaking of goals, here are a few of mine for 2019!

  • Learn at least one new skill
  • Recover with the same effort put into training
  • Lift some heavy weights (It’s really challenging not to write 39 goals for a barbell, so this one covers them all!)
  • Learn more about Strength and Conditioning
  • Graduate College
  • Coach at a higher level. (More than movement.)
“I’ll Start Monday”

“I’ll Start Monday”

How many times have you told yourself that you’ll start something on Monday? I’d bet it’s more than one. I’m here to tell you that sometimes, you don’t need to wait until Monday. Start today. It’s like the old saying goes, “the best time to plant a tree was 10 years ago, the second-best time is today.”  You might be wondering what I’m talking about so hang in there and I’ll explain. (more…)