Does your gym currently have an endurance program? What I’m asking is have you tapped into that additional revenue stream that your gym is missing? If you’re serious about training endurance athletes properly, this is an addition that needs to be on your gym’s schedule. As the Director of Operations at the Conviction Training Facility, I’m always looking to add cutting edge programs to our portfolio as well as enhance our current programs. What’s the point of making money if your programs are crappy?
Right now our endurance program boasts more than thirty athletes training towards the Savannah Rock N Roll marathon. That’s insane right? It’s been a long time coming, but over the last three years we’ve grown our program where many want to get in. Now this blog is not suppose to praise our program, but to show you what’s possible and needed at other facilities. When someone wants to get sport specific, its always better if there is a group dynamic to motivate them along the way. Here’s some insight on how to get started and six smart progressions for the endurance group class setting.
Everyone Starts with Video – separate your program from just the standard group run where every one meets once a week, barely warms up, and then just hops out for their “long run.” A program is a program only if it provides athletes with learning opportunities. In this case, learning good solid run mechanics and how to train intensity over volume. Video analysis provides athletes with real time feedback and with applications like Coaches Eye you can include voice over’s so your athletes learn more quickly. Attend a CrossFit Endurance Seminar for proper training and then after that it’s just about getting reps.
Your Program Should Be All-Inclusive – my Grandmother to the six-time marathon runner should be able to take your program and improve. As I’ve mentioned details in my previous blog Understanding Sport Specific Workouts, its important to have levels in your classes. What you’ll find is that sometimes the six-time marathoner is more in need of a run transformation than your Grandmother. Yes we run half and full marathon training programs in eight weeks, but that doesn’t mean it’ll be my advice for you to actually run the marathon especially if your technique is all off.
Developing the Skill to Run Should Be the Priority – I’m stoked for Kelly Starrett’s new book, Ready for Run, set to come out at the end of October. I’m hoping it debunks these crazy thoughts that there’s more than one way to run. Running is a fundamental skill and one that doesn’t get any respect. It took me six months to really dial in my technique and still to this day I have to practice before every run to ingrain the habit. Your group training suggestions should fall back on the athlete’s skill, especially when adding volume into the mix.
Be Honest with Your Athletes – When Johnny falls back by twenty seconds on his four hundred meter splits smack dab in the middle of the interval set there’s a problem. More often than not your athletes are not ready for the “prescribed” level especially in running classes. Making technique changes and increasing volume at the same time is impossible. It’s your job to tell your athletes to back it down or this is why thier knees hurt. They’re obviously flipping the bill for the program, but athletes need to know when they’re not executing correctly and use your feedback to develop a lifelong skill. The best athletes will care about what you’re saying however others may not. It could take time. Be okay with that. Find a way to show them the importance.
Work In a Deload Endurance Week – Lots of coaches understand the concept of a deload, but maybe you didn’t think this applied to endurance athlete? Especially for the higher-level athlete and athletes in a group deloading is important. It’s a great tool because number one they need the rest. Yes traditional endurance programs typically work a linear mileage progression and back off the forth week, but that’s not what I’m talking about here. Have a week that your endurance group partners up for their workout. Wait, that’s possible? Yes, get creative with your programming, back off the volume while keeping intensity and people will stay interested. Constant variance with multiple purposes, make sense? The deload is as much for the physical as it is the mental.
Attend a CFE Seminar or Reach Out to Us at CTF
In a few weeks, I’ll be flying to Seoul, Korea to teach a sold out seminar for CrossFit Endurance. How cool is that? CFE are the leaders in strength and conditioning for endurance athletes. For years now they’ve been guiding athletes, educating coaches and providing premier content to the endurance communities thru a two-day full seminar. I’m grateful to be a part of their team and spread the word of this cutting edge way to train.
If you need further assistance on starting your endurance program you can always reach out to us at CTF. We’ve implemented this program for over three years successfully now with the sole goal of growing the “less is more” endurance community. Stay tuned!