Nutrition

Running Class: How to Prepare & What to Expect

By: Coach Meg

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So you're a CrossFitter interested in attending Running Class? Welcome!! I can't wait to work with you. Whether you're a former state champ in the 1500 or you don't know how many laps makes a mile, this class is for you. Below are a few tips on getting started.

What to Eat:

Let's start with a couple hours before the run. Since we'll be holding class at 10am, you may want to have a little something in your stomach before you head out the door. Try to time it so that it won't come back up when you're working hard. Think about eating at least an hour before class. A banana is a good bet for it's potassium which is said to help with cramping. You'll also want to be well hydrated. I often eat a small bowl of oatmeal or a healthy muffin before my morning speed workouts.

What to expect:

We will start promptly at 10am. We'll either meet at the gym or at Garfield High School, which is exactly a mile from the gym.  A typical running class workout starts with a warm-up of about a mile. This is meant to be slow and we'll stick together through it. After the mile, we'll do about 5 mins of form drills, this will help get your muscles primed for some quick movement. We'll move on to the workout from there. Hill days will be shorter in distance and time than track days, but still expect to be worked when we do hills. The most we're likely to run on any given track day is 6 miles total, in the beginning it will be closer to 3 (including the warm-up).

What to wear:

I'm more concerned about your shoes than your attire. Most lightweight shoes made for CrossFit are fine for the type of running we'll be doing at run club (thinking Reebok Nanos, Nike Metcon, NoBull, etc). However, if you are running more than at this one class, you'll want to get fitted for some proper running shoes (I'm a big fan of Fleet Feet in Capitol Hill). You will also want to be sure not to be running in shoes that are too old/broken down, those can cause injuries.

Track etiquette:

When we're on the track there is potential that others will be there too. Save the inside lane for speed. We will only be in lane 1 during the hard work, when you finish your sprint, quickly exit lane 1, do not stand in that lane. Recovery jogs are to be done in the outside lanes. When overtaking another runner, swing outside them and then swing back in, don't expect them to move for you. There is also potential that people will be crossing the track to get to the field. Make yourself known with a polite yell of "track!" and slow down if it looks like they're not paying attention. No pets are allowed on the Garfield track.

What to bring:

More than anything, all you need to bring is an open mind and a positive attitude. You may also bring a water bottle to drink during short recoveries.

I am so looking forward to starting another season of running class, it has been so rewarding to help our CrossFit community learn how to run faster and hit some great goals. We'll be doing a mile time trial on the 4th session (June 9th) and then again later in the season to mark your progression. Please feel free to reach out with any questions you may have, you can email me at meggayman@gmail.com


5 Ways to Spring Clean Your Nutrition

No matter how many times we try to convince ourselves of the opposite, you simply can’t out work bad nutrition. Nutrition is the foundation of health and wellness, and ignoring what you eat simply won’t help you get where you want to go with your fitness! At the start of our CrossFit journey, many of us saw a lot of progress in skill, strength, and body composition. CrossFit is a brand new, highly effective program and a novel stimulus to our bodies! After a while, though, our bodies catch up to this new stimulus and our results can often plateau.

Dialing in our nutrition is often the next step to help us achieve that next level: our first pull-up, a new PR, or a faster mile time. Paying close attention to what you eat will help you reap benefits that include increased muscle mass, more energy, decreased body fat, a better night’s sleep, feeling more confident, clear and glowing skin, and more!

When it comes to dialing in your nutrition, there are a ton of opinions out there. Whole30? Paleo? Vegan? Keto? Should I use the microwave? What vegetables should I buy organic? What’s the difference between grass-fed and grass-finished beef? The waters are muddied even further by the sneaky weight loss products that promise you will lose 10 pounds in 10 days if you eat this bar and drink that shake while jumping up and down 20 times and singing “twinkle, twinkle, little star”.

The only way to fully experience the life-long health and wellness that our program at Emerald City CrossFit offers is to eat a balanced diet composed of real food. We not only want you to feel and look great now, but also when you’re 90! We are in this for the long-haul.

Greg Glassman, the founder of CrossFit sums up good nutrition as follows, “Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch, and no sugar.”

Is it really that simple? Yes….and no. Below are 5 ways you can simply get started on cleaning up your nutrition and achieving the Glassman standard of nutrition.

1. Start slow and easy.

When beginning on a health and wellness journey, many people dive right in without thinking about the kind of commitment they are getting into. This is exactly where the term yo-yo dieting comes from—after too much beer and pizza on a Friday night you decide that on Sunday you are starting a Whole30. So on Saturday you throw everything in our pantry and fridge away except for that week old chicken breast, wilting spinach, and some eggs from… well you don’t really know! You wake up on Sunday starving, because you were trying to “work-off” Friday night’s party so you didn’t eat much on Saturday while also going on a 5 mile run. There’s nothing in the fridge, so you decide that you’ll start your Whole30 after breakfast and jump in the car to grab a donut and coffee. Now your body is even more deprived of nutrition, and the cycle just goes on and on, until it’s Friday night again and you give up because doing a Whole30 is just too hard.

Instead of jumping in face first, work on developing good habits over time with careful planning and preparation. Even better, start with the easiest thing to let go of. Instead of having a bowl of ice cream every night, you’re just going to have some on the weekends. That goes well, so the next week you aren’t going to take any of your favorite foods away, but instead challenge yourself to eat a vegetable with every meal. But HOLD ON, you hate chopping veggies. So grab the already chopped bag. More expensive? A little. But easy and therefore easier for you to adhere to. After all, slow and steady always wins the race!

2. Add before you subtract.

Before you throw out all the wine, cheese, and chocolate, think about what you can add into your diet first. Before having your soda on pizza night, add in a glass of water first. Before going back for seconds, add in a small salad and play with the dog, then assess whether you are actually still hungry. Add in a few snacks of lean protein and healthy fat throughout the day (think sliced turkey and some almonds) so you aren’t starving when you get home. Add in more sleep so that you aren’t reaching for coffee and sugar all day long.

When focusing on adding healthy habits you will start to see and feel the benefits. Then it is a lot easier to take away some of the negative habits because you are already seeing and, even better, feeling results.

3. Mary Kondo your entire kitchen, fridge, pantry, and junk food drawer.

Trying to food prep in a cluttered kitchen where it takes you five tries to find the right Tupperware lid, or where you have to dig through the back of your cabinet to find the cutting board is just plain annoying. Making your kitchen organized, clean and easy to access is a great way to start enjoy cooking more and make meal prep quick and easy. Throw out the old Tupperware and buy a new set that is all the same size and has matching lids. Keep a cutting board and knife out all the time so that cutting up fresh veggies is just a little bit easier. Throw out that chocolate your Aunt Mildred gave you for Christmas, and stop buying the Rice Krispie treats for your kids (because you know you just eat most of them). Leave a small (cute) pan out on the stove so it’s easy to sauté some veggies. No, you don’t need five different ice cream scoops.

When your kitchen is clean, clutter free, and easy to access, and your only choice is a healthy choice, you are much more likely to achieve your nutrition goals.

4. Find a replacement.

Love a glass of wine with some chips & guacamole after a long day at work? Same. But instead of those chips, swap it out for some carrots. Crave a bowl of ice cream while you’re watching the latest episode of Game of Thrones? Try a piece (or two) of Sea Salt Dark Chocolate instead. Always reach for a second beer after dinner? Brush your teeth and enjoy a good book in bed instead. When we replace something with a slightly better option, we can help alleviate the growing pains.

5.  80/20

Unless you are a CrossFit Games athlete or gunning for a six-pack this summer, there is room to enjoy life. We often get stuck in the “all or nothing” mentality, that leads us to yo-yoing and never achieving our goals. If you are going out with friends on Saturday night and planning to have a drink and dessert, lead up to that like you would any other day and then enjoy the treat! Food is not a transaction—you don’t need to (and shouldn’t) starve yourself all day so you can eat whatever you want that night. Have good nutrition throughout the day, enjoy the night, and then get back to it on Sunday. Sticking with your nutrition goals 80% of the time and enjoying life the other 20% helps keep us on track for the long haul.

I’ll say it now and I will say it again, slow and steady wins the race when it comes to nutrition! Be kind to yourself. Don’t beat yourself up if you make a mistake (or mistakes!).  Healthy eating is a long-term investment. Nourish your body with fuel to help you live a long, energized, and vibrant life. Eat well to fuel your workouts and enjoy the things in life that you love the most!

If you have questions, be sure to ask a Coach or join us for our next Thrive Challenge coming this fall!


-Coach Kendra