Member Monday: Karl Burkoth

WHY DO YOU RACE? WHAT STARTED YOUR LOVE FOR ENDURANCE SPORTS?

Growing up I would fall asleep to the sound of my dad running on his treadmill. He has run over 100 marathons and a handful of ultras. It would have been surprising if I didn't get into running. I ran cross country and track through high school and didn't start running again until I moved to Minneapolis after college. I reconnected with a high school friend through running and we eventually trained for our first marathon together. I tend to get emotional at finish lines, they are one of the happiest places on Earth. Being a part of that is why I race.

WHAT MOTIVATED YOU TO TRAIN AT KINGFIELD ENDURANCE?

I like to say the universe brought me to Kingfield. I trained for my first triathlon last summer and I had the running and biking down but needed help with swimming. I stumbled upon Northstar and started swimming with Lea. Before officially joining Kingfield I decided to send Lea an email asking if she was interested in having an intern. The stars aligned and Intern Karl was born.

WHAT KEEPS YOU COMING BACK TO KINGFIELD ENDURANCE? 

The community and opportunity to learn. Kingfield is an inspiration factory full of badass athletes and two great coaches.

HOW HAS THE CROSSFIT TRAINING IMPACTED YOUR ENDURANCE SPORT(S) PERFORMANCE? 

It has made me feel more complete as an athlete. The strength programming through Kingfield Endurance builds the base needed to stay healthy and thrive in our endurance sports. (football injuries notwithstanding).

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DO YOU HAVE A MOTTO?

Rehabbing from an ankle injury over the last 5 months has me reflecting often on gratitude. Even though I still cannot run and my workouts are scaled back, I am thankful for being able to move my body. I think that attitude of gratitude will stick and I will have a greater appreciation for my body and what it is capable of going forward.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE WORKOUT OR MOVEMENT? While you may feel like you are dying, an assault bike workout can be life affirming.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE FOOD? Potatoes. Roasted, mashed, fried, hashed.

WHAT IS YOUR POWER SONG? Fade Away by Logic.

How to Set and Achieve your 2018 Training and Racing Goals. Part #2- Finding a Coach

In our blog post last week we talked about how a few guidelines you can follow when setting your goals for the 2018 race season. If you are an athlete that needs a training plan and some extra accountability, hiring a coach will be a wise decision. Today, we’re focusing on how to select the best coach for you.

Here are some tips when looking for your new coach: (remember that coaches are here to work for you, and assist you in attaining your goals)


1.Communication -
The coach should have an open-door policy, meaning they should be accessible. You should be able to ask questions via email and get responses that are not only timely but also detailed enough to answer your questions (typically within a business day).


2.Interaction -
How does the coach interact with her/his athletes? Is this person accessible to each athlete? Is this coach positive and a great role model and mentor in the sport? How does this coach motivate his/her athletes? Make sure you ask for referrals and ask their current athletes how the coach interacts with them. Some coaches are hands-off – send schedules and they are done. Some are VERY involved on a daily basis. The goal is to find what will work best for you.

3.Goals -
Make sure your coach asks what your goals are and what you want to accomplish (both short and long-term). Your coach should be able to set-up a daily plan for you, but must also be able to see the big picture. Above all else - your coach should be able to explain WHY the workouts/races are structured the way they are.

4.Honesty -
This is a tricky one, but one that is absolutely vital to success. It’s also one of the harder issues to address between coach and athlete. When looking for a coach, spend some time talking about how realistic your goals are, and what you need to do to improve your swimming, cycling or running. You are really doing yourself a disservice if you do not hire someone who has experience in handling tough conversations.

6.Balance -
A good coach understands that life happens. They realize that this is a hobby for most and it is absolutely critical to maintaining balance with work, family, a social life, and sport. Find a coach that emulates this in their own life. If you are a full-time working parent with four kids, hiring someone who has similar life experiences will help in their understanding of the schedule you need.

7.Knowledge and Credentials -
Look for a coach who has experience and who has been working with athletes that you admire. Don’t assume that a successful athlete makes a successful coach. Your coach should have a proven track record working with athletes of all abilities – and especially someone like you! Look for coaches with certifications from NGBs such as USA Triathlon (USAT), USA Cycling (USAC), and British Cycling. There are 3 levels of coaching certification within USAT, with Level 3 being the highest and relatively rare. I would recommend checking out www.usatriathlon.org for further explanation of the certification levels.

  • Next week I will help you find a balance for all your swim/bike/run/strength workouts. Coach Lea

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Member Monday: Ellie Thermansen


WHY DO YOU RACE? WHAT STARTED YOUR LOVE FOR ENDURANCE SPORTS?

I played competitive club and high school soccer until college. The plan was to play collegiately but a week before I started I realized that I was totally uninterested and burned out. I joined the women's crew to stay involved with a team sport but to do something new after eleven years of full-time soccer. I started distance running while living in NYC after graduation at the suggestion of a co-worker, and we ran the Chicago marathon together in 2007. I kept running and transitioned to trail running and trail endurance events after moving to Michigan and fell in love with the experience of spending all day in the woods. I continued to run and race endurance trail events in MI and after moving to MN until a tendon injury a week before the Superior 50k last year effectively ended distance running for me. My husband is a cyclist and he encouraged me to get on a bike as soon as I was able, and after I finished grieving the end of running for me, I realized that cycling was enormously fun and fulfilling for me as well.

WHAT MOTIVATED YOU TO TRAIN AT KINGFIELD ENDURANCE?

I rode and trained mostly by myself last fall and after spending way too many hours alone in the basement riding on the trainer this winter I was bored and had clearly plateaued in my training. I thought I might be interested in road racing and in meeting other female cyclists so I did some Strava/googling/internet stalking related to the women's race scene in Minneapolis, and found Kingfield that way. It was incredibly lucky! I had done absolutely no strength training since rowing in college and was thrilled to find an opportunity get back into it with the guidance and support of knowledgable coaches.

WHAT KEEPS YOU COMING  BACK TO KINGFIELD ENDURANCE?

Community, knowledge, and experience. There are so many extremely talented and committed athletes who train at Kingfield and I love hearing about everyone's adventures and victories, whether large or small. There is a great energy in the gym during every workout, and without exception every person there is genuinely excited and glad to support and encourage one another.

The variety of workouts is also really important to me. Left to my own devices I would still just be riding the same four loops over and over on my bike but each session has Kingfield has been brand new. It keeps training interesting, which is huge for me in terms of maintaining motivation.

I joined the women's race team in April and am coming to the end of my first competitive road cycling season and it has been an incredible couple of months of pushing myself, trying new things, traveling, and opening up new friendships.

HOW HAS CROSSFIT TRAINING IMPACTED YOUR ENDURANCE SPORTS PERFORMANCE? 

The effect was immediate and dramatic. Within weeks I was seeing tremendous changes in both power and endurance abilities while on my bike. The improvements in core and overall strength also have been critical in giving me better control of my body on my bike, which is huge from a safety standpoint during races or at higher speed.

DO YOU HAVE A MOTTO? “Be joyful.”

I am prone to obsessing and being overly critical of my own performance, which historically has sent me into mental spirals when things are going perfectly during races or training. It seems overly simplistic but when I notice myself starting to panic or use negative self-talk it brings me out of it. Racing is challenging, but it should also be fun! I am so fortunate for the ability and opportunity to challenge myself with a healthy body and that’s absolutely something to celebrate.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE WORKOUT OR MOVEMENT?

“Favorite” is a generous term….but I could barely do a set of single knees-on-the-ground pushups in March and so they’re the most effective way for me to see how my strength has improved over the past few months, so that’s satisfying!

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE FOOD? If it's a carb I'm probably eating it right now.

WHAT IS YOUR POWER SONG? Bluegrass for trail running, any early 90s Smashing Pumpkins or Nirvana on the trainer.

Member Monday: Becky Phelps

WHY DO YOU RACE? WHAT STARTED YOUR LOVE FOR ENDURANCE SPORTS?

I love going fast on my bike. I have learned to find enjoyment in suffering and pushing myself beyond my limits.

WHAT MOTIVATED YOU TO TRAIN AT KINGFIELD ENDURANCE?
 
Lisa Martens. I met Lisa last summer on my first group ride. After a few more rides I told her I was interested in racing and well...here I am! I'm glad Lisa saw a spark in me and vouched for me!

WHAT KEEPS YOU COMING  BACK TO KINGFIELD ENDURANCE?

What everybody else says..I love the coaches and the people who work out at Kingfield. I've never done well with regular gyms because I need lots of instruction and guidance as to what I should be doing for workouts.

HOW HAS CROSSFIT TRAINING IMPACTED YOUR ENDURANCE SPORTS PERFORMANCE? 

I can't thank Anna and Lea enough for making me so much stronger! Anna has taught me how to suffer on and off my bike by reminding me to think of my strugglefest as short efforts, to not get overwhelmed when I feel like I'm dying.

DO YOU HAVE A MOTTO? Only 10 more seconds.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE WORKOUT OR MOVEMENT? Box jumps? Rowing? Back squats? Anything but burpees really.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE FOOD?

Watermelon sour patch candy and a long list of other junk foods.

WHAT IS YOUR POWER SONG?

First song that came to mind was Fitz and the Tantrums - HandClap. That song has helped me pedal through a couple FTP tests and some killer workouts.

Member Monday: Rowdy Larson

WHY DO YOU RACE? WHAT STARTED YOUR LOVE FOR ENDURANCE SPORTS?
 
I race bikes for my sanity (I’m only half joking). I’m a very competitive person by nature and like to push myself and test my limits. It gives me a routine, tangible results and access to a group of really cool friends that I otherwise normally wouldn’t have. I transitioned to cycling from longtrack speedskating this past year, where I learned I liked training, travelling and racing for endurance events. However, the community in skating left some things to be desired and when I discovered the high school cycling league, I fell in love with riding and the cycling community.

WHAT MOTIVATED YOU TO TRAIN AT KINGFIELD ENDURANCE?

I’d had success in speedskating following a strength program in the off-season and time leading up to competitions and knew I wanted something similar when committing to cycling. My coach and friend, Bruce Martens, had been recommending Kingfield for quite some time, so I finally decided to try it out once I finished my season of skating.

WHAT KEEPS YOU COMING  BACK TO KINGFIELD ENDURANCE?
 
It really is the community. I get to train with other endurance athletes in a great atmosphere. The people I ride and race with train here, and even without them the other athletes here are all friendly and share the goal of self-improvement.

HOW HAS CROSSFIT TRAINING IMPACTED YOUR ENDURANCE SPORTS PERFORMANCE? 

The CrossFit training has helped me tremendously. I can now activate and increase the strength of muscles I didn’t use prior, something I was struggling with before. The Workout of the Day specifically has also really helped, as tough as it can be. It provides exercises that challenge my whole body, not only my legs, in a setting that I’m already comfortable with (a cardio-type one).

DO YOU HAVE A MOTTO?
 
I don’t have a motto. If I can get through the first set/lap of a race, I can usually get “comfortable” with being uncomfortable and do what needs to be done. I just try to focus on what I can to make that first one flow more easily.


WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE WORKOUT OR MOVEMENT? Front or back squats.



WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE FOOD? Breakfast tacos, for sure.



WHAT IS YOUR POWER SONG? Probably Pump The Brakes by Refused currently…

Member Monday: Janet Hausken

WHY DO YOU RACE? WHAT STARTED YOUR LOVE FOR ENDURANCE SPORTS?

I have a competitive nature and I like to challenge myself. I used to run road races quite frequently, and a friend suggested that I try a trail 8K. I had never run on a trail that was not paved, and actually was not aware that there were clubs and groups of so called trail runners. I went with my friend to Lake Elmo to run and train on the trails and was instantly won over to the trail. Bonus for me.....I enjoyed the trails so much that I moved on to ultra marathons. (The vast majority of ultra marathons are run on trails. Not the paved or gravel trails but the hilly, rooted and rocky trails.)

WHAT MOTIVATED YOU TO TRAIN AT KINGFIELD ENDURANCE?

I had competed in powerlifting and bodybuilding in the past and had also worked with a personal trainer. About 2 years ago I went to an ultra running weekend in Idyllwild, California and there was a discussion on various strength and conditioning options that were being used by the runners. One of the runners said she belonged to a CrossFit Endurance gym. I had never heard of CrossFit Endurance. When I got home I asked my trainer if he was familiar with CrossFit Endurance. He had done some training at a CrossFit gym and had heard of the endurance aspect, so he attempted to model my training sessions to CFE. Unfortunately we were very limited with space and equipment and I quickly got frustrated and resorted back to just going through the motions. Shortly after, my trainer got a promotion and moved on to another gym. I don't consider myself an exceptional athlete by any means, but the group training that was being offered at my gym was mostly geared to weight loss and functional lifting. I contacted my previous trainer and friend and asked him if he knew of any CrossFit Endurance gyms. He immediately got back to me and recommended Kingfield.

WHAT KEEPS YOU COMING  BACK TO KINGFIELD ENDURANCE?

Definitely the coaches and the other members. I really enjoy the community feeling at Kingfield that I have never experienced at any of the gyms or clubs that I have belonged to in the past.

HOW HAS CROSSFIT TRAINING IMPACTED YOUR ENDURANCE SPORTS PERFORMANCE? 

I don't even have to think twice about that....I am definitely a much more confident athlete! (I never would have dreamed of attempting box jumps before Kingfield. Now I actually enjoy the challenge.)

DO YOU HAVE A MOTTO?

I don't like to finish a race or workout and wonder if I could have done better or given more, so I constantly tell myself to always give everything I've got. That way I know I won't have regrets.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE WORKOUT OR MOVEMENT? Anything that works my legs, especially my glutes and hams, and my core. In ultras I love to climb and strong legs are a plus.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE FOOD? Pizza....I love pizza! My go to pre-race meal.....pizza and beer! Who wouldn't want to take up ultra marathoning with a pre-race meal like that?

WHAT IS YOUR POWER SONG?

Anything that isn't too heavy but that has a beat. (My husband tells me all of the time that I am too old to be listening to what I do listen to.)

 

Member Monday: Jon Emerson-Kramer

WHY DO YOU RACE? WHAT STARTED YOUR LOVE FOR ENDURANCE SPORTS?
This will be my first year racing (shout out to Wreckhouse Racing!) but I fell in love with biking in my early 20s when a neighbor gave me an old road bike that needed some work. I got it fixed up, put some flashy yellow bar tape on it, and never looked back.

WHAT MOTIVATED YOU TO TRAIN AT KINGFIELD ENDURANCE? 
My wife Kirsten started racing for Kingfield last year and I got to know Lea, Anna and the race team members. Everyone was super cool and it made sense for our schedules if Kirsten and I started working out at the same time.

WHAT KEEPS YOU COMING BACK TO KINGFIELD ENDURANCE?
The community! I feel like everyone says that but it's so true. I am constantly inspired by the athletes I have the privilege of working out with and everyone is so supportive. It keeps me coming back week after week.

HOW HAS THE CROSSFIT TRAINING IMPACTED YOUR ENDURANCE SPORT(S) PERFORMANCE? The CrossFit training has definitely made me stronger physically but what I've really noticed is how it's impacted my mental game. I feel like I can always dig a little bit deeper when the ride gets really hard and I think that's directly from the CrossFit workouts.

DO YOU HAVE A MOTTO?
I have an outlook that influences my workouts and a mantra for during the workout.

My dad was an avid cyclist and incredibly active person before he was diagnosed with ALS, which changed his physical abilities very quickly. So, before every workout I remind myself to be grateful for the chance to sweat, hurt and persevere because everything can change in an instant. It really helps me keep everything in perspective and centered.

During workouts I'm constantly telling myself "just one more," especially when the movement has a lot of reps. If I can keep it to what's right in front of me, I know I can do it.

WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE WORKOUT OR MOVEMENT?  
Back squats. I don't know why, they're just really satisfying.

WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE FOOD?
I love noodle soups. I'm never happier than when I have a bowl of ramen or pho in front of me.

WHAT'S YOUR POWER SONG?
Warp 1.9 by Steve Aoki & Bloody Beetroots. This song makes me feel like I can run through a brick wall like the Kool-Aid Man.