1) People - coaches, athletes and supporters
2) Organization - by the coaches
3) Dedication - from all of the above
Let's break it down...
CFHH is blessed with a head coach who has a vision. He allows his coaches and members to run with their ideas and more importantly their GOALS. If you want to create a beast of a specialty program this where you start. Find a head coach who has vision. After that it takes a couple of coaches who have passion for a new program. Both Sarah Drilling and I have passion for our athletes. We have a sincere draw to the programming and how its changed our perspective on Endurance training. It makes sense to us. In order to change perspective in others you must first be passionate about it yourself. People feed off that stuff!
CFHH- Endurance could not have started without the first followers. It's like one of my favorite Ted Talk "How to Create a Movement" Check it out...
People are excited when you're excited. They match and pick up what you put down. The early adoption of athletes becoming consistent with your programming is key. You wanting to be there and showing an interest in them is important. All you need is that first follower to make an endurance team flourish. After that, the rest takes care of itself.
These are the folks that really put you on the map. The athletes in the gym who aren't on the team; however they always ask you how the last team race went. People in your box won't see your Endurance Program as "real" unless the coaches and other athletes support the movement. At the Savannah Rock N Roll this weekend, we had over 15 athletes in attendance just for support! This one guy whose been struggling with shin splints so pumped to see his teammates run took the time to come down, woke up at 5am, took the ferry, carried all our CFHH-E custom jackets and waited at the finish line. When you have support like that around you then you're clicking... Oh an let's not forget about the Coach in our gym that at MAXIMUM runs 400meters. Ya he was there. Open arms with a few beers for the team right after. Awesome support!
When we first started this gig Coach Craig said no matter what it has to be organized. I agreed and was surprised that he didn't know that organization was my middle name. Here are the steps you need to take when first starting a team (I won't give away all the secrets just yet):
1) Pick a single consistent class time. You should meet 3 days per week maximum (to start). What you need to do is draw the athletes together. We started out with two separate class times and in the beginning only having 2-3 athletes at each class wasn't building the team. Keep it simple. 1 Short Interval Class, 1 Long Interval and then your Tempo or TT class on the weekend.Centralize it.
2) Set up a group email list. Not many will respond to your emails, but people don't start to pay attention or become consistent unless they see you being consistent. When it comes to endurance there are always updates. If you can't find any makem up or just say hello to your team!! You could always email them to buy the newest book, Power, Speed, Endurance by BMACK.
3) Buy group singlets for your runners. Yes if you have a CFE team, shirts are recommended. Make them unique and sharp. Design them with your Box logo and then add in some CFE tidbits. This is not only good promotion for your box, but it will make your team look badass.
4) Plan out "A" Races. I don't mean perodize your programming towards a race. What I mean is pick an important race to gear your athletes focus. Plan from the CFE page and adjust based off your athletes goals and progression. Always remind them CrossFit is the base. Have them attend "B" Races to test their training. Goals are dreams with deadlines.
5) Establish all athlete benchmarks. People like to know when they are improving. When they PR you feel like you're PRing. That's half the reason why people show up to CrossFit. They want to PR. Let them know when they do. Acknowledge recent PRs in your weekly email updates.Create an athlete PR board SPECIFIC for Endurance.
“Dedication is not what others expect of you, it is what you can give to others.” It goes back to passion. Do you really want to run a CFE Team? Are you willing to pace an entire marathon with one of your athletes? Will you be there 3 days a week no questions asked? Will you give up some sleep to plan out the workouts for the next week?
Over the course of this year, I have found the coaches, athletes, and supporters to be nothing but dedicated. Every single one of our athletes roots on the runner next to them. We had a newcomer just this morning feel the comraderie that the CFHH-Endurance team provides. Its awesome. That's CrossFit Hilton Head style.
What I've also found is that the athletes who follow the programming to the "T" do nothing, but PR and progress. Training and coaching, all it takes is dedication and hard work. We learn the skills if we work hard at them. Nothing we do not know. All I am saying is make sure its there. In your coaches first, athletes second and finish with the supporters...
Savannah Rock N Roll Half and Full Marathon RECAP:
Incredible day. Had about 16 athletes lace up for the race. Tried to place down all the results, but let's just say half the group PRd and the other half completed their first half or full marathon!!
Mike C - Sub 3:05 Finish
David N - 1st Full!
Lynn N - 4:00:50 1st Full!
Kate N - 3:59:18 1st Full!
Ed R- rough day, but finished strong!
Ashley C - 2:10 - Roughly 19min PR
Kaitlen G - 1:58 - 10min PR
Brianna - 1st HALF!
Ashley R - 1st HALF!
Anne L - 1st HALF!
Tara C - 1st Half!
Lizzie - 1st HalF!
Jason S - 1:34 - 4 1/2minute PR (by the way he rolled his ankle 3days prior and still PRd)
J Ford - 1:23:27 22nd Overall- 5min off PR
(I did only 2 run specific workouts since Ironman. Shows you that you don't lose that much. Its a power thing gang)
All I am saying with this post is that tt's pretty cool to have an Endurance team. What are you waiting for? They'll allow you to learn a lot about yourself and how cool is it when athletes trust the programming and cross the line with flying colors!!