How I Ran a Half Marathon with No Formal Training

Today I completed my first (and also probably last) half marathon. My knees, hips, ankles and shins hurt, but I did it. Finishing with a decent time of 2 hours and 34 minutes.

FB_IMG_1461541237870If you would have asked me to run 13.1 miles 3 years ago, I would have laughed in your face. I hate running. Running any distance over a mile was (and still kind of is) a struggle, to say the least. Both physically and mentally.

So how did I do it? I didn’t train for months before hand, far from that. The longest distance I’ve ran within the last 6 months was a little under 2 miles. I didn’t even know that I would be running a half marathon until the day before, when a texting conversation with a friend talking about the event turned into “heck, let’s just do it”.

I have CrossFit to thank for all the training I needed. Through participating in CrossFit classes at CrossFit Oshkosh consistently, I built up the strength and endurance needed to run a whole 13.1 miles.

I also have CrossFit Oshkosh to thank for helping me build up the mentality needed to run a half marathon. What I learned today is that running a half marathon is almost as much as a mental task as it is a physical one. You have to have the right “I’m not going to give up” and “I will push through the pain” mentality to get through running such a long distance. Having some great friends by my side definitely helped me push through the race, but I know for a fact I wouldn’t have the same mentality I did today if I hadn’t been for training in CrossFit for the past couple of years. CrossFit has taught me to never give up and to always push myself to the next level, to get out of my comfort zone. Running the half today was definitely out of my comfort zone, but I did it!

Throughout my years in CrossFit, there have been so many “Wow, I never thought I would be able to do this” moments. CrossFit Oshkosh isn’t the gym to just go burn some calories. It’s training for life, it’s pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, it’s building a whole new mentality that many wish they could maintain! It’s also becoming a part of a very supporting community and watching yourself become the best person you can be.

So, if you want to be able to run a half marathon without the months of daunting training before hand – join CrossFit Oshkosh!

Written by Mary W.



What Your Athlete May Need More Than Weights

Memory flash back:  the year is 1997.  I am a six foot, gangly, curly haired kid walking into a new school.  This school is small, but sports reign supreme.  Luckily, I was ok at football, but I wanted to be better.  So, I was going to live in the weight room, I was going to have traps like Goldberg and arms like the Ultimate Warrior.  I was going crush souls on the football field next year, and I was going to be all that is football.  Let’s go bend some iron!

DSC_3746Walking into the weight room they had all of the standard equipment you would expect.  The school had one measurable to be put on the wall, your 1RM bench.  There was no program to follow, no guidance, and nobody there to enforce movement standards.  So you do what any other underclassmen does, which is follow what the older guys are doing.  This means you bench press Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, sprinkle in some curls and lat pull downs (I also did dumbbell shrugs because I wanted those traps!!) On Tuesday and Thursday you hit up the squat machine (not even free weights), leg press, and some isolation leg movements.

The concept here is, you do not know what you do not know.  What you’re doing may seem like the right thing to do. When I was in the weight room, doing what the older guys did seemed it would make me stronger.  I saw marginal strength gains over two years, but these gains are laughable now when looking back.  Was I going to be the next Reggie White?  Never, but could I have been better, there is no doubt in my mind.

Present Day:  Many schools are still using this archaic method to lifting, not because they do not want you or your child to be the best possible, but because they do not know any better.  Is your school having kids curl and do a great deal of isolation movements on muscle groups?  If so, you need to look into the program.  A program for high school athletics needs to have a foundation in strength.

The high school athlete may only have one chance to build the base strength which will propel them to the top of their game by the time they are a senior.  The athlete requires a program based around the back squat but includes the deadlift, bench press, and power clean.  A program which drives strength adaptation through power lifts and open chain movement patterns.  Enough about lifting though, because it is actually secondary in any well rounded program.  The base of any program, which many people fail to identify as the most important part to any athletes evolution is nutrition.

We tell our clients nutrition is at least 70% of what you do and the same holds true for the student athlete.  The nutrition protocol we assign a high school athlete is going to be altered from what we tell a fitness client to adhere to or follow.  This is where we can really help.

Food is fuel for your student athlete.  Their nutrition should be performance based, meaning it is nutrient dense and promotes gut health.  Your athlete should be drinking about ½ of their body weight (fluid ounces) in water daily.  There are different protocols if you want your athlete to gain, maintain, or lose weight, which are gender specific.  Yes, this is not just addressing the male athlete.  We are addressing male and female athletes from all sports, hockey to football, soccer to lacrosse, rugby to baseball.

There is a ton of information out there (some better than others), so we invite you to attend our FREE Athlete Nutrition Seminar on Sunday, May 1st at 2pm.  There is limited space so please email me at to reserve your spot.  We will be covering how to properly fuel your athlete so they can get the most out of their time in their sport(s).


Client Stories

Melissa Nyman: Fighting for Mental Toughness

Melissa-300x300Brief personal history and journey towards beginning your CrossFit journey:

I lost almost everything I had on February 29th, 2012. I was leading a very unhealthy lifestyle and it caught up with me. I had to ask myself, do you like where you are, do you like how you feel? No? Then do something about it. The only things I had left were myself and my dog. We started walking a lot to pass the time, to think, to get fresh air and to get some exercise. One day I tried running and it felt pretty good so I kept at it. From there, my body and my life started changing for the positive. I wanted more of that feeling so I did some research and decided to try weightlifting. Again, more change for the better, not only for my body but how I dealt with everyday stress. Now I wanted to be more than an exerciser, I wanted to try to be an athlete. I would go to the gym 3 hours a day but I was not making any progress. One day a doctor at work saw me watching “how to squat” videos on YouTube and he told me to go to CrossFit, where they teach you how to squat.

What brought you to CrossFit Oshkosh?

One day while I was in the middle of a workout I saw a girl half my size lifting twice the weight I was.  I put my weights away immediately and drove straight to CrossFit Oshkosh.

Your first impression of CrossFit Oshkosh?

My first impression was, there is nothing here, I don’t get it. Where are all the machines? Then I did the introduction body weight workout and I was completely exhausted. I loved it!

What has been your biggest hurdle since starting?

I had a hard time trying to learn the snatch and the clean.  I told myself that maybe I’m too old to learn these movements so instead of talking to my coaches I left CrossFit and went back to traditional weight lifting. I was in the same place as before, no progress. I started doing more research and came across how good whole body compound exercise was and realized I was just at a place where I was learning these, so I went back.

What is your favorite aspect of CrossFit?

My favorite aspect of CrossFit is how you test the limits of your body and mind in every workout. You are pushing your body so hard your mind is questioning whether you can continue, but then your coach or fellow athlete encourages you and you prove your mind wrong. Some people may consider this risky, but I think it’s more dangerous to never see what you are capable of.

What are your current goals in CrossFit?

#1 drop some weight so I can move faster

#2 increase my endurance

#3 perfect my form on Olympic lifts

What is something we don’t know about you?

I was born in Montana, went to school in Wisconsin and then was a trauma nurse for 10 years in Florida before returning to Wisconsin.

I love live music and I love to decompress by listening to very loud heavy metal music, I am partial to the girl bands.

My favorite word is mediocre. I worked with a doctor who would use that word when situations were not going as well as they could. At the time, it didn’t mean much to me until I came across synonyms for the word such as uninterested, ordinary, average, uninspired and forgettable. That is a word that I try not to be associated with anymore.

I have a reoccurring dream where I am hiding, and a bad guy puts his gun down. I get to the gun to save the day but then I don’t know how to use it. This drives my dad crazy because I’ve always been around guns and everyone else in my family owns and shoots guns but me.