Work Out

Endurance training and crossfit with jamie riha

By Vignesh Purushothaman


Although I’ve been doing and enjoying CrossFit for the past 10 months, it was only recently that I became what I describe as a firm and devout believer in it. So how did this happen?

I’ve been a distance runner for years. Even though I read in running magazines that cross training was beneficial and recommended, I ignored this advice, sticking to the dogma that to be a good runner, you had to well – run and then run more. So this is what I did. I ran and trained for long distance races, completing several half and full marathons.

When we moved to Billings from Oregon in the summer of 2014, I began to think about mixing up my fitness regimen. I was still committed to and enjoying running but I also wanted to mix it up, especially when running became mostly treadmill running as the summer changed over to winter. My interest was peaked in CrossFit from several people at work who did it – I’ll admit this was mostly because I was envious of their well-defined muscular arms. My legs were strong with muscle definition from running but I was lacking upper body strength and definition.

After welcoming our 2nd child, a beautiful daughter, in June of 2015, I decided I was going to give CrossFit a try for multiple reasons: to improve my core and upper body strength (get the arms I was envious of), add some variety to my exercise life, and meet some new people. So 6 weeks after Madeline was born, I was doing my first elements class.

Ever since then, I’ve been coming to CrossFit 2-3 times per week most weeks (not as often as I have always liked due to work and life factors with 2 young kids) and have watched my strength and body transform. As much fun as I have had in CrossFit though, the pull to run longer distances was still strong for me and I signed up for an April half marathon back in Oregon. When it came time to run the race, my goal was to complete the 13.1 miles and have fun. I did not have a time in mind as I was unsure how I would feel during the race – due to life factors and my commitment to CrossFit, my training running miles were much lower going into this half marathon than in my past ones. So what happened on race day? Much to my surprise, I not only felt amazingly awesome for the entire half marathon and for the first time ever I felt strong running up the long hills, but I also set a personal record – running my fastest half marathon ever! As I crossed the finish line, I realized that this performance was because of the benefits that CrossFit brings to my running and the benefits that CrossFit brings to my physical strength & fitness that running cannot provide. This is the moment when I became a firm and devout believer in CrossFit.

So I am now fully committed to both my running and to doing CrossFit. My focus and goal is to get in the best physical shape possible as I look at turning 40 in a few years. That and one of these days, I really want to Rx a WOD – maybe even “Kelly”, which I just did for the first time just the other week. I recently came across the following statement “It’s not about being the best; It’s about being better than you were yesterday.” This has become my motto and what I tell myself every time I go to work out.


Monday5:00AM - 7:30PM
Tuesday5:00AM - 7:30PM
Wednesday6:00AM - 7:30PM
Thursday5:00AM - 7:30PM
Friday5:00AM - 5:30PM
Saturday7:30AM - 10:30AM
Sunday3:30PM - 5:00PM