We are celebrating the fact that we just wrapped up the first season of professional soccer in Minnesota. Our new Major League Soccer (MLS) team the Minnesota United had an awesome first season that set the stage for many more years of greatness to come.
Two of the team’s brightest stars are kicking off their offseason training with us here at Fly Feet Running. Leading goal scorer Christian Ramirez and team USA stud Miguel Ibarra will be spending the next month with us, so let’s get to know them!
Your nicknames are Batman (Miguel) & Superman (Chris). There has to be a story there. Where did the nicknames come from?
Chris: The nicknames came from a fan who had his own podcast. Miguel and I were leading the team at the time that year to record wins and goals. He called us superman and batman. So the next home game we wore batman and superman shirts underneath our jerseys and showed the crowd after the game.
Miguel: He loved how well we worked together on the field and how close of friends we were off the field. Then the kids loved the idea as well and ever since then the names just stuck to us.
Now that the season is over, can you tell us a bit more about what your training looks like to get ready for next season?
Chris: This off season will involve getting our individual bodies ready for another long year coming up. Personally, I intend on changing my diet, and dropping 8-10 lbs. While at the same time working on my strengthening program to make sure that my body is ready for a grueling season. This year I experienced my first torn muscle (hamstring) so this off season is very crucial for me to get my body to a good place as next year comes around.
Miguel: Chris and I have already started building our base and I think these (Fly Feet Running) workouts will get us ready and fit for next season.
Coach tells you he’ll pay for you both to get outta town for two weeks. Where do you go and what will you do?
Chris: I head to Cancun to the Nizzuc hotel and resort and hang out beach side for two weeks in pure relaxation. It’s the most calm and relaxing resort in Cancun.
Miguel: I would probably pick Europe, maybe Spain it’s a place I’ve always wanted to visit and maybe catch a game as well.
As you both are California natives, what are some Minnesotan habits that you have picked up? Have either of you starting wearing flannel, deer hunting, showing livestock at the state fair or picked up lake home?
Chris: I have loved spending weekends that we get off boating on lake Minnetonka. I love riding jet ski’s and grilling out on the boat. Anything to maximize the sun as much as possible since the cold is here for the majority of the time.
Miguel: I can’t really think of a habit that I’ve picked up. The closest thing I can think off would be jet sking in the summer.
As professional athletes we are sure you eat pretty healthy. Could you tell us a bit about what a typical day in the life of meals looks like?
Chris: A typical day for me in season looks like this: Breakfast; two eggs, toast, and blueberries, banana peanut butter sandwich, cinnamon, almond milk and ice. Lunch (provided by the team) changes often but my favorite is simple, rice, chile verde chicken, and sautéed veggies. Dinner: My favorite would be; on the grill “flank steak” with bell peppers/onion/corn, some white rice with chips and guac.
Miguel: A typical day of meals for me would be: Breakfast: eggs hash browns and sausage links with a banana shake. Lunch: chicken, rice and veggies for dinner steak rice and veggies.
When your diet is going to go off the rails, what are you eating?
Chris: If I am inn Minnesota, I'm either stuffing my face with “hacienda taqueria” tacos. or Burger Jones in St. Louis Park.
Miguel: When it’s going off the rail probably burgers.
If you were not a professional soccer player, what do you think that you would be doing?
Chris: I would be lost in my life. Soccer is all that I have known. I recently started up school again to try and finish my BA so that I can start to slowly prepare for life after soccer. Honestly, I have no idea what I want to do when soccer is done.
Miguel: If I wasn’t a professional soccer player I would put my psychology degree to use by being a sports psychologist.
Christian - what’s the first word that pops into your head when you see Miguel?
Bubble Gum. This is because we are attached at the hip. He and I are always finding ways to hang out. For example, we were living in different buildings earlier in the year, and when a condo opened up in my building Miguel moved in so we could be closer to each other.
Miguel - right back at ya. One word for Christian.
I don’t have one word but it would be the “The Big Fella” aka Shaq
What is the most favorite part of your job as a pro soccer player?
Chris: being able to wake up everyday and go play the sport that has taught me everything about life. Soccer led me to travel to places that I would of never thought of going. I have played against some of my childhood idols. I’m very blessed and I make sure that no matter my situation that I try to have a smile on my face because so many other people would kill to be in my position. I hold myself to a high standard of being a great role model for kids and show them that not all pro athletes are the stereotype of no pictures or no conversations. I try to be very personal with fans and kids because growing up some of my idols would never acknowledge their fans.
Miguel: My favorite part of being a pro soccer player is just enjoying that I was able to accomplish my dream by playing the sport I love. Also being able to travel, play in different countries, cities and states.
What is the least favorite part of your job?
Chris: For sure, my least favorite part of my job is flying. I have a fear/anxiety of flying which i take medication for before flights. It’s not life or death anxiety but hate turbulence or flying through a storm.
Miguel: I really don’t have a least part of my job I love it all around.
Why did you decide to train at Fly Feet?
Chris: I decided to train at Fly Feet because it provides so many specifics that go hand in hand with my sport. The high intense running at full speed at different times and levels of pushing myself to that max is something that I'm really enjoying because I feel will help take my game to the next level. It’s also very tough to find a workout that makes you feel as good and accomplished as I feel after Fly Feet. My body takes the shock that it would after a game if not more so it’s preparing me to be able to deal with the grind that a season demand of my body for 9-10 months next year.
Miguel: I decided to train at fly feet because one of my friends, named Coco, always talks about it and said the work outs are good so decided to give it a try and absolutely love the workouts.
If you could design a Fly Feet workout, what would it look like?
Chris: it would look something like 15 second sprints with the rest of the minute as recovery, at an incline. I really want to work on improving my sprint speed. and then for the floor work I would try to keep reps down to 6-8 reps and maximize the amount of weight/strength that is involved. Then at the end throw in a little circuit to finish the day off.
Miguel: My workout would consist a lot of running. Mostly more distance and not so much weights. I would add some core work and try to make it fun for people.