Tuesday 5.19.15//A Case for Running at CrossFit
For Total Working Time//
Stay faster than comfortable//Full rest between efforts
Conventional wisdom would tell you that it's silly to go to a gym to have someone tell you to go running. This conventional wisdom, I think scares coaches from programming just running. Like somehow the athlete is getting ripped off if the workout doesn't have barbells and burpees, but here are my arguments for programming these purely running days.
1. Running is good for you. CrossFitters and functional-fitness-groupies love to point out the downfalls of 'chronic cardio' which is the long slow distance only approach to fitness. These are the weekend warrior 5k-half-marathoning mud-running carbo-loaders. Yes chronic cardio is aging them faster than the normal father time, BUT running is still king for developing cardiovascular respiratory endurance, stamina, and some other fitness domains. Running...not jogging, which brings us to point number 2.
2. At CrossFit, we program running. And most CrossFit coaches are not running experts. I'm not going to win any 10k's in my lifetime. CrossFit coaches ARE experts in training stimuli. You might think of me as a mad/psychopathic-scientist, but I really feel more like an artist (still mad & psychopathic though). There are 10 fitness domains, we're trying to develop all of them equally. And so your typical 3-5 mile jog with friends just isn't intentional enough and only works in one domain- cardio/respiratory endurance. The interval workout like you see above, challenges and develops your stamina, speed, agility, and even your oh-so-coveted cardio endurance.
3. Truth. Running Hard is Painful. You don't do it alone. Try me on this one. The people who are putting in the speed work and interval time are already serious runners and won't bother reading this.
4. There is freedom in running at CrossFit. As I mentioned in the the previous points, you know why running is good for you, you're not going to do it on your own (if you do run, you're likely not running hard enough). The freedom comes in relinquishing control over to your coach. Just show up and trust that someone cares about you and wants to improve your fitness. If you don't like running, running day is perfect because otherwise you wouldn't choose running.