Putting the Cart before the Horse

Some Crossfitters operate on the assumption that the people who come to Crossfit have some athletic background to begin with. For the most part, that seems to be true. While we're not all accomplished athletes like Gillian Mounsey or Eva T, most seem to be pretty familiar with the gym. Many have become bored with standard workouts and are looking for something new, exciting and challenging.

But there are people out there for whom CrossFit, even scaled, is too overwhelming to attempt. Some of the most basic components, like running, are beyond their capabilities. We can fix that.

Maybe it's the runner bias in me coming to the forefront, but I believe that CrossFit is doing beginners a disservice by not stressing adequate preparation for the run portions of WODs. A person who doesn't run can not begin by running fast intervals. An average person without a solid running background shouldn't attempt a 5K or a 10K. You really can't muscle you way through it. Doing any intensive running effort without proper preparation is just begging for trouble.

We want our clients to be able to CrossFit forever. To this end, we need to prevent injury, burnout and the distaste for running that comes from too much too soon.

A program like the Couch to 5K program can get a beginner from 0 to 3.1 miles in roughly 9 weeks. Successfully. It involves running 3x per week, and utilizes intervals of running and walking to gradually build your endurance and confidence in running. The workouts can easily fit into a CrossFit regime, and will better equip the athlete to really hit the WODs with more strength and speed later on.

I know that this isn't a popular concept within the CF realm, but I feel that athletes should be able to comfortably complete at minimum a 5k run (ideally a 10k) with ease before attempting intense interval runs like those found in CF WODs. This allows an athlete a point of reference in regards to effort, and enables them to really work rather than struggle with both the distance and the intensity.

You can prescribe the C25K program to your athletes and have them work it outside of their training with you - there is abundant information about it online, as well as free downloadable podcasts with the interval cues built in.

Everyone can run - but if you want to run fast you first need to slow down.

1 comment:

  1. The blog is coming along swimmingly well. Good Job! +1 for you today.


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