Good afternoon CFTP,
With this weekend’s Vegas Spartan coming up and a couple of more endurance based races I’ll be participating in coming up I’d like to talk to you all about the importance of running. Every one of us have different goals when it comes to our fitness. Some of us are triathletes. Some of us are strictly CrossFitters. Some of us prefer the weightlifting of CrossFit. Some of us prefer the gymnastics that CrossFit brings. Regardless of what our goals are I believe running can be an essential part in your athletic development.
With the nicer weather you will see that running will be a part of more and more WODs day in and day out. For some of you this will seem like torture and for many of you this day couldn’t come fast enough. I personally love to run in WODs because it is a nice change of pace for me. Being able to go out for a 200, 400, or 800 mid WOD is a breath of fresh air. One problem I see when it comes to running in WODs is that I don’t think we as athletes take full advantage of the run.
Many of us trot more so than run. We get to the starting line and all of the sudden it’s time to take a break. Our run should not be our rest time. We should push ourselves on our run just as hard as we push ourselves on other aspects of the WOD. Running is a skill that needs to be developed but just like any skill many of us have bad habits we need to break. Last year I invited RunGr8 in to teach us how to properly prepare for races and also how to run properly. It was very informative and I plan to have them come in again to teach us. Keep your eye out for this training. (Also, if you are looking for new running shoes this season don’t forget that RunGr8 will hook you up with a discount for being a member at The Point)
As CrossFitters we must find a balance in all things. Being a balanced athlete is the name of the game. Attacking our weaknesses and killing our strengths. Strength training goes hand and hand with running. Strength training will improve your power, speed, balance, and coordination. For those of you who are “strictly runners”; the strength training, as I am sure you have discovered, that you get from the olympic lifts and power lifts make you a better runner. You cannot increase your power by just running. Building those explosive muscles during your olympic lifts will make you more explosive for your runs.
One of the coolest things I discovered last year was when I ran my first half marathon. I kept a pretty good pace and when I was at mile 10 I was feeling amazing. So I picked up my pace. I went from a 7:00 pace down to a 6:00 pace and just kept going. I started passing people left and right. People started dying off when my body was just getting started. The strength I had developed during my time at the gym started to pay off.
I know many of you have races planned for this coming year. Take your strength training seriously and I know you will see a difference come race day. For those of you who do not plan on racing this year maybe you should consider it. Just as Greg Glassman likes to say… “Try new sports.” or something to that effect. We need to continually challenge ourselves to do hard things. This keeps us on our toes. Be the all around athlete I know you can be. Take on every challenge with an attitude of winning.