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Old 11-13-2007, 08:43 AM   #1
Brian O'Neill
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Question Using Crossfit to train for a marathon

Ok. So I have wanted to run a marathon for a few years now. Trained one year for 5 months only to get injured two weeks beforehand. That was back in '03 I think.

As much as I still want to run a marathon I
a) could not go through that training again (it was very boring).
b) do not want to do that type of training as I don't think it is what my body needs. I want to be fast over 10 metres, not 10 miles.
c) I don't have the time to commit to a marathon specific training schedule.

The training I do now is ...
MEBB (Max Effort Black Box). Crossfit Mon, Wed, Fri. Olympic Weights (Tue, Thurs, Sat). Rest Sun. A bit of indoor soccer and some extra indoor rowing also + bits n' pieces. I am reasonably fit but no commando.

Do people think its possible to run a marathon on 6th April 2008 without doing the marathon specific training for it ?
My plan would be to alter my training ... slightly ... to allow for some more running/distance running and thats it. I reckon I could run for 2 hours if I had to tomorrow but as for 26.2 miles ... no way.

I basically want to get super fit to the point I could run a marathon without running mega mileage and destroying my knees in the process. Maybe one long run each of 10/12.5/15/17.5/20/22.5 between now and March.

I am prepared to suffer during the marathon itself for sure but not prepared to suffer a serious injury.

What do people think ? Could I use crossfit to train for a marathon and therfore reduce my training mileage or is it simply a case of having to put the mileage in.

Cheers,
Brian.
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Old 11-13-2007, 08:45 AM   #2
Jay Cohen
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Re: Using Crossfit to train for a marathon

Brian;

Use the Search function, topic is covered all the time.
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Old 11-13-2007, 08:49 AM   #3
Sean Dunston
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Re: Using Crossfit to train for a marathon

Brian-
Good luck with that.
I did 4 half marathons last year, and the last 2 of them were without long run training.

I am not sure that CF alone will give you the endurance you need for a 26.2 mile run. You are right -- running for 2 hours is one thing... but running for 26.2 miles is totally different.

That said...

If you keep your existing program and work in two short 5-6 mile runs per week, and one long run on the weekends (12, 16, 20 miles, wash, rinse and repeat until April) I don't think you'd have a problem with your enduarance when April comes.
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Old 11-13-2007, 09:11 AM   #4
Brian O'Neill
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Re: Using Crossfit to train for a marathon

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Originally Posted by Sean Dunston View Post
Brian-
Good luck with that.
I did 4 half marathons last year, and the last 2 of them were without long run training.

I am not sure that CF alone will give you the endurance you need for a 26.2 mile run. You are right -- running for 2 hours is one thing... but running for 26.2 miles is totally different.

That said...

If you keep your existing program and work in two short 5-6 mile runs per week, and one long run on the weekends (12, 16, 20 miles, wash, rinse and repeat until April) I don't think you'd have a problem with your enduarance when April comes.
Yeah. Thats along the lines of what I was thinking. Cheers.
Maybe I'll drop the MEBB until the marathon and go with 3 runs instead mixed with 3xCrossfit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay Cohen
Use the Search function, topic is covered all the time.
Sorry. I did a quick search and didn't see anything on the first page or two. Should have delved deeper

The only thing is thats its apparently a particularly tough marathon. The Connemara(Ireland) marathon. All the better if it does work out though
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Old 11-13-2007, 09:50 AM   #5
Steve Reggio
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Re: Using Crossfit to train for a marathon

Brian,
Yes it is very possible to do. I just did it. I just ran the Marine Corp Marathon this year training basically with CrossFit only. From June through the marathon on Oct. 28 I ran four times for miles of 6, 10, 10 and 12. The 12 mile run was in August. I did not run once from August on, not even a CF workout that included running, all just CF gym work.

I finished the marathon in 3:49 and my endurance was never an issue, my legs felt great until mile 23-24 and I was faster in the second 13 than I was in the first 13. This was my third marathon, second Marine Corp. My recovery was infinitely better. After the first two which I trained for doing a marathon program I could barely walk after finishing, could not take stairs normally for 3-5 days. This time I was walking normal that night and did a CF workout (with squats) on Tuesday.

The one issue- your feet. My feet were killing me, they just were not used to the pounding. That was my only problem.

I am going to run another one next fall and do the same thing. I hate running to train but I do them for charity and enjoy the actual marathon.

If you have questions I'd be happy to discuss.
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Old 11-13-2007, 10:17 AM   #6
Brian O'Neill
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Re: Using Crossfit to train for a marathon

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Originally Posted by Steve Reggio View Post
If you have questions I'd be happy to discuss.
Thanks Steve. Questions ? Sure

Did you just follow your normal CF routine or did you modify them at all to 'help' your marathon prospects ?

Are you saying you only did 4 runs from June to August ? 12 being the longest ?
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Old 11-13-2007, 10:36 AM   #7
Steve Reggio
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Re: Using Crossfit to train for a marathon

In terms of the WOD's I did no modifications. I pull WOD's from the CF main site and numerous affiliates and just do them as prescribed. Because I currently do them in a Gold's Gym (until my own affiliate is up) I can't even do ones that include running. So none that included any 400m or 800m runs in between other lifts. Just straight up CF WOD's.

Yeah, I did 4 runs- that is it. Everyone kept asking me when I was going to run. Just didn't want to, would wake up and had a choice- Run or CF. I chose CF everytime. At 36 I am no spring chicken so it is not like I am 20 year old who recovers easily.

in 2005 I did Marine Corp in 3:59, 2006 Chicago in 3:34 (flat, fast course) and 2007 Marine Corp in 3:49 so my times did not suffer at all and MCM is a tough course as well.

Being my third marathon the mental aspect of it was gone, I knew I'd finish. But I was really surprised at how great I felt during and after the marathon. I had none of the problems of previous years (IT Band and really bad calf tightness). It went so well I am going to do a 1/2 IM triathlon in the spring and a marathon in the fall both without anything training other than CF. I am my own little science experiment.
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Old 11-13-2007, 10:44 AM   #8
Brian O'Neill
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Re: Using Crossfit to train for a marathon

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Originally Posted by Steve Reggio View Post
In terms of the WOD's I did no modifications. I pull WOD's from the CF main site and numerous affiliates and just do them as prescribed. Because I currently do them in a Gold's Gym (until my own affiliate is up) I can't even do ones that include running. So none that included any 400m or 800m runs in between other lifts. Just straight up CF WOD's.

Yeah, I did 4 runs- that is it. Everyone kept asking me when I was going to run. Just didn't want to, would wake up and had a choice- Run or CF. I chose CF everytime. At 36 I am no spring chicken so it is not like I am 20 year old who recovers easily.

in 2005 I did Marine Corp in 3:59, 2006 Chicago in 3:34 (flat, fast course) and 2007 Marine Corp in 3:49 so my times did not suffer at all and MCM is a tough course as well.

Being my third marathon the mental aspect of it was gone, I knew I'd finish. But I was really surprised at how great I felt during and after the marathon. I had none of the problems of previous years (IT Band and really bad calf tightness). It went so well I am going to do a 1/2 IM triathlon in the spring and a marathon in the fall both without anything training other than CF. I am my own little science experiment.
All sounds good to me
Last time I trained specifically for a marathon I end ed up missing out with ITBS from too much mileage I guess.

I reckon I'll go for it. Maybe one run a fortnight. I'll know myself closer to the date if I will be able for it. Thanks for helping
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Old 11-13-2007, 11:38 AM   #9
Chris Brown
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Re: Using Crossfit to train for a marathon

Another data point. I ran the Bataan Death March Marathon in April of 2006. I finished in 4:58 which was a decent time given the course. I was doing the CrossFit.com WOD and I started adding in some extra running (5 and 10Ks) in December. I think I was doing one run a week. I had plans to do more but it didn't work with my schedule and I got bored. I did do one 13 miler in January and one 15 miler in early March. Other than that I just did the WOD and some skiing from January until the race.

If I had to do it again I would still do 1-3 long runs (10+ miles) in the months before mostly to help with adapting to the pounding on the feet and the mental aspects of running that long. I'm sure I could finish a marathon with only doing the WOD but a few long runs seem to help.

I was actually surprised how well I felt after the race and I thank the CF WOD for that. I work with a few hard core marathoners and they don't believe me that the volume of running I did in training was so small.

Chris
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Old 11-13-2007, 12:51 PM   #10
Brian O'Neill
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Re: Using Crossfit to train for a marathon

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Originally Posted by Chris Brown View Post
Another data point. I ran the Bataan Death March Marathon in April of 2006. I finished in 4:58 which was a decent time given the course. I was doing the CrossFit.com WOD and I started adding in some extra running (5 and 10Ks) in December. I think I was doing one run a week. I had plans to do more but it didn't work with my schedule and I got bored. I did do one 13 miler in January and one 15 miler in early March. Other than that I just did the WOD and some skiing from January until the race.

If I had to do it again I would still do 1-3 long runs (10+ miles) in the months before mostly to help with adapting to the pounding on the feet and the mental aspects of running that long. I'm sure I could finish a marathon with only doing the WOD but a few long runs seem to help.

I was actually surprised how well I felt after the race and I thank the CF WOD for that. I work with a few hard core marathoners and they don't believe me that the volume of running I did in training was so small.

Chris
Thats settled it
CF all the way (with a bit of extra running).

I'll report back in April.

Thanks guys for the help
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