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Old 12-27-2005, 01:10 PM   #1
Chad Cross
 
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Hi everyone. I have been doing crossfit for about five months now and it has changed my life. I am in the best shape I have ever been.

I have always thought it might be fun to try a marathon. The LA marathon is in March and I was thinking of giving it a shot. I have been wondering lately if I could do it without training for it. I would of course continue with Crossfit but I wouldn't do any marathon specific training.

I wanted to get everyones thoughts. Do you think Crossfit is enough to finish a marathon without dying or injuring myself? I am not trying to run a competitive time. I would be happy with anything under 5 hours. I just want to finish it.

What do you think? I have discussed it with a friend that has run marathons and he thinks I am crazy. But he doesn't do Crossfit.

All thoughts would be welcome. I haven't made this decision for sure yet. I have just been contemplating it. I am in no rush either. I could easily wait until next year.
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Old 12-27-2005, 03:55 PM   #2
Chris Goodrich
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Chad,
I wouldn't recommend going that distance without at least some preparatory endurance work. That's a lot of pounding on the lower body, and Crossfit doesn't give you enough running volume to adapt to it. I'd be worried about stress fractures and joint and muscle injuries. Just the friction inside your shoes will tear your feet up pretty good over that distance, then you change your stride to compensate, and end up with a worse injury. I'd say lower the distance (half-marathon tops, 10k or 15k would be better)or build up at least some distance running beforehand. Chris
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Old 12-27-2005, 07:19 PM   #3
Kalen Meine
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It's an experiment that's already been done before, and the results were predictable: courtesy of CF, they didn't suck. But having not practiced, they sure didn't win. Multi-modal GPP, which is what CF is, is amazing in how well it does cover all the bases, courtesy of how many different qualities are periodically developed, with enough overlap to ensure that most activities are pretty accessible. That's the magic part. That being said, I'd never enter a MMA match on CF alone- a bit of sparring might be a wee bit helpful. I'd never hit up an 0-lifting tourny or a track meet without those from time to time. A big elephant jumps on your back at mile 18, and if you've never made it that far, things can get pretty ugly.

That being said, the "base" provided by a good GPP program like this can reduce the amount of long runs you'll need to be ready, most of the qualities you'll need will already exist, and the long runs will be more about those specific adaptations you don't get from sprint-length workouts.

That being said- why the marathon? Break the mold and run a recreational 400, or deca. Freak people out. Marathons are certainly a potent test, but it's too close (accessible? CF snobbery coming through?) to the hours of treadmilling one is prone to see these days.
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Old 12-27-2005, 09:20 PM   #4
Steve Serrano
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Chad,

My first LA Marathon was done almost on a dare. I was doing about 3-4 mile runs maybe 3 to 4 times a week. I signed up at the Expo, the day before, then had some beer (a lot) and wine with pasta. The run the following day pretty much kicked my *** (but what an endorphin high). I've run LA five times since, and have finished in anywhere from around 4:20 to 5:58 hours (that includes starting to have beers at about mi. 17 one year). Slow times to be sure, but at about 220 lbs and without CrossFit, or even much distance training.

I would strongly recommend you get some miles in before hand; including at least one or two 13-18 milers and at least one six miler every week or two in the build up. I'm curious to see how a guy would interlace CF WODs with long slow distance running to prep for this single event. You might drop one day's WOD for a long run once a week, about two months out. If you're doing WOD's on the 3 to 1 schedule I'm sure you'd feel better than about 2/3 of the rest of the folks out there.

My desire in the past was just to see if it could be done like a short-notice force march. I always came in at about the halfway mark of all the runners' times. LA is a great marathon to run. Lots going on to take your mind off your running. Good luck.
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Old 12-28-2005, 04:39 AM   #5
John Frazer
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I agree with Chris -- you need some longer runs at least to condition to the pounding.

Since starting CF I've run two Army Ten-Milers. the first year I did some longer training runs, the second I didn't. When I did, I broke my personal record and achieved a longstanding goal (sub-1:30 -- broke it by one second). When I didn't, my knee killed me and I had to walk a good bit of the race.
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Old 12-28-2005, 03:43 PM   #6
Chad Cross
 
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Wow. Great feedback. Thanks for the input. Sounds like the long pounding is the only thing that Crossfit couldn't cover. I will have to think about it. Maybe do a few longer runs before the race.

I was also thinking of breaking the run into 26 small runs with walking in between. Tabata marathon. Do you think that would help minimize the injuries? Really, I am not concerned with the time. I just don't want to injure myself or die.

Steve, I was going to do Long Beach but figured there would be more support at LA. I didn't think about the interest factor. That will help a lot.
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Old 12-28-2005, 06:05 PM   #7
John Frazer
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Chad,

Lots of people have succeeded with run/walk programs. The theory is that planned walks will be shorter than the long walk you end up taking when you run out of gas after 20 miles.

Personally I've always tried to run continuously--at most, walking through the water stops (usually one every other mile). However, when I've crashed (one marathon, one ten-miler, and one triathlon), I've really crashed and ended up walking most of the rest of the race.

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Old 12-28-2005, 06:10 PM   #8
Steve Serrano
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Some of the slower folks from Snail's Pace Running (Fountain Valley) have a method of running something like 8 minutes and walking 2, or a similar type breakdown. Variations of that have worked for me.

Only once was I able to run almost every step of the way. In most cases, after about mile 20, it's been an intermittent "walk; now stupid" thing that the body does when you hit that wall. You'll do fine, just drink as much as you can during the race and have a decent meal or two prior.
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