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Michael Forge 01-16-2006 06:47 PM

After a lifetime of bodybuilding-style weight training and distance-runner-style cardio, I discovered Crossfit and saw the light. While I'll never go back to what I now consider an inferior (at least for my goals and preferred training style) training protocol, I do find myself missing the occassional brisk five-mile scamper.

It's become clear to me quite quickly that Crossfit training obviates the need for steady-state aerobic training, but what I want to know is, will going out for the occassional distance run hamper my Crossfit progress?

Michael Keller 01-16-2006 08:38 PM

Not at all. If you enjoy running, then go for it. Many people who like to compete in various distance events incorporate CF into their training. To be good at long, slow distance events, you have to train them. If you just enjoy the occaisional long run, then have at it.

Rob McBee 01-16-2006 08:40 PM

Hi Michael,

There is a really good CF Journal back issue that deals with metabolic conditioning that covers your question in detail. The 'cardio' you're referring to does come up in the WOD occasionally, usually in the form of 5-10k runs or rowing so you will get your fix that way.

WODs like any of 'the girls' can build that steady-state or oxidative endurance while concurrently building the strength-endurance or glycolitic fitness that you mentioned having noticed about CF training protocols.

This dual effect makes more frequent steady-state work counter-productive due to muscle wasting and lesser metabolic stimulation.

If you're hitting the daily WODs hard then you should still be experiencing increases in your steady-state/oxidative endurance levels.

Larry Lindenman 01-17-2006 05:52 AM

Do you NEED a steady state run: no, could you do an occasionaly run: absolutely NOT. Just kidding, CF is not a fitness dictator. If you want to run...go for it. Usually there is a long run about once a month (I think it's thrown in to torture us), haven't seen one in a while so I expect it's coming (hope Coach isn't reading this).

Josh Brehm 01-17-2006 11:06 PM

I have no idea how you guys can complain. It is so much easier for me to run than it is to even finish a workout such as barbara, not to mention doing so with less than 8-10 minute sets.

Larry Lindenman 01-18-2006 05:33 AM

Josh, i'm betting body type comes to play. I weigh over 200 lbs. "We" don't like running, but could lift all day, well not all day!

Michael Forge 01-18-2006 05:35 AM

Thanks for the feedback, all. I thought there might be some concern about slow twitch/fast twitch muscle adapatation with longer runs thrown into the mix. But I'm guessing one long run a week isn't going to have any real impact. I just miss the relaxation of a good 5-mile run. And while I love the WODs, they're anything but relaxing.

John Seaburg 01-18-2006 09:20 AM

Instead of asking if aerobic cardio should be avoided I'll ask the question... why should it be done?

Other than for fun (for some people) I can't think of a good reason to do prolonged steady state aerobic work. I can think of a few reasons not to do it... excess cortisol production, lower bone density, increased risk of heart disease.

Rod Pettiford 01-18-2006 01:22 PM

I read someplace that running, due to it's high-impact nature, actually increases bone density.

William Hunter 01-18-2006 04:16 PM

Rod, it's also been shown that weightlifting has an even greater effect on bone density than running. The "walkers" have been shown to only maintain current density levels, which is better than nothing, and that's about all.

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