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Brett Tom 06-27-2006 10:56 PM

I've been doing Crossfit for a few months now and I'm absolutely loving it. I can almost always get through the WODS as RX'd and have had good strength gains as well as reductions is times.

So, has anyone trained for a marathon while still keeping up with the WODs. I've done some searching through the archives without too much new insight. I'm of course aware of the vastly different ideas of fitness at work here. Any marathoners out there? Of course what I want to hear is "keep doing crossfit WODs, add in the miles for marathon training and you'll be ok." Man, long post.

Gorm Laursen 06-28-2006 01:21 AM

I've only tried a half marathon on my own. It took me quite a lot of time getting to that point with conventional training. Latter I dropped running because of knee problems and didn't run for years.

Then I read about the tabata protocol ( and it's ability to also train for endurance, albeit you never do any endurance work. I was very skeptical, but gave it a chance: I did a tabata run approx 5 days a week for 3 weeks, rested a few days and tried to test my endurance in a longdistance run. I EASILY ran 15-17 K ... that is after a pause of 4 years of not running, alot of biking and strength training though.

My best guess is that the WOD, combined with tabata running and rowing and a weekly long run is the recipe.

Kevin Burns 06-28-2006 04:50 AM


You did NO long runs at all ? How did your legs stand up to the pounding? The biggest problem I have with training for a long run (10mi now) is getting my bones, joints, ITL bands,etc ready for the race and used to the pounding.


Cole Hanley 06-28-2006 07:02 AM

This thread might be helpful:

Also, I just wrote up a complete description of my experience in an email to a friend and it's copied below:

The Cleveland Marathon was May 21. Last year I did a lot of races: two 50 miles, 2 marathons, a 50k, a bike time trial, a 1/2 Ironman, and an olympic distance tri. Lisa's Grand Teton 50 mile race was in the fall then I did the Chicago marathon 2 weeks later and had a perfect race - each 5k faster than the last, passing hundreds of people in the last 6 miles. So that describes the base that I started from.

Just after Chicago I started doing CrossFit and stopped training long endurance for a number of reasons. The shorter workouts fit nicely with life and work and it was fun to be doing something new. Also, though a lot of what they write is almost painful to read, they do have some valid points about the overall fitness of most endurance folks - sometimes the truth hurts. Late in the fall I did one long trail run with some friends, then in the spring I did one easy run for 2 hours and another for an hour and a half. In between those two I entered a half marathon and went fast - I locked onto a 7:00/mile pace at the beginning and held that until I started to fade at about 11 miles. The decline from mile 11 to 13 was pretty steep. I also got out for a 50-mile bike ride one beautiful day with a buddy of mine that was supposed to be any easy ride and of course wasn't. So that describes the endurance training leading up to the marathon. Aside from taking it easy for a couple days before the race I didn't really prepare or taper.

Race day was absolutely crappy - raining and cold and windy. The hard rain stopped just before the start though so things weren't as bad as they looked, cool is good. I started at a pace that felt pretty easy but my splits were fast at about 7:15 pace through 10 miles. Then I started getting slower, and slower, and... ****, this SUCKS. I had a CamelBak with a mix of Perpetuem and Sustained Energy that I was drinking from regularly and a hand bottle with water to wash down a Hammer Gel every 45 minutes but it wasn't working. I never got that surge from the gel kicking in. This setup, although it looked silly and out of place, has worked really well in the past, plus the race had Powerade which I hate. No stomach issues or sloshing - but NO POWER.

At about mile 20 the race turns from the east side back toward down town, heading about WNW and it was straight into a gale coming off the lake. I had nothing. I was getting passed by overweight college girls running their first marathon, another woman had a carbon fiber leg (she was inspiring and strong but I just couldn't even push to get a longer look), then an old guy with his arm in a sling passed me. That's for
real - it was horrible. I went from 3:17 in Chicago to 3:39 in Cleveland - 22 minutes. Certainly the wind cost me a few minutes and not caring, entering on a whim cost me a few more. But mainly I just had no power after the first hour and the nutritional plan that used to work didn't any more.

For the last couple years I've been able to recover very well and this recovery was just as good or better. The next evening after work my
son wanted to go to the track to run a mile so I took him and ran along with him, felt fine.

David Bennett 06-28-2006 07:12 AM

Brett, you may have to be a test case for the rest of us. Let us know your training plan and how well it works. I ran a marathon pre-cross fit using Jeff Galloway's beginner schedule (only 3 runs midweek, a long run on the weekends ramping up to 26 miles with 1 min walk breaks every mile.) You may be able to schedule a modified version of that by mostly doing WODs during the week and adding long runs on the weekends, just as Gorm suggested.

Brett Tom 06-28-2006 11:36 AM

I think I'm just going to have to give it go.
So here's my plan. WOD's in the morning, ramp up runs on alternating days during the week in the evening, and a long run on Sunday. My GF is managing the run lengths based on an internet ramp up program. They're pretty accessible on the web.

BTW, 5'10" 200lbs, 23% body fat based on a Tanita scale. Not your typical endurance build...

Eugene R. Allen 06-28-2006 01:45 PM

Brett - On Sunday I did a 103 mile long race called Mountain to Sound which was a 22 MTB ride, 50 mile road bike, 12 mile kayak and 19 mile run. Harder than a half Ironman race but not quite as bad as full...but definately more work than a marathon 11 hour and 20 minute day for me. I've done sprint to fulls, 5k to marathons and adventure races of various distances and for me - 50 years old, 5' 11" tall and 170 lbs with 15 years of racing experience and PRs of 1:37 for a half marathon, 3:37 for a full at Portland and 12:20 for a full Ironman at Vineman - I can report that CF is great for races up to Olympic but after that you NEED to do your long work.

Having been a long time Maffetone/Mark Allen believer in LSD only during the base season, it has been difficult for me to transition into the understanding that mixing in hard fast work will not derail your season but it will keep up your strength and speed.

I came to CrossFit with the same kind of inquiry you have wondering how to incorporate CF into my triathlon/multisport racing worrying that my racing might suffer from the CF training. The tide has turned now that I have been doing CF for a couple years and my worry has become how my CF training might suffer from my racing. I got a triathlon magazine in the mail today and it had several pictures of some of the nations best triathletes in head to head competition and every one of those front runners had the physique of one of those skeletons you saw in science class in 8th grade only with swim trunks and racing singlet dangling from protruding hip bones and clavicles. The elite in endurance sport generally have a build similar to a 14 year old girl...generally. Sometimes you will have a Spencer Smith or Jurgen Zack that are quite muscular but check out the top finishers and more often than not they have a death camp rescuee look.

You know what I want? I want to look like Greg Amundson and be able to perform like him. He stomped an Olympic distance tri field with no tri training and on a MTB even though it was a road course. He can do Fran and under 3 minutes. Heck, I wish I was as studly as Annie or Nicole or Eva for crying out loud. Here I am wanting to be like Greg and I can't even hang with the women. Anyway, we don't get like them with long, slow work.

My point is, and I'm pretty sure I have a point, if you want to have a good marathon you will need your weekly long run working up to a minimum of 20 miles 4 weeks or so out from the race. Get in your miles to keep your legs ready for all the work, short hard stuff WILL NOT replace the mileage you need on your legs to get you through all 26.2 miles. Don't abandon the CF training and maybe even adjust it a bit to make the training longer since that is your goal. Go find (or ask me for them and I will send them your way) workouts I have posted called Jacob's Ladder, Me Love You Long Time, Gene's Cloak of Despair and others.

I keep threatening to back away from the long stuff but I'm finding that difficult to do. I will continue to race if for no other reason than to justify my wife's Christmas present of a $585 Orca Apex wetsuit and all the money I have spent on bicycles.

Gotta get in the miles Brett, or you will suffer on race day. Good luck, and keep us posted on your training and the race.

Brett Tom 06-28-2006 11:32 PM

Thanks Eugene, I'll defiitely keep everyone up to date. This is interesting for me also because my girlfriend is more of a distance person. We did a 4 mile run yesterday on a treadmill and I beat her by almost 4 min. Finished 34:30, not quick by any standard but I felt strong afterwards. I based that run on the 10 min run-1 min walk method. It rurned out to be more like run 2 miles increasing speed up to 8.5, then 1 min walk, then speed up for 1 mile, then walk 1 min, then speeding up till I hit 9.5 for the last .25miles.

Have any of you folks used that method. 10min-1min.
I learned of it after the 10k WOD a few months back.

Gorm Laursen 06-30-2006 02:22 PM

Kevin ... No, no long runs at all. One major problem I encountered though, was the skin being torn off my nipples from the fabric of my shirt. Nipples apparently doesn't get properly trained through tabata protocols!

I actually had to terminate the run because I had an appointment (I didn't think I'd be able to run longer than 8 k, so I planned my evening after that). That being said, I was quite toasted after that run.

Still today I don't do long runs (10-12 K) more than once every or every other month.

Charlie Jackson 07-01-2006 04:00 AM

I want to look like Greg Amundson and be able to perform like him. He stomped an Olympic distance tri field with no tri training and on a MTB even though it was a road course.

Let's not get carried away. He finished in the middle of the pack of the clydesdale division about a half hour back.

1 1289 STEVE DROTTAR 02:12:53 MCLYDES 00:24:19 00:02:13 01:04:01 00:00:53 00:41:27
2 1306 JASON CRUSER 02:13:14 MCLYDES 00:24:42 00:02:12 01:02:38 00:00:46 00:42:56
3 1316 JONATHAN FORD 02:23:46 MCLYDES 00:21:51 00:03:08 01:12:40 00:01:07 00:45:00
4 1267 STEVE WATERHOUSE 02:24:18 MCLYDES 00:21:59 00:03:19 01:12:46 00:01:47 00:44:27
5 1366 PAUL WILLETT 02:29:00 MCLYDES 00:28:37 00:03:22 01:08:57 00:03:23 00:44:41
6 1367 ERIC WRIGHT 02:30:22 MCLYDES 00:27:10 00:03:04 01:10:35 00:01:34 00:47:59
7 1510 DREW IACONE 02:30:51 MCLYDES 00:30:26 00:02:42 01:12:02 00:01:24 00:44:17
8 1320 TIM GALLAGHER 02:33:07 MCLYDES 00:19:33 00:06:42 01:11:26 00:02:00 00:53:26
9 1439 GREG AMUNDSON 02:38:11 MCLYDES 00:26:19 00:05:00 01:15:34 00:02:51 00:48:27
10 1260 DAVID DURHAM 02:40:30 MCLYDES 00:27:12 00:04:26 01:09:43 00:02:08 00:57:01
11 1337 TODD MEULMAN 02:57:03 MCLYDES 00:29:14 00:07:07 01:20:49 00:01:56 00:57:57
12 1500 ANDREW HACKET 02:57:51 MCLYDES 00:32:27 00:06:22 01:15:00 00:02:41 01:01:21
13 952 KELLY ROBERTSON 02:57:53 MCLYDES 00:35:46 00:03:47 01:18:26 00:01:30 00:58:24
14 1304 TIM BARRY 02:58:47 MCLYDES 00:32:12 00:04:38 01:20:34 00:02:36 00:58:47
15 1324 SHEERAZ HAJI 03:08:25 MCLYDES 00:31:37 00:04:31 01:32:17 00:01:26 00:58:34
16 1292 ANDREW PARKER 03:10:45 MCLYDES 00:33:08 00:06:37 01:19:33 00:04:43 01:06:44
17 1478 KARL HENSE 03:25:07 MCLYDES 00:31:36 01:08:14
18 1348 ANDREW RENZULLO 03:32:48 MCLYDES 00:43:12 00:05:05 01:34:34 00:01:46 01:08:11
19 1281 RICH LARSON 03:37:30 MCLYDES 00:34:58 00:08:15 01:34:52 00:03:40 01:15:45
20 1333 ARTHUR LORENZINI 04:00:30 MCLYDES 00:34:26 00:12:51

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