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Fitness Theory and Practice. CrossFit's rationale & foundations. Who is fit? What is fitness?

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Old 08-19-2005, 06:53 AM   #1
John Walsh
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I saw this on De Vany's site.
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Old 08-19-2005, 09:21 AM   #2
Gerhard Lavin
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So De Vany doesn't like marathon. No real suprises.
That said all extreme exercise is bad for you. Sitting on your a$$ doing nothing is bad for you. Crossfit is about the happy painful medium.

Would I recommend marathon training as a year round lifetiem modality? No. But as a once in a lifetime challenge everyone should do. Yes. I ran the London Marathon 18 months ago. I wasn't doing crossfit at the time but was weight training and doing other sports. I did the London marathon with 12 weeks training and max 3 running sessions per week. Did in in 3'57" which is an OK time for a first time non runner.

If long distance running or tri's or cycling is the thing that flicks your switch, then do it but combine it with some crossfit for a more rounded approach. Lots of sports hammer your body ice hockey, rugby etc. Hell my sport is fencing. Last year a Ukranain boy got ran though and died from a punctured lung. Definitive cause and effect more so than some of De Vany's conjecture.

My point if I have one is living is fatal so you might as well enjoy.

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Old 08-19-2005, 09:44 AM   #3
Russ Greene
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"A once in a lifetime challenge EVERYONE should do?"????

Previously Masquerading as Ross Greenberg
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Old 08-19-2005, 10:10 AM   #4
Michael Keller
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I have about as much desire to run a marathon as I do to sift through a landfill with a spoon. The sheer boredom of running is why I like CrossFit.
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Old 08-19-2005, 11:27 AM   #5
Mark Roughton
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Well, you almost always get a t-shirt and a medal for finishing. Someone around here said something about how men will die for points...just look how far we'll go for a medal, gosh darn it.

Kidding aside, I wonder how many of the effects DeVany cites are caused by the relentless LSD training most marathoners put themselves through, rather than the race effort itself. CrossFit and the o-lifts are fixing some of the damage I did to myself over several years of nothing-but-running, but I miss doing the long runs from time to time.

I wonder if Mark T's "hybrid" approach would help protect against a lot of the damage that long slow distance can cause. Seems to work pretty well for race prep.

Here's an interesting profile of an ultra runner who only runs a few days a week and cross-trains the rest of the time; she's awfully successful. Don't know what it will mean in terms of her longevity, but her ability to recover between long efforts seems pretty phenomenal.

One thing that really confuses me is the difference between trekking and running. I mean, strap a 40-lb pack on and walk a given amount of time, and you'll spend roughly the same amount of calories as you would jogging for the same amount of time, but you won't do nearly as much damage. So is it the mechanics of slow running as opposed to weighted walking, or is it the increased respiratory and heart rate, or what exactly, that's doing the damage?
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Old 08-19-2005, 12:55 PM   #6
Robyn Joy
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Thanks for the interesting link. That reminds me of ultrarunner Mark Mahoney who claims to run only 15 miles a week on average, and cross-trains with weight lifting, swimming and bicycling. He writes on

"I have been averaging 15 miles/week or less since 1989. Last year I finished 3 100 mile trail races, all without a crew or pacer. This year I finished Leadville for the second time, one week after running the Pikes Peak ascent and marathon.

Coincidentally, I am also a good downhill runner, or maybe a poor uphill runner. At any rate my ascent time at Pikes Peak is in the slowest 20% and my descent is in the fastest 20%. I live in Florida, where there are no hills, so I run fartlek and intervals instead on one of the two days a week that I run. The other run is usually a race, anywhere from 5K to an ultra. I also ride a bike (50-75 mi/wk), lift weights and occasionally swim."

I'm not really in a position to defend marathon running but it should be pointed out that most of the effects DeVaney talks about on his site are short-term damage that those studies show will heal in time. It remains unclear what the long-term consequences of this kind of damage are if any. Still, I think there's no doubt that pushing the body to any extreme carries risks. But isn't that part of why it's done? High mountaineers experience considerable damage from hypoxia -- but it's awfully hard to imagine humankind not looking at mountain like K2 and trying to stand on top!

I don't think marathon running is really about the pursuit of fitness (unless you're deluded.) It's more about the pursuit of seeing what your body and mind are capable of -- in one particular area. There are also many others!!

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Old 08-19-2005, 03:55 PM   #7
Jay Swan
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If you read the linked abstract on one of DeVany's previous posts--the one about elevated homocysteine levels--you'll see that the subjects are described as "non-professional not well-trained male athletes", and that the abstract explicitly states that the pathological implications of the findings are unknown.

I find it interesting that DeVany chose not to mention that portion of the abstract. The abstracts for his most recent posts on running are not linked, so I haven't read them.

I also think ultras are quite different from mainstream marathons: they are typically run on trails with considerable variation in terrain, and people typically run/hike a significantly slower and more variable pace than they do in marathons.

I don't doubt that racing ultras is bad for you, but I think training for them is probably good. I recently completed my first 50-mile trail ultra. The early part of my training was supplemented heavily by CrossFit, but that fell by the wayside during the last two months of training. My new goal is to do another ultra (probably not for another year) and not lose the CF training.
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Old 08-19-2005, 04:39 PM   #8
David Easton
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Im doing a half marathon in 3 weeks and im doing NO running training for it apart from whatever running comes up in the WOD.

I agree with Michael when he mentions the sheer boredom of running distance, but this is for charity and is going to be a "once in a lifetime challenge"

I dont expect to get any sort of great time but as long as I finish before the rest of the guys im doing it with im going to be happy
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Old 08-20-2005, 11:04 AM   #9
John Frazer
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I thought his comment on 4 Boston Marathon finishers dying of brain cancer in 10 years was more than a little ridiculous. How many thousands of people ran that race in those years? It doesn't even suggest cause and effect.
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Old 08-20-2005, 01:11 PM   #10
Chris Forbis
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I think his chief purpose is to combat the popular myth held by much of society that marthoners are the pinnacle of fitness.

With us, it's like he's preaching to the choir.
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