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

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Old 06-25-2007, 01:44 AM   #1
Simon Bowley
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Hello all,

I have been doing CF for about a month or so and really enjoying it. I am also suprised at how quickly the effects can kick in. Thanks for all the information on the site and the forum.

I am planning on entering Ironman UK - August 2008. I know this is a LONG time away but I like to plan ahead?!

I have seen a few threads that talk about triathlon and CF but so far nothing that suggests specific routines. I am happy with what I need to do for the tri specific training and am familiar with a lot of it. My question is how specifically can you combine the ironman training with CF? Does anyone have experience of this?

I was thinking of keeping up the CF WODs but scaling them down a bit eg less rounds/weight etc... I can't hep but feeling that a full CF WOD plan and ironman training is too much?

Maybe do 2-3 full CF WODs per week instead of 3 on 1 day off? Maybe a more body-weight focused session?

I look forward to some insight and guidance!

Many thanks,

Simon

PS have done several tris, mainly olympic
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Old 06-25-2007, 05:34 AM   #2
Chris Kemp
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Simon, search for threads by Eugene Allen - he is our resident endurance CF guru. In the beginning, a full 3/1 WOD routine will certainly be too much to bear on top of your sport specific training but experiment and you should find a happy medium.

Cheers, kempie
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Old 06-25-2007, 06:32 AM   #3
Jon Matzner
 
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Before you read another word on this site, you should search for the name "Eugene Allen" on the CF message board if you haven't already. He has written a plethora of posts regarding tris and CF.

As someone whos opinions have mostly been formed by what Mr Allen/ Coach have written on the subject- I will give your questions my best shot as an active CF/Tri athlete.

CF is unparalled for general physical preparedness. You will not become a more well rounded athlete doing any other program. However, nothing can prepare you like actually doing the modalities of exercise (swimming, biking,running) that you plan on using to race. The best way to become a good long distance triathlete(exclusively) is to train at long distances in all three sports. Duhh.

However, this specificity in long slow distance at a sub- lactic threshhold/ aerobic effort will eventually begin to cannabalize your other components of fitness. From personal experience, when I was putting in all the "recommended" weekly miles for some of the distances I was racing at, I generally felt weaker than ever.

Certain CF all-stars (re: Greg A) have been able to perform at a very high level in triathlons based on almost exclusively CF with a limited amount of sport specific training. Most people (my own experience included) wouldn't recommend doing anything more than an Oly tri based on CF. I just did the Philly Tri yesterday w/o much non-CF training and actually PR'd on the 10K. However, since you plan on going Iron, I would recommend swimming long, biking long, and running long.

In the end, I have basically reached the same conclusion that Mr. Allen did. If all I trained was Tri, I would almost certainly race better. To tell you the truth, I think that putting in all those miles can be pretty boring. Today, I think of myself as a crossfitter who does tris- not the other way around. Hopefully you will make the same decision too.

I get a unique feeling of satisfaction knowing that I am probably the only finisher in the race who can do a sub 4:30 Fran.

When I start tinkering around with WODs for my Tri schedule, I feel like I'm courting disaster. Focusing on body-weight sessions or other "themed" WODs invites the possibility of gaps in my fitness, which CF so abhors. Scaling or not 100% getting after a workout is completely neccessary sometimes, but tweaking with the exercises IMHO is not.

If you are still interested in specific training plans, I might have some limited insight-let me know...




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Old 06-25-2007, 11:07 AM   #4
Simon Bowley
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Hi guys,

Thanks so much for the advice so far. I've had a look through a lot of Eugene's posts and they have yielded some valuable information.

Especially whilst I am upping the mileage and building the aerobic base (ie for the next 6-10 months!) I will maintain attempting the WOD but maybe scaling. That way I am getting the range etc that CF is based on but not comprimising the tri-specific training too much. Does that sound alright?

Basically I want the best of both worlds! I am desperate to do an Ironman however want the benefits of CF! Maybe I'll end up as a lean, mean endurance machine....!?!

Thanks again,

Simon

PS Anyone out there done Ironman UK? Anyone interested in maintaining an Ironman/CF training type thread for motivation?
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Old 06-26-2007, 11:04 PM   #5
Simon Bowley
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Been looking at time required to train for an Ironman, I have 13 months which is long but considering the distances, sensible.

What lead up times have others had?
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Old 06-27-2007, 07:05 AM   #6
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13 months should be fine for long course stuff... especially if you have experience at other distances. My lead up time was about the same.

In regards to attempting CF/ Ironman. If you have your heart set on doing in Ironman, I would say postpone your crossfit stuff for awhile. Unless you have a lot of experience in both CF/Ironman, training for both at the same time is a recipe for insufficient recovery. If you choose to go on the Ironman journey, maybe you could use the time to work on your gymnastics skills or oly lifting technique.

Even though finishing an ironman is not a good indicator of general fitness, it doesn't mean it is not worth doing. Personally, I think crossing the finish line with your name being announced in front of hundreds/thousands of people is an unparalleled experience. Similiarly, if I tell a friend I finally did a muscleup they have no idea what I am talking about. If I tell a friend I just did a triathlon I get a much different response. Even though I shouldn't need other peoples opinions to validate my fitness, sometimes it helps. Certainly worth trying at least once.

If you want the best of both worlds, I would say focus on sprint/oly races. If you want to go half or iron I would say take a short reprieve from CF so you can focus your efforts.

Feel free to prove me wrong.

V/R

Jon
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Old 06-27-2007, 01:05 PM   #7
Simon Bowley
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Jon,

Thanks very much for your input and opinions. I feel a similar way about combining the CF and ironman training, maybe it's just too much for the body at the same time.

I think in the early stages before the mileage gets too high I'll combine the ironman training with scaled WODs - largely because I enjoy them so much!

Thanks again,

will keep you posted....

Simon
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Old 06-27-2007, 03:05 PM   #8
Brian Mansfield
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Jon,

I was at Philly Tri as well. My first Olympic distance. I've posted the TRI/CF question and read alot of Eugene Allen's posts. Your remarks are spot on.

And you are right about this: "I get a unique feeling of satisfaction knowing that I am probably the only finisher in the race who can do a sub 4:30 Fran." I'm stuck around the 8 minute mark. HAHA!

-Brian.
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Old 06-28-2007, 07:11 AM   #9
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Brian:

How did your race go? What type of CF/TRI mix did you end up settling on?

Two highlights of my race:

1) After being told multiple times about the cleanliness of the schukyll by race organizers.... As I'm about to jump in my buddy points out something that looks like a small dog floating next to the dock. Ends up being a dead rat. Biggest I have ever seen besides NY subways. We jump in anyway.

2) As I lift my bike up to carry it into the transition area.... I hear a man say "there are some pretty big dudes coming though right now." I slapped him a high five for the laugh. He must not be used to the slightly increased musculature requisite on crossfitters compared to most tri people.
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Old 06-28-2007, 04:22 PM   #10
Brian Mansfield
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The race went great. 3:00 even on my watch. Though I have nothing to compare it to since it is my first Oly. I really enjoyed the distance and felt great throughout. I thought the course was great.

My wife and friends couldn't believe I was swimming in the Schuylkill. They all asked if my shots were up to date.

My CF/Tri training varied throughout the last 16 weeks. I started off mainly CF and slolwy added more Tri training. During the last 6 weeks I concentrated on Tri training to make sure I made the distance. I did use MetCon workouts in place of track workouts. I just get too bored running in circles. I also added CF days when I felt my upper body strength was beginning to decrease. I felt like a walking science project.

My next big race is the NJ State Tri on July 22. That's also an Olympic. Hoping to chop some time off.
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