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Old 09-16-2004, 11:01 AM   #1
Mike Yukish
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I've been suckered into running two legs of a 50 mile mountain relay run, http://www.tusseymountainback.com/index.html, and figured I'd better train a little first. The two legs that I am running are 6.2 miles all uphill on gravel roads, and 4 miles rolling on pavement.

I've been doing only the Crossfit WOD since January, with the occasional run when some body part isn't up to the WOD. I chose two routes to check myself on.

One is a 3+ mile run that has a 1000' elevation gain. I did it in substitute of the recent WOD 5K run. At my absolute best (while training for a marathon) I did it in 29:30 minutes. Coming off the bench, so to speak, I did it in just under 31 minutes. In hindsight I held back too much for the finish, and should have pushed harder earlier.

The other run is a approx. 6+ mile run that has four very significant hills. Along with the time of the run, my metric for how I did was whether or not I could run all of the hills with no walk breaks, and whether I felt like I was dying as I recovered after the crest.

I crushed all four hills on the run, cresting them and keeping my pace over the top. Often I'll keep running over them, but it will be running in the loosest sense of the word, where old ladies with walkers are passing you. In this case I was striding, accelerating over the top.

All this after goofing up three days before and having a 1 hour bike ride last 3 hours (wrong turn and came down wrong side of 1200' mountain, had to reclimb it). That one killed me, it's been years since I've ridden that hard in a day, but I obviously recovered in fine style.

So in synopsis, I saw a much improved ability to operate at my anabolic threshold and a better mental tolerance for the pain. On the shorter run which requires very steep hiking, my legs felt much stronger where in the past they were often the weak links. I recovered *much* faster from crushing workouts.

I am sore from the longer run in that the joints haven't adapted to the pounding in the way that doing lots of road miles will cause them to. but otherwise, I am as good as when I was racking up 20-30 miles per week. Interesting.

I was wary of Crossfit's promises, as most majestic promises prove false. But I liked the WOD and the people here no matter what, and it takes less time and is always entertaining, so I followed the program. At a minimum, I figured I'd get better at doing the WOD.

And now I see its impact on corners of my fitness envelope that I thought I previously had understood how to best train for. I was very surprised with my test run results.

Now if I can only cut back on the beer and pasta with butter sauce, I'll be a real hardman.
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Old 09-17-2004, 08:55 AM   #2
Bob Long
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Mike; I'll be there also on a 2-man relay team. I agree with your conclusions on Crossfit training for runners. I'll also be at Steamtown Marathon the week after the relay. My running club guys don't understand me anymore when I tell them running isn't enough.
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Old 09-17-2004, 08:59 AM   #3
Bob Long
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"a better mental tolerance for the pain"

Mike: I think your quote above is key. I know I can stand a lot more (self-imposed) pain after Crossfit WOD, so running still hurts, but I know I can do it. (Not well said , but you get the point.)

Maybe I'll see you on the mountain.
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Old 09-17-2004, 10:21 AM   #4
Mike Yukish
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Maybe I'll see you on the mountain.

You guys are doing it as two man relay? Only if I start ahead of you. Be sure to look back at the people you pass. :-)

I'm doing legs 4 and 12.
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Old 09-17-2004, 10:57 AM   #5
Bob Long
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I'll be doing legs 4 to 6 and 10 to 12. Jim's doing 1 to 3 and 7 to 9, so he gets to see the start but (hopefully) I get to see the finish.

Should be a fun day!
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Old 10-04-2004, 06:59 AM   #6
Bob Long
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Dude, you guys won ?!?

http://www.tusseymountainback.com/results.html
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Old 10-27-2004, 10:38 AM   #7
Mike Yukish
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Oops, just checked this thread a month later. Yea, we won our wee narrow category (teams with 8 people, 5 of which are over 40, 2 women, one with blonde hair, etc.)

It was a great day. Our team time was 6:50. The ultra-marathon winner's time was 5:50. :-)
Talk about a stud...
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