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

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Old 02-16-2008, 06:22 PM   #1
Jared Ashley
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Poll: Running - How fast with crossfit only?

Just curious... for those of you who use Crossfit exclusively (as posted, at an affiliate, whatever) and do NOT do any run-specific training, how fast has it gotten you, specifically on the 5K.

I ask because I notice the 5K is one of the few things I have NOT experienced significant improvement in since starting 4 months ago. I have vastly improved my 1RM strength on many lifts, improved my metcon capacity dramatically, and made significant improvements on 400m sprints, 1-mile time, and 10k time, but my 5K has been stuck in the 7:30 - 7:35/mile range for 3 months.

What's your experience? Maybe I'm just not pushing hard enough in this event
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Old 02-16-2008, 06:54 PM   #2
Jake Dent
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Re: Poll: Running - How fast with crossfit only?

That's about where I get stuck too. IMO, that's not a bad run time at all, unless you're trying to max a USMC PFT. For me personally, to get much faster than about a 20:30 - 21:00 3 mi I have to do A LOT of running. Sprints, longer runs, intervals etc. For me, it's just not worth it to try to get under 20:30.
I'd much rather be a tad slower, yet in overall good shape (crossfit)

The fastest time I ever ran was an 18:40 3 mi. At the time, I was running 30+ miles a week and was training for a marathon. I was pretty fast, but I can guarantee you that I would have been smoked royally at anything other than , well, running. (I got a good marathon time at least )

Anyways, if you want to get faster I'd recommend doing sprints a couple times a week. One that works well is to run hard 400m, then easy 400m then, the same for 200m and 100m then back up to 400m. Or by time, run hard 2:00 then an easy 2:00 down to 30 sec and back up. I think you'll see improvement in run time if you do that maybe twice a week on top of crossfit.

Last edited by Jake Dent : 02-16-2008 at 06:57 PM.
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Old 02-17-2008, 10:13 AM   #3
Jared Ashley
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Re: Poll: Running - How fast with crossfit only?

Actually, I'm not interested so much in improving my run time... I know sprints and such would get me there if I wanted to do them. And I agree that a sub-24:00 5k is pretty good for anyone who doesn't specifically train for it.

I just think it'd odd that I've cut my Fran time in half, added a half-dozen rounds in Cindy, doubled my deadlift... and changed my 5K time by like... 10 seconds (while simultaneously taking 4 minutes of my 10K).
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Old 02-17-2008, 01:42 PM   #4
Martin Schap
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Re: Poll: Running - How fast with crossfit only?

My best 5k with just CrossFit is probably about 20-21minutes. I'd have to mine my old logs to be sure. Previously, best 5k (pre getting on CrossFit) with quite a bit of sport specific training for that event was a 19 something. I think that running is one of those specific skills that you just have to train for. My overall fitness was way better when I ran a 21 or whatever, but I was significantly off my best time. So, long story short point, it is no real surprise to me that you would not see an improvement on the 5k time despite getting way better at other things.
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Old 02-17-2008, 02:27 PM   #5
Evan Satterfield
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Re: Poll: Running - How fast with crossfit only?

The 5k has always been one of my favorite races and I have experienced plateaus in my splits that coincide with my starting CF training also. As a point of encouragement however, my new found ability to recover after a race is otherworldly! I admit this recovery ability doesn't do as much for the ego as the 1st place finish but it is far more useful!
So in the interest of quantifying real gains in fitness, be open to other benchmarks aside from the ever important finish time. As baseline data, determine the max reps of a particular movement after a 5k or log the time from the end of your run until a return to normal heart rate. My limited CF experience has shown to provide tremendous improvements in fitness but in ways less easily observed than split times!
P.S. Winning is still my favorite thing!
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Old 02-17-2008, 05:48 PM   #6
Stephen Flamm
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Re: Poll: Running - How fast with crossfit only?

since starting CF about 6 months ago, my 5K time has dropped from 28:00 to 23:46 (yesterday), and i felt like i still had a lot in the tank. i've only actually run the 5k twice over that period, too, as some tender knees left me subbing a 5K row. this, too, has dropped significantly, though i attribute this to equal parts adaptation to a new exercise and improved fitness. sounds obvious, but i think the more you ran before CF, the less your times will improve when following the main site WODs, simply b/c the 5K doesn't come up too often.
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Old 02-17-2008, 07:13 PM   #7
Martin Schap
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Re: Poll: Running - How fast with crossfit only?

Dead on Stephen. CrossFit will make you a jack of all trades master of none. You will not reach elite levels in any measure, and if you specialized in something (running, powerlifting, etc) before CF you can expect performance in that sport to drop off while performance in previously neglected areas will improve. The beauty of it is that you can use CrossFit as GPP and still specialize in one thing. Look at Kelly Moore, a top-tier kettlebell lifter who is also a very serious CrossFitter.
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Old 02-17-2008, 07:17 PM   #8
Martin Schap
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Re: Poll: Running - How fast with crossfit only?

P.S. Calling Kelly more a very serious CrossFitter is like calling Harvard a selective college. It gets at the truth, but it is one hell of an understatement.
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Old 02-18-2008, 11:15 AM   #9
Jason Hudson
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Re: Poll: Running - How fast with crossfit only?

I ran a 5k race last september in 21:28 with "crossfit without a barbell". I am 5'9" 170 pounds.

My 5k PR (10 years ago) is 18:58 with "running only, cross-county team workouts". Back then I weighed 135.

Hope the info helps.
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Old 02-18-2008, 11:18 AM   #10
Jake Dent
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Re: Poll: Running - How fast with crossfit only?

Did a 5k earlier today at 20:50 with just crossfit.

Not too bad for not specifically training for it, and being 5'9" 185#
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