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

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Old 02-26-2008, 09:03 AM   #1
Toby Jurging
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CF and Runners

As a CF'r for about the past 15 months and an affiliate for about 4 months, I don't have to be sold on the efficacy of our program. On the other hand I am having a difficult time getting through to our "running community". This is not a form question, rather a need basis question. I guess it is that old mentallity of long, slow miles equals fitness. Or the question of, "I already run, that is enough or I can't train hard (CF) while training for x-marathon".

So I am looking for advice on how to breech the subject and get this other community involved in our passion, CF.

Thanks in advance for any assistance.
Toby
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Old 02-26-2008, 09:15 AM   #2
Grant Scalf
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Re: CF and Runners

Share with them the recent CFJ article about the efficacy of using strength training and CF while training for marathons and ultra distance events. It is self-evident with the results they were getting.
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Old 02-26-2008, 11:50 AM   #3
Peter Keller
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Re: CF and Runners

Toby, I came to Crossfit from a running and cycling (LSD) background. I also live in Austin, Texas, where LSD is king. This town is full of marathoners, triathletes, cyclists, etc. The "strength" community in Austin is underdeveloped when compared to the cardio community.

Having said the above, I suggest you reach out to Crossfit Central. I believe that Jeremy and Carey have attracted quite a few runners to their stable. They might be able to offer advice.

As for my personal advice- try to ingratiate yourself with any running training programs in town, and any running communities (clubs, stores, etc.) I would try a low-key approach, showing what Crossfit can do for the running crowd to make their sport better (crosstraining for faster running times, less injury, etc.) I would stress a low-key approach- many runners seem to dislike weight training or are afraid that weight training will slow them down.

I also suggest acquiring some "case-study" runners. If there are prominent people in the running community who can be won over to CF- and it improves their running- you may be able to trot them out as "proof" the program works. Try to get these people to run their events with your gear on, etc.

You might also put on a 5k or sponsor a race.

I would not wave a CFJ in their face if the runner is not familiar with CF. There is so much snake-oil in the world- just seeing something written by an authority that the uninitiated do not recognize is unlikely to have a positive impact.

Finally, realize that many runners have no interest and never will have an interest in anything CF-style. I have a lot of runner friends. Some think my CF stuff is cool and interesting; more think it's weird and strange.
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Old 02-26-2008, 12:54 PM   #4
Toby Jurging
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Re: CF and Runners

Thank you for the info so far. Everything will be taken to heart and tried. I will look into the CF Central contact.

Have a great day and thanks

Toby
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Old 02-26-2008, 01:12 PM   #5
Andrew Thompson
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Re: CF and Runners

Catra Corbett has a blog that you might want to check out. She is a CrossFitter and Ultra Runner.

http://www.trailgirl.blogspot.com/ (WFS)
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Old 02-26-2008, 03:14 PM   #6
Andrew H. Meador
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Re: CF and Runners

Tell them that 100m sprinters are more efficient runners, even at long distances. Their tendons and ligaments are springier, their muscles are better at "stabilizing", and their cardiovascular system is plenty well-developed. The reason for their being slower is bodyweight and possibly mental factors. CrossFit will make small guys a little bit bigger, but they'll lose fat too, and they'll definitely become more efficient runners. And they'll definitely be stronger mentally.
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Old 02-26-2008, 03:21 PM   #7
Aaron Shaffer
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Re: CF and Runners

Find one that has an overuse injury and explain the variety of movements and how this prevents injury. It seems obvious now but this is what really "clicked" for me when I was an LSD guy.


Then have them do Helen.
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Old 02-26-2008, 03:22 PM   #8
Aaron Moburg-Jones
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Re: CF and Runners

I think this is a great topic. I am getting certified in April and really want to reach out to the running community here in the DC area because I think it is a gap in who we reach. CF often does itself a disservice in dismissing the running community or trying to convince them that running for distance is a pointless activity for fitness. Whether it's true or not, it's certainly not what people want to hear. Powerlifters and oly lifters are also on the extremes of their sport, but we have done a better job of reaching out to them by speaking on their terms.

That was a bit of a ramble, but I think there area couple of keys. First, there are two types of runners. One type runs because they want to exercise to stay in shape and this is what they know and what they see as the ultimate fitness. Lots of women who want to lose weight in this catagory. The second type are competitive runners. The first group we can talk to much like we talk to body builders or just people unitiated to fitness. They want results. They want to look good. They want to be told they won't "get big." Case studies, personal experiences, and a discussion of what is fitness often gets through.

The second type are harder and we should treat them with a little more respect. This is their sport. They want to train for it. Just like we would laugh at a runners Fran time, they would laugh at most CFers 10k time. 10k for a real runner is a tempo run that is done at a higher speed than 90% of crossfitters can run 1 mile. CF has to be teaching them how to train smart, how to get better. And it's a hard sell because most runners get better by running more. I think there is worlds of good that can be done by just convincing runners they don't need to run as often. If you can convince them that some basic strength will also help (there have been a few studies with sprinters but it also applied to 400 and 800 times and every 5k-25k runner knows that as your 400 and 800 times improve so does your race time) so much the better. Maybe just replacing some of the track work with CF workouts that include running (Helen).

I myself am trying to particpate in the discussion by doing an experiment. I trained for and ran my first marathon a while back. I stopped crossfit and only ran. It was a serious regimine of about 50-60 miles a week. I got weak and slow, but my running sure improved. My first marathon was a 3:22. This year I am going to run again. I will run 2-3 times a week (mostly 2). Most of my interval work will be in CF. I will include an extra tempo run every week or two and I will do some kind of long runevery two weeks. Long runs are important. Some freaks can do a marathon without going long, but not many. The goal to minimize the damage these runs do to your fitness. I will do it infrequently and hope that the strength training mitigates the impact. The rest will be CF. I will also avoid too many carbs.

I'll keep you posted. In the meantime, consider how we could put together a CF running club in your area. the certs are a HUGE boon for us and we should take advantage. I don't what shape this will take, but we'll soon see.
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Old 02-26-2008, 03:39 PM   #9
Steve Reggio
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Re: CF and Runners

I ran the Marine Corp Marathon in 2005- followed a Runners World program and ended up with serious IT Band issues in both legs. Ran a 3:59 and took a week to recover. I ran the MCM again in 2007- trained with CF only. Did 4 runs all summer three 10 milers and one 12. Finished this year in 3:49 and was back doing a squat heavy WOD on Tuesday. Recovery was infinitely better.

My trainer was running a lot and doing 60+ minute 10 K's. She just ran a winter 10K in 55 min by only doing CF the last 3 months.

Explain that CF will strengthen their legs and lungs. Stronger legs propel them faster and lungs that can take WOD's every day will make them better runners. If they don't feel CF is enough cardio just get them to try it for a week.

Good luck in Arlington, that area is screaming for an affiliate.
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Old 02-26-2008, 04:01 PM   #10
Toby Jurging
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Re: CF and Runners

These are all wonderul points and I am grateful for the CF community and their willingness to help answer questions and strenghten our weaknesses. Thank you all for your assistance and keep the assistance coming.

Toby
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