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

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Old 04-12-2005, 09:16 AM   #1
Chris Quaintance
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Hey Folks-

I was wondering if anyone has some specific experience or relevant thoughts to my situation. Basically, I have been doing CrossFit for almost six months. Late last year, after one of the 10k's, I got inspired to register and train for a marathon. Don't ask me why!! Well, here we are and my race is 12 days away. I followed a pretty strict 16 week running schedule (for beginners) in addition to doing the WOD. It has been a pretty tough regimen for me.

Now that the race is so close, everything I read is calling for tapering pretty significantly for the race including dropping the cross training. Do you think it wise to drop Crossfit completely for the next week and a half? While I want to be as ready as I can for the race, I don't want to compromise overall fitness.

Note that I am a clydesdale: 6'2, 215. This running thing is new to me and only CrossFit has given me the confidence to get this far.

Any thoughts?

Thanks muchly.
--Chris
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Old 04-12-2005, 09:21 AM   #2
Graham Hayes
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Yeah, if you want the best performance drop it. You're fitness won't be compromised by 12 days of not doing CrossFit. Follow the tapering advice keeping it light...your hard work will show on the race day!
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Old 04-12-2005, 09:32 AM   #3
Lincoln Brigham
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I haven't done any endurance training since high school, but in weightlifting we usually start tapering 8-12 weeks out, not 12 days! :smile:

So, for any sport, I'd start doing a higher and higher % of sports-specific activities as you approach the contest date. How quickly you want to taper is part is what makes coaching/training an art form. As you are a 'clydesdale' I'd worry less about tapering and performance and more about enjoying your training. So if you are having fun doing the Crossfit stuff, you don't have to drop it entirely. It might be kind of interesting to see what a Crossfit-intensive training program can do. But at a minimum I'd can the Crossfit 7-8 days out. I'd have my heaviest running day one week out and then taper off the volume leading up to race day.

Enjoy your marathon, if that's at all possible!
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Old 04-12-2005, 12:22 PM   #4
Mike Yukish
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Definitely give the crossfit a break. I didn't before a 50 mile relay race this past summer (I ran 3 legs), and I felt it.

Also, be slow about coming back. I jumped back into training after my first marathon (MCM, I'm a clydesdale too) and got IT Band pain as a reward. Marathons are very tough on the body. At least, they are on mine.
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Old 04-12-2005, 02:39 PM   #5
Jim Glover
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This isn't in regards to marathoning but Frank Shamrock doesn't do anything other than very very very light skill work starting 10 days out from a fight.

And he may not do anything at all for 4 or 5 days with that 10 day period.

Good luck.

Dang marathon training and Crossfit WOD's you make me feel like a big ole wuss.
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Old 04-12-2005, 05:09 PM   #6
Chris Quaintance
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Ha! I'm the big wuss. I think CrossFit is pretty much out the window for now and for at least a few days or a week after the race. I'm just really loving the gains I've made with CrossFit, so I'm hesitant to stop!!! But I think I've been on the ragged edge of over-training for a couple of weeks and it's time to rest up for the big jog (or is it slog?). Maybe a few GTG pullups here and there...

I'll keep watching the WOD's and will definitely have a race report when I'm done, one way or the other!
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Old 04-12-2005, 06:51 PM   #7
Eugene R. Allen
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Chris - the killers for your race day are too much volume or lifting too heavy during your taper. You don't have to quit doing the CF movements but knock of the intensity and weight. Do some shorter runs...3 miles or so, at your race pace working on your form. If you know the sports drink and gel products or bars they will have on the course, make sure you can eat/drink them on the run with out stomach upset. Don't buy new shoes for the run. Wear good socks. Consider putting band aids on your nipples. If you wear a tank top, beware of scraping the inside of your arms on the underarm seam, it will rub you raw. If the start is cold get a pair of old socks to wear on your hands and as it warms up you can toss them into a dumpster. If you have to go to the bathroom, go...you won't lose much time. WALK THE AID STATIONS! You should run 26 one mile runs, not one 26 mile run. Run slower than your expected race pace during most of the first half so you can begin the second half fairly comfortably. Walk early and often during the race. Don't let your feet slap, try to roll through the midfoot and toe off. Find someone with your pace to hang with. Chat. Enjoy the amazing thing you are doing...especially for a Clydesdale. I've done dozens of half and full marathons, 2 Ironman races and dozens of half Ironman races...but I'm 5' 11" tall and 170 pounds. I'm built for this kind of stuff. Your energy output for the race will be very substantial so make sure you eat along the way. If you anticipate sun, wear a hat and sunglasses. Bring some ibuprofen. You can wear a little fanny pack and stick a couple gels and your ibuprofen in there. Take some around the half way mark. Your lower back will likely tighten up along the way so stretch it a bit before you start and whenever it comes to mind along the way. Do the same for your hip flexors as they are likely be among the first muscles that hurt. If someone offers to hose you down, don't let your feet get wet. If it's a hot day take some Enduralyte or other electrolyte replacement supplement. If you tend to get shin splints, tap the toe of one foot, while standing on the other, really fast for about 30 seconds. You will feel your shins warm up from the movement and it will help stave off shin splints.

So, there you have it. I hope the tips help. The biggest thing is to walk before you NEED to walk. The aid stations are a perfect place to just stroll a bit and let your muscles relax a bit. Enjoy the experience...well as much as you can for the 4 or 5 hours you will out there pounding the asphalt. Oh, run on the grass if you can see any and asphalt instead of concrete when you have a choice...unless it's blistering hot. The white taped centerline is cooler than the black asphalt if it gets crazy hot. Run erect, head up, eyes forward. Don't look down at the ground in front of you.

For your remaining runs remember short and quick and the CF stuff is OK just make it really light and go through the motions...no intensity. Don't even break a sweat. Stretch a bit, stay loose and relaxed. Don't overdo the carbo loading. Don't eat anything you are not used to eating.

Smile. Not many people are willing to go the distance you are stepping up to do. Wonderful accomplishment. Be sure to tell us how you do.
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Old 04-12-2005, 09:26 PM   #8
Chris Quaintance
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Great, Eugene!! Thanks! There is some great info in your post and I appreciate the encouragement. Big Sur, here I come!

I'll write up a race report, good or bad, as soon as I am up to it after the race.
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Old 04-12-2005, 09:37 PM   #9
Jim Glover
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Eugene aren't runner's getting away from ibuprofen, naproxen, and non-aspirin due to the excessive strain on the over taxed kidney's.

I've got a copy of Runners World around here somewhere that said that aspirin was the way to go since it was the least likely to cause kidney damage or temporary shutdown as some of the previous cases showed.

Have you heard anything about this?
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Old 04-13-2005, 07:57 AM   #10
Mark Roughton
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Chris, the only thing I'd add to Eugene's post is that if anyone hands you a popsicle stick or a tongue depressor with a blob of goo on it, don't eat it. :-) (It's probably Vaseline. Great for chafing, not for eating. I don't know how many times I've watched people stick it right in their mouths.)

Take Eugene's advice about keeping it slow in the first half. You'll be keyed up and feeding off of everyone's energy at the start. Don't! For the first half, any time you feel like you're working, slow down.

Enjoy - the race is like a big rolling party with people cheering for you and handing you free stuff - you've done the hard work already.

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