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

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Old 05-27-2008, 08:18 AM   #1
Matt DeMinico
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Is this normal? Running vs rowing

I'm curious on this one... My running absolutely sucks. Period. But my rowing is supposedly pretty dang good. Take a look at this:

5k run time - BEST (absolutely killing myself) was 25:47. This was frigign' painful to do this time. I've run a few 5k's and my normal time is around 27:00 or so.

5k row time - Best timed so far, on a "light" day, I was trying to take it easy, but midway through just decided to go a little harder. It definitely wasn't a "go all out" time. 20:14. This was the only 5k row I've done, so likely I could shave a minute or two off that time if I 1) tried harder and 2) paced correctly

Now, is this normal? My metcon is great, I can keep going and going without much trouble, it's just that running absolutely kills me, I don't know if it's the ultra high turnover rate or what, but it just beats me up.
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Old 05-27-2008, 08:25 AM   #2
Anthony Bainbridge
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Re: Is this normal? Running vs rowing

It's common for heavy/stocky folks.
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Old 05-27-2008, 09:26 AM   #3
Chris Walls
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Re: Is this normal? Running vs rowing

My very first time on a rower I went for a 5k and was shooting to match my best 5k run. I beat it "easily" by a few minutes (around 5 i think...). Like you my PR 5k run was devastating, the row was hard work but was not giving me the multiple system failure errors I get while running.
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Old 05-27-2008, 09:42 AM   #4
Matt DeMinico
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Re: Is this normal? Running vs rowing

Yeah, but I'm 27, 5'9, 165 lbs, (well, 170 now after a bout with Statring Strength, but this was well before my last SS cycle), body fat % of around 12-14% maybe.

My legs/hips/back/core are way strong compared to my arms/chest, as evidenced by my CFT numbers (300 DL, 255 Squat, 110 press), don't know if that has anything to do with it or not, I can go all day on squats and kettlebell swings, it's weird. Though I'd really like to get down to a good 5k time (sub 20 minutes would be great), but I'm not sure why I'm way poor in comparison to everyone else on the running, but pretty decent compared to everyone else in the rowing?
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Old 05-27-2008, 09:57 AM   #5
Chris Walls
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Re: Is this normal? Running vs rowing

How often do you run? I know I don't run enough to be any good at it... I wouldn't call me "stocky" as I'm 6'2" maybe 6'3", up to 190-195 these days. My total is about the same balance as yours, 335, 275, 135. Should hopefully be adding to that at the Cross-Canada, inter-affiliate CFT competition this Saturday.
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Old 05-27-2008, 10:17 AM   #6
Brandon Oto
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Re: Is this normal? Running vs rowing

You have Lousy Running Syndrome. LRS is a common affliction amongst CrossFitters.

Please don't deadlift me, Anthony...

Seriously though. Figure out what your weakness is. Specific strength of some kind, specific muscular or metabolic endurance, technique, whatever -- find it, focus on it, and fix it. I'm doing the same right now.
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Old 05-27-2008, 10:27 AM   #7
Aaron Moburg-Jones
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Re: Is this normal? Running vs rowing

It doesn't mean you are bad at cardio, you're just a bad runner. I am a good runner, a mediocre rower (because I don't practice) and a poor cyclist. Running is a skill and it takes a while to get good. Unless a class works for you (POSE or something like that) the unfortunate part is that miles on your feet is one of the best ways to build an efficient stride and improve that skill.

The thought of a 5k row just made me throw up in my mouth a little bit. I think I did 2000m once ... once.
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Old 05-27-2008, 11:58 AM   #8
Laura Kurth
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Re: Is this normal? Running vs rowing

yeah I am the complete opposite, I've never even rowed 5k but my best 500m is 2:10 or so, and that was an all out effort. My best 400m run is about 1:20 or maybe slightly less.

I am small though which is the disadvantage.

my gigantic, relatively unfit hubby can beat me easily on the rower which i find terribly annoying
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Old 05-27-2008, 02:02 PM   #9
Kevin McMahon
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Re: Is this normal? Running vs rowing

I would say the thing with rowing compared to rowing is you really are doing less work. your weight is technically gliding across the water and you get short breaks in between each stroke. Running is constant and uses your legs almost exclusively and that in itself is very taxing. Men i would say in general are going to perform better at rows just because they are generally more developed in the upper body, which the rowing machine puts some emphasis on. i guess all-in-all rowing you are generally doing less work, with more muscles with breaks. Running you are moving your whole bdyweight the whole time with no stops in movement.

Me myself, havent done a 5k row, but i am sure i would like a 5k anything more than 5k running, i hate distance running
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Old 05-27-2008, 02:08 PM   #10
Chris Walls
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Re: Is this normal? Running vs rowing

I don't know if I'd say rowing is less work, it's just spread over your whole body, so less work done by the legs sure. I am just as wrecked and take equally long to recover after a PR 500m row as a do a PR 400m run.

edit: actually I take longer to recover from the row by quite a bit...
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Last edited by Chris Walls : 05-27-2008 at 02:09 PM. Reason: actually...
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