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Old 01-20-2011, 12:12 PM   #1
Miguel Angel Cortes
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Question Will CrossFit & Endurance Sports Work Together?

Heeeeello CrossFit [forum members]!!

Not sure how to start this aside from saying I am new to this discussion board (sounds fancy enough) and I want to be a CrossFit athlete.

Before joining this forum, I read what CrossFit is about and it screamed my name. It seems to be a challenge that reeks with benefits (and torn skin). The issue is that I am a little unsure of how to introduce CrossFit without affecting my other plans.

Iím a marathon runner working up to be a triathlete. I plan to run at least 50 marathons in 50 states plus an Ironman. Although these are incredible sports, I do fear the following quote which I got from CrossFit's FAQ section:

Quote:
Endurance athletes are woefully lacking in total physical capacity.
My goal is to be the best athlete that I can be: I must be fast, have long lasting energy, be flexible and, of course, not be weak. Using other resources/programs, I am training to build up mass & strength. All this may go to waste once I start running long distances.

So, do you think it is possible for me to add mass/strength without jeopardizing my running/speed using CrossFit? Are there any other marathoners/triathletes here? What about martial art or MMA athletes (a goal I will pursue this year as well)? What about nutrition i.e. starches? Any and all opinions and/or advice will be GREATLY welcomed.

Thanks!
MAC
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Old 01-20-2011, 03:44 PM   #2
Diego Sommariva
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Re: Will CrossFit & Endurance Sports Work Together?

Hi Miguel Angel,
There's a branch of CrossFit called CrossFit Endurance http://www.crossfitendurance.com (WFS) which tells you what you have to do depending on your specialty and distance to train for strength as well as endurance. It's a bit complicated at first but after checking it out for a while you'll get the gist of what it entails.

Regarding MMA, CrossFit and martial arts have been merged successfully for quite a while now. You can only benefit from better conditioning and strength when doing martial arts, so rest your mind on this.

Mass. Why? Do you need it? CrossFit will get you into great shape, you will certainly add some mass, but this is not bodybuilding. Do crossFit, add some strength training, and you're set.

Starches. As little as possible. Eat lean meats, veggies, some fruit, nuts and seeds. Eggs too. Keep it simple. Potatoes, rice, pastas are not part of our diet, but if you need them, keep them to once a week.

And that's about it.


Diego
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Old 01-20-2011, 04:44 PM   #3
Miguel Angel Cortes
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Re: Will CrossFit & Endurance Sports Work Together?

Thanks Diego. I did cross by CrossFit Endurance but I figured it was not going to include much strength. I am reading through it and it got my attention so far.

That is great news about MMA & CrossFit. I expect to start both this year. Only time will tell on the overall results I'll get.

The only reason I want mass is to add some weight. Since junior high (1997) I've been 135. In the past year, I was able to add 10lbs which only 6 or 7 stuck. Being thin is not a curse or anything but being at 155 would be just right for me. Not many say this but it's tough to add some lbs.

Starches is the only concern for me so far. I eat healthy as is. During my marathon training, I was advised to eat more starches - to burn off for long distances. It has worked a great deal but I read in this site that starches don't promote much support for strength work. So I am stuck between a rock and a hard place with it. Your advice about eating it when I need it (a day before a long distance day) will help me a lot in being ok without eating starches.

Thanks for the input!
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Old 01-20-2011, 04:59 PM   #4
Domenic Fruci
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Re: Will CrossFit & Endurance Sports Work Together?

CF Endurance has a Strength and Conditioning WOD that is added (usually 3 hours before or after) to the main endurance WOD. It is located in the right corner of the main sites page.
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Old 01-20-2011, 06:25 PM   #5
Miguel Angel Cortes
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Re: Will CrossFit & Endurance Sports Work Together?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Domenic Fruci View Post
CF Endurance has a Strength and Conditioning WOD that is added (usually 3 hours before or after) to the main endurance WOD. It is located in the right corner of the main sites page.
Awesome! I would have missed that assuming it would be the regular CF endurance WOD.
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Old 01-20-2011, 06:51 PM   #6
Katherine Derbyshire
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Re: Will CrossFit & Endurance Sports Work Together?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Miguel Angel Cortes View Post
Starches is the only concern for me so far. I eat healthy as is. During my marathon training, I was advised to eat more starches - to burn off for long distances. It has worked a great deal but I read in this site that starches don't promote much support for strength work. So I am stuck between a rock and a hard place with it. Your advice about eating it when I need it (a day before a long distance day) will help me a lot in being ok without eating starches.
If you're doing high volume aerobic training -- which would include both marathon training and most martial arts classes -- you'll need more carbs than someone only doing Crossfit. Potentially a lot more, so don't feel like you have to follow the anti-carb crowd if it's not working for you.

With that volume, you are unlikely to gain weight, by the way. You'll need to eat a lot just to maintain. If adding size is a priority for you, probably best to minimize running for the time being.

Katherine
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Old 01-20-2011, 07:20 PM   #7
Eric Montgomery
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Re: Will CrossFit & Endurance Sports Work Together?

Check out Cordain's "Paleo Diet for Athletes" book--it's been adopted by a lot of CFers, but it's really geared more towards endurance athletes. Yes, you'll need more carbs than a standard CFer, and starchy stuff like sweet potatoes are one of the better options.

Don't worry too much about the "endurance athletes are lacking" comment. Yes, they're lacking in terms of how CF defines fitness (ICWABTAMD, 10 general skills, etc.) but that's only because they're specializing in the type of fitness they need to be successful in their sport. Since CF advocates a generalized, all-around fitness as the best goal for everyday people, it looks down on specialists--but that's not to say that Lance Armstrong or Kendrick Farris aren't good athletes just because they don't fit CF's standard of what fitness is. They're good athletes for their own goals and sports.
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Old 01-21-2011, 09:50 AM   #8
Miguel Angel Cortes
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Re: Will CrossFit & Endurance Sports Work Together?

Thank you Katherine & Eric about the encouragement with starches. I guess I double guessed myself since all I've been hearing recently is "little - no starches".

Quote:
Originally Posted by Katherine Derbyshire
With that volume, you are unlikely to gain weight, by the way. You'll need to eat a lot just to maintain. If adding size is a priority for you, probably best to minimize running for the time being.
I can't say that I didn't know this already. It's been a tough struggle just to keep the 5-7lbs I've gained in the last year. It fluctuates a lot (between 1 or 2 lbs).

I will take some time off, maybe 3 months, from a hard core cardio with the hopes to add some mass to me. If not, then it won't be too much of a let down because I knew endurance athletes tend to stay thin.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Montgomery
Check out Cordain's "Paleo Diet for Athletes" book--it's been adopted by a lot of CFers, but it's really geared more towards endurance athletes. Yes, you'll need more carbs than a standard CFer, and starchy stuff like sweet potatoes are one of the better options
Awesome! I will look more into this book.
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Old 01-21-2011, 02:56 PM   #9
Diego Sommariva
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Re: Will CrossFit & Endurance Sports Work Together?

The ultra distance runner Dean Karnazes does the Zone Diet. He loads up on hi octane fat the day before a run and uses that as energy (greasy hamburgers, fries, etc.). I'm not sure if this includes starches. Here's a snippet of what I just mentioned:

Quote:
Dean Karnazes is a great example of the ability of the Zone Diet to cause adaptations to one's physiology to give them unique advantages in athletic performance,Ě Dr. Sears said. Dean follows the Zone Diet exceptionally faithfully, yet during his ultra-marathon runs, he consistently consumes high-fat junk food. What gives? By following the Zone Diet, he is adapting his body to burn fat preferentially as opposed to carbohydrates to make the chemical energy (ATP) needed for muscle contraction. During an ultra-marathon, by consuming high-fat (i.e. high-octane) junk food, he can produce extraordinary amounts of ATP. His competitors, who are adapted to burning carbohydrates (i.e. low octane fuel), will make far less ATP than will Dean. This means one thing: He will always have far more energy than they will. Fortunately for Dean, it is unlikely they will ever learn this basic fact of metabolism.
Apart from this I've had great results adding weight by just eating more calories (clean calories btw, lean meats, veggies, fruit, nuts, and one cheat day a week) and doing strength work, but not everything works for everyone, so you'll have to run your own tests :P

In any case good luck and hope you enjoy the ride


Diego
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Old 01-21-2011, 03:22 PM   #10
Miguel Angel Cortes
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Re: Will CrossFit & Endurance Sports Work Together?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Diego Sommariva View Post
The ultra distance runner Dean Karnazes does the Zone Diet. He loads up on hi octane fat the day before a run and uses that as energy (greasy hamburgers, fries, etc.). I'm not sure if this includes starches. Here's a snippet of what I just mentioned:

Apart from this I've had great results adding weight by just eating more calories (clean calories btw, lean meats, veggies, fruit, nuts, and one cheat day a week) and doing strength work, but not everything works for everyone, so you'll have to run your own tests :P

In any case good luck and hope you enjoy the ride
Oh very inetresting! Do you have a link to where you got your quote from? I can eat high-octane stuff!

Zone Diet - this may be something I will look into.

Thanks for the advice. I sure hope everything I am stacking to my goals work out for the best!
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