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Old 12-08-2008, 01:21 PM   #1
Adam D Moore
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I need help dialing in my workout for max results (military)

Hello everyone. I have been lurking on this site for a while as it is a great source of information. After searching the board and experimenting with my workouts, I feel that now is the time to get everyone's advice on the best way to maximize my workouts for top results.

Background: My previous workout routines consisted of the standard 3x10 sets of body building type exercises and machines and running 15-20 miles a week.

In August of this year I began following the main page WOD's that I scaled to match my ability with no additional running (usually pack or porch never scaled any sprints or running). I have no experience with the olympic and power lifts, however, I did my best watching videos to attempt them.

After a few months of attempting the lifts whenever they would come up in the WOD, I came to the conclusion that I was doing more harm than good and decided to stop doing them until I could get proper coaching (I am in Iraq).

I continued with the modified WOD's and only executed the lifts that I was comfortable with, mainly the presses and cleans and had great results. I went from 205 to 189 by going 3 on 1 off and following a loose Paleo diet.

In November, I took the Army Physical Fitness Test and my run time had increased (gotten slower) by almost 45 seconds. I was not able to complete an easy four mile run without considerable effort. Running is an activity I enjoy and as a Soldier I need to be able to run upwards of 10K as part of the job, especially in the career field I am pursuing.

I started following Hal Higdon's Intermediate 10K training program wfs
and my run has steadily improved. I am attempting to supplement this with four to five WOD's a week but am having trouble completing them after the runs. I tried doing the WOD's before the run but that was a disaster.

Am I overdoing it? I don't feel like I am making any strength gains. Am I stuck here until I can add all the big lifts to my routine? I would love to give Cross Fit Endurance a shot but I don't have time to hit the gym twice a day. Can I disregard the break between workouts and still see results.

I realize this is a lot of questions and I appreciate you taking the time to read it. Does anyone/ military/ former military have any advice on how to strike the balance between getting faster over medium distances while gaining strength? Thanks for your time and consideration
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Old 12-08-2008, 02:19 PM   #2
Brian Bedell
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Re: I need help dialing in my workout for max results (military)

I don't know shizzle about running, but I'll throw my two cents in anyway, this is the internet after all!

I don't really understand how your run time could have gone down doing CF. Isn't the Army test 2 miles? I would attribute it to overtraining, IMO.

As far as time available to work out for your 10K goal, doing wods, etc; I recommend looking into some of the interval training that is being advocated on CFE by whatever that guy who runs that site is. Seems like the newest research/technology supports a different training philosophy then LSD. I do believe there is a recent journal article as well on endurance training. You ARE subscribed to the journal aren't you?!
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Old 12-08-2008, 04:02 PM   #3
Caleb Johnson
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Re: I need help dialing in my workout for max results (military)

Hey Adam,
Marine here. I understand the frustration of seeing your run times get worse, but I think this is the case for most people in the military who are coming from a very run-centric program to an overall fitness based one. Here are some things that have worked well for me.

Option #1: Do your long runs in the morning, and CrossFit later in the day, or vice versa. This is time consuming, and can lead to over-training if done wrong, but if you've been working out for a while, you should know how to listen to your body well enough to avoid that.

Option #2: Program runs into your CrossFit workouts. Do more "Helen" and "Eva" type workouts, and really push it on the runs.

Option #3: Visit the Navy SEAL CrossFit site. They do a LOT of running in their WODs.

Option #4: Accept that in general, the military will always be years behind in their outlook on fitness. I'd rather lose a few points on the long run portion of a PFT, but be able to sprint 200 meters to cover in 130 degree heat while carrying a 100lb ruck.
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Old 12-08-2008, 06:37 PM   #4
Dennis Godfrey
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Re: I need help dialing in my workout for max results (military)

I am in the army and have been doing cross fit for about 3 months. I travel a lot so don't get to follow a strict program but always try to get in at least 5 time a week. My run has improved by 1 min and 30 sec over that time frame. I will admit that I was not that fast to start out so that may be why. But I feel confident that I will keep improving. I try and throw in a CFE work 1 or 2 times a week too.

good luck
Lead from the front!
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Old 12-10-2008, 11:59 AM   #5
Dan Cerrillo
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Re: I need help dialing in my workout for max results (military)


Former Frogman here, Caleb is right has some great running workouts. But like you my run times were lacking and getting slower as I got older and Iraq miles started to wear on me. I started to follow the WOD's religiosly and tuning all my 400's and 800's into sprints instead of recovery runs. That is the key when a WOD says 400 or 800 it isn't a jog its a hard sprint. It takes time to build up but once you do you will see dramatic improvement on your long distance runs.

At our affiliate we dont run long distance very often yet all of our folks continue to drop there run times each and every time they go out.

As far as your lifts start light and I mean very light. Practice with a broom stick and then go to the bar. If you are still in country find the local spec ops guys most of them are hardcore CF people. If you still have specific questions I am also an online coach for

One last thing in concerns to the lifting, its just like shooting, practice makes perfect and muscle memory is key. Be safe brother and keep your head down.
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Old 12-10-2008, 01:00 PM   #6
Randy Kite
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Re: I need help dialing in my workout for max results (military)


Great advice so far.

My APFT scores are the best of my career and all I do is the HQ WOD and CFE three to four times a week.

I max push ups and sit ups easily and only need to drop a few seconds off my run to max it as well.

I had not run for several weeks prior to my last APFT.
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Old 12-11-2008, 12:05 PM   #7
Adam D Moore
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Re: I need help dialing in my workout for max results (military)

Thanks guys for the great responses. Five weeks into the Hal Higdon 10K plan and I am not looking forward to another day of four mile runs at a comfortable pace. You all have reaffirmed what I already knew. Crossfit is the way to go. After re-examining my current program, I believe that my worsening run times are from a combination of factors (not hitting the WOD hard enough, not dialing in nutrition for optimum performance, ect.) Thanks again for the help!
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Old 12-11-2008, 12:19 PM   #8
Tom Fetter
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Re: I need help dialing in my workout for max results (military)

Maybe look hard at whether the Hal Higdon plan is really what you need, or whether you'd be better off doing the CrossFit Endurance work if you're truly concerned about your running. It's designed to complement what you're already doing in WODs, without overtraining you.
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Old 12-11-2008, 07:41 PM   #9
David Reed
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Re: I need help dialing in my workout for max results (military)

Not sure what this means so take it for what you will, but I ran a 27:00 minute 5k in high school running 5 times a week, and now running twice a week with CrossFit it's 22:34. I would really look into CFE, it'll help make sure you don't overtrain and probably improve your speed (unless you're already sub 6 minute mile pace)

BTW this is contrary to a lot of the advice given here, but if you're running on the side you actually want to do LESS metcon workouts and MORE strength/lifting workouts; the reason being that running turns into your metcon. At least this is what Brian McKenzie said, and it's been working well for me. I guess that's not much of an option until you get more comfortable with the lifts though.
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Old 12-12-2008, 12:57 AM   #10
Jason Lopez-Ota
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Re: I need help dialing in my workout for max results (military)

I ran a 5k in 18:08 when I was doing crossfit+zone diet. Right now I'm too lazy to zone. Check out the zone diet if you are very motivated.
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