CrossFit Makes Great Cross-training for Runners
If you're a runner, you probably think about adding cross-training into your routine. But you have limited time to train, and the "rules" say that to get better at running, you need to run. While that's definitely the case, we'd offer that CrossFit is a great supplement to your training, and here are a few reasons why:
- You'll learn to strength train properly. If you've never lifted weights before, it can be intimidating to start on your own. In CrossFit, your coach will help you learn the correct form for both olympic and power lifts, along with various other moves to give you a strong base.
- After you learn form, you'll reap the benefits and actually get stronger. Sure, putting on 15 pounds of muscle probably wouldn't affect your running in a great way, but how about just strengthening your legs and core? Unless you make a concious effort to bulk up (think: eating lots of calories) starting CrossFit a couple times a week will make you stronger, not bigger.
- If running is your goal, CrossFit can be a good place to start if you need to get into a little better shape to actually be able to run. The mix of the workouts along with the supportive community make it a good place to work on your overall fitness and weight loss goals.
- Running takes mental toughness, and so does CrossFit. Our workouts can be brutal, and training your brain to let your body do the work is probably the hardest part. Getting deep into CrossFit workouts and then finishing them trains that toughness element—especially if you started out thinking there was no way you could do it.
One of our members, Karen, has been cross-training both running (she just completed a half marathon) and at CrossFit several times a week. She said:
"I 100% credit CrossFit with setting a new half marathon PR. My previous PR was set in 2009, the first time I ran a half. I've been running on and off since 2009 and have never even come close to a new PR. A lot of runners neglect strength training, they believe if you want to be good at running you run, but I know as you get stronger you become a better runner. CF has also made me more committed to running and I believe it has also helped with endurance.
"Another positive is the mental aspect. In CF you have to use your brain a lot! In distance running it's easy to get down on yourself but I found it easier to encourage myself this time around, I'm pretty sure it's because I kept thinking about being cheered on, just like I am at the box."
She also wanted to note the other side of the coin: "Running has helped my CF too! One of the biggest benefits I noticed is I'm not as sore as I used to be before I ran regularly."
If you're interested in supplementing your runs with regular strength training, we'd invite you to come try our Endure program, developed specifically for runners. We start on April 18th, and would love to have you. Find more information about it here.