Marathon Training Week 22 | How CrossFit Benefits Running

CrossFit is hard, but when I heard CrossFit benefits running I had to get back at it. Because of that I figured I would through it back into my weekly workouts. Thankfully, SpearHead CrossFit has classes on Saturday that you can go try them for free. Since I am training for a marathon, I figured I would incorporate these workouts into my training. But, how does CrossFit benefit running? Let me tell you.

One year ago I walked into a CrossFit gym to give it a try. They have what’s called The CrossFit Open where basically you do a twenty minute (or however long it takes you) workout that was created by the devil himself. Just an example, here’s exactly what the workout was:

Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 20 minutes of:
25-ft. overhead walking lunge
8 burpees
25-ft. overhead walking lunge
8 chest-to-bar pull-ups

Men lunge 95 lb.
Women lunge 65 lb.

Well, I did it. I thought I was going to die, but I finished. Instantly, I fell in love with this style of workouts. The fact that it was over after 20 miserable minutes, but felt like I had workout out harder than I ever did before. That hooked m to CrossFit, but when you are trying to buy a house you have to make some cuts to the budget.

After running every single day for months now, I knew it was time to make some changes to improve my running. Especially since it’s still colder outside. I want to get workouts in that strengthen my running muscles (legs, core, back). But does CrossFit really benefit runners? Sure does!

Last week the open started again and I thought, I should just sign up to switch things up again. When I saw the workout I thought to myself, this doesn’t look so bad. I mean, look for yourself:

For time:
10 dumbbell snatches
15 burpee box jump-overs
20 dumbbell snatches
15 burpee box jump-overs
30 dumbbell snatches
15 burpee box jump-overs
40 dumbbell snatches
15 burpee box jump-overs
50 dumbbell snatches
15 burpee box jump-overs

Men use 50-lb. dumbbell and 24-in. box

Time cap: 20 minutes

When I looked up what the moves actually were I figured, this was going to be pretty simple. With all the running, my cardio is pretty good so I thought I would be fine. Wrong!

You get in there and get going. It’s great because everyone is round you cheering, but you are doing movements that you haven’t done before. The box jumps were simple, but to do a burpee before doing the jump is a little much. And the snatches weren’t as bad as I thought they would be. Still, I didn’t finish it. I was exhausted and felt the workout the entire weekend.

But let’s say you don’t do the open. Can you still do CrossFit to benefit your running? Absolutely. What are the best CrossFit exercises for runners? Back Squats, Weighted Lunges, Deadlifts, GHD Situps and back Extensions. Really, strengthening your legs, core and back you are going to improve your run.

They are simple movements that will make a huge difference in your running. I know that as I incorporate this back into my workouts I will get to a place where I will be excited about running Ragnar and a full marathon. For now though, I think the fear is starting to set in.


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