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F.A.Q.

Why should I start training this way?

Are your times CONSISTENTLY getting faster at ALL distances (what was your last 5k time compared to a year ago)?
How high can you jump?
How many push-ups/pull-ups/squats/etc. can a you do?
Have you, or are you, suffering from chronic-use injuries (plantar fascists, IT Syndrome, runners knee, etc.)?
How many hours do you train per week? 
How many hours does your spouse/family wish you trained? (This program only requires 6-8 hours per week to COMPETE at Ultra/Ironman distances.) 

Why are there no long runs/rides/swims (aerobic training) in this type of training?
Long runs/rides/swims fall into the category of training we term “long slow distance” (LSD) and is solely aerobic in nature.

Aerobic training has the following benefits and drawbacks:

BENEFITS

DRAWBACKS

• Increased cardiovascular function • Decreased muscle mass
• Better fat utilization • Decreased strength
  • Decreased power
  • Decreased speed
  • Decreased anaerobic capacity
  • Decreased testosterone levels

It is apparent that the many drawbacks of LSD training easily overpower the limited benefits. It is our contention that limiting an athlete’s exposure to LSD training will allow them to remain not only functionally competent in other areas of fitness and competitive in aerobic endurance pursuits, but DOMINATE in ALL areas of fitness.

How do I start?

The first step is to become a member of a CrossFit Gym (CrossFit Cache Valley is where we train).  Then, with PROGRESSION you should be able to handle a CrossFit workout as it is prescribed (with little to no scaling) 4-6 times per week and then CrossFit Endurance workouts on top of that.  PROGRESSION is the key and good coaching will provide you with the skills and tools you need to succeed.

If you have been training LSD for some time to make the transition into this program you will need to gently progress into it. You are fragile, and this is not a conventional strength and conditioning.

Once you can handle the workouts by progressing them, you should then be doing CrossFit Endurance workouts 2-3 times per week for a single sport and for multisport athletes, 2 workouts per sport per week.  PERIOD! Anything more and you are not following this training method correctly.

Why is there so much anaerobic/sprint/speed work if I am going to run/ride/swim in a long endurance event?

Anaerobic/sprint/speed work, often thrown in at the end of many traditional training programs as a supplement.  This incorrectly assumes that this type of training is of limited value, which is an incorrect assumption.
“Anaerobic Training” has the following benefits and drawbacks:

BENEFITS

DRAWBACKS

• Increased cardiovascular function • Intensity can speed up overtraining
• Decreased body fat  
• Increased muscle mass  
• Increased strength  
• Increased power  
• Increased speed

• Increased anaerobic capacity

 

 

Anaerobic training encapsulates training the Adenosine Tri-Phosphate (ATP), ATP / Phospho-creatine system, the lactic acid system, and the aerobic system through various methods that stress one system, two systems, or multiple systems. The time length of the individual efforts combined with the rest periods between efforts determines the system/s stressed. As demonstrated by the graph, the systems overlap and “feed” into each other. Notice that as you are training all three anaerobic systems you are SIMULATANEOUSLY training your aerobic engine!

Studies demonstrate that the adaptations caused by anaerobic training are similar to high volume endurance training, however, this adaptation comes at much lower training volumes! (Similar metabolic adaptations during exercise after low volume sprint interval and traditional endurance training in humans. J Physiol. 2008 Jan 1;586(1):151-60. Epub 2007 Nov 8.)

Since I don’t want to put a lot of muscle on for my endurance events, should I use very light weight when doing the CrossFit workouts?
NO! CrossFit improves work capacity across broad time and modal demands by providing a constantly varied stimulus that often requires your body to work at maximal capacity. By lowering the weights below what you can safely handle with good form (at maximal capacity it is normal for your form to falter), you will never reach the intensity necessary to provide the type of systemic stimulus we are looking for.

I am not interested in doing CrossFit. Can I do _______ Program instead? What about bicep curls standing on BOSU balls?
CrossFit IS the workout and training for this endurance program. IT IS NOT A SUPPLEMENT TO THE PROGRAM.  Therefore if you are not willing to do CrossFit, you are unlikely to see the benefits from this program.  

Studies show (Explosive-strength training improves 5-km running time by improving running economy and muscle power. J Appl Physiol. 1999 May;86(5):1527-33.) that explosive, anaerobic training improves endurance capability.  

I am training 10-20+ hours a week, I don’t think I can put any more training time in, so how am I supposed to do CrossFit and this running program?
We are glad you have realized this. We are not asking you to put this on as an ADDITIONAL training method. We are telling you that this is ALL the training that is required. Therefore, change your daily workouts to the CrossFit WODs that we do, take a rest if it is a rest day, and let us help you program your endurance workouts for your sport specific training. See next answer for how to start.

I am a recovering LSD Addict, where should I start?
1st LEARN THE SKILL of your sport. Become a better runner, cyclist, swimmer or rower by learning the best techniques. We can help you with this.
2nd LEARN TO UNDERSTAND INTENSITY. As a coach we can help you find that place and push you to the intensity level you need to get to.
3rd LEARN HOW TO HANDLE VOLUME. Do the workout we provide as they are prescribed. By doing this you will be prepared to compete at your best.

SKILL: We use the run technique principles that have proven not to aid in injury and increase performance. It applies to all sports and the principles are transferable. Work on basic motor skills for your sport.

Running: We teach and practice running mechanics based on several proven methods. If you are not running this way you are hurting yourself and hindering your performance.

How should I start incorporating CrossFit into my workout plan? I tried CrossFit and I can’t do more than one WOD a week because I am so sore!
Talk to us and take as much recovery as you need. You need to and will get to the point of being able to handle 4-6 CrossFit workouts per week with little to no scaling. Shoot for one day on, one day off; then two days on, one day off; then the prescribed three days on, one day off.

Next put one day CrossFit plus the CrossFit Endurance WOD in the same day, one day off; two days CrossFit plus CrossFit Endurance, one day off; three days CrossFit plus CrossFit Endurance, one day off.  

Work up to being able to do 4-6 CrossFit workouts per week. This process may take a month or more. Do not rush your body. Let it learn what you are now demanding of it. It will adapt.

Don’t assume you need to do a lot of sport specific training… we have plenty of elite level athletes who CrossFit more then they train for there sport. Your number one goal should be to CrossFit 4-6 times per week… 2nd goal is to have the ability to do 2-3 sport specific workouts per week. Tempo or Time Trial days should always be on a CrossFit rest day.

Take the time to learn the skills, or in some cases relearn them.

How am I going to become efficient at running if I am not running long distances?

The answer to this question has two parts – the first refers to the concept of specificity and the second is about third wave adaptations.

Specificity is the physiological theory that one must train a specific muscle/movement in order to develop strength and efficiency in that muscle movement. CrossFit avoids this to avoid third wave adaptations (see below) so as to produce athletes that are “generalists” rather than specialized in one area. By CrossFitting you will retain the generalist approach. While completing focused anaerobic endurance training you will develop the third wave adaptations necessary to become efficient at your sport/s.

Third wave adaptations occur through repetitive exposure to movements. It allows the body to become extremely efficient at movement. In endurance training the traditional belief is that the more you run, the more efficient you will become. This is not correct. Studies show that running economy will be improved more through anaerobic training than endurance training (Explosive-strength training improves 5-km running time by improving running economy and muscle power. J Appl Physiol. 1999 May;86(5):1527-33.).  

Stamina replaces LSD or aerobic training!
Workout Of the Day

What does WOD mean?

I am a barefoot runner, how should I change the running workouts?
Don’t. Your only consideration would be to ensure that some of your training volume be conducted on a training surface that reflects the surface where you wish to compete. For example, don’t run solely on grass if you expect to run a marathon on hot concrete. At the same time, you don’t have to conduct all of your training on concrete, just enough to prepare your feet.

What type of shoes should I wear?
Racing Flats or as little a shoe as possible… Studies demonstrate that barefoot runners are more efficient, and have a lower rate of injury in their lower limbs. A good introduction can be found at http://sportsci.org/jour/0103/mw.htm

How should I plan my week?
First, have a plan. If you are a client we will work on this plan together to optimize your training for the best performance. Second, know before you go! If CrossFit has a really tough WOD and you are ruined or will be the next day it would be a good idea to completely rest or do something easy. Also, know the days you will be resting or have the ability to do tempo/time trial work on those days. Bottom line is listen to your body!

If you need to do tempo/time trial stuff on the weekends plan accordingly… Write out your week and have the ability to make minor changes if needed.

What are the signs of overtraining?

Not sleeping, eating, mood swings, you are pushing as hard as you can and getting mediocre or poor results. These are just a few sins of the infinite number of things that can come from overtraining. Be aware of them, and know that you are responsible for understanding this and listening to your body.

More is not better, and rest/recovery is the reason you get faster.

Above is the list of frequently asked questions from the CrossFit Endurance website.  Since I was trained by them and follow there methodology, I get some of these same questions.  I have adapted some of these answers to fit with my training style, but my methods are the same.  Bottom line this training works! – Paul

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