Does CrossFit improve your running?

Comparison of Running before and after CrossFit

After running a half marathon, I decided to try CrossFit for a while.  Several of the CrossFit members agreed to run a half marathon together in Austin in mid-February.  I decided to join them to see if I can complete a half marathon in less than two hours.

I was concerned about meeting that goal because I have not run more than the running in the prescribed WOD (Workout of the Day).  You can see the daily workouts on the WOD blog. Only once was the running more than two sets of 800 meters, so I have not been running much at all with CrossFit.  Most of the METCON (metabolic conditioning) workouts at CrossFit Elevate are 20 minutes, but occasionally they take up to about 30 minutes depending on how fast you can finish the WOD.

So today, Christmas day, I decided to step out into the misty weather and see how I would compare to my last 45 minute run-walk-run training from just before the marathon on October 12th.  That run I was pushing the pace to show myself how far I had come during the Galloway training program.  By the way, I had already added 3/4 of a mile during the prior four months to the same 45 minute run (see June 1st’s data), so I had already made excellent progress in increasing pace before October.

Today, after doing nothing besides CrossFit for just under two months, I ran an additional half mile in the same 45 minute period (RunKeeper data).  The two data summaries for comparison are at the top of the post. That shows a definite improvement in run time over the last two months.

I am pleased that CrossFit seems to have kept me in condition to do mid-level runs without needing to run more than the WOD. To finish training for the half marathon, I will add only one long run per week for the next six weeks and an occasional 45 minute run. I want to see if I can beat my half marathon time of 2:02. The runs long will match the last six weeks of the Jeff Galloway program that I just completed.  I wish I would have given myself an additional two to four weeks, but I have to start where I am since there is a deadline.  I’ll post how it turns out — hopefully I can say that I took those two minutes off my time.

Of course this is just one case study, so if you don’t think it would work for you, the only way to find out is to join a CrossFit gym and try it for yourself.

 

UPDATE

I ran a longer run and compared it back to my run during my summer half marathon training. Below are the results… I ran one mile per minute faster pace on this same Run-Walk-Run training program.

Pst-CrossFit Running Data Comparison

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