Sunday, November 28, 2010

CrossFit...more proof that it works

I've previously gone all blahblahblah on you on the wonders of CrossFit as a fitness system, but yesterday I learned, once again, just how good it is. See, I used to be a runner years ago, but the daily grind really wore me down. Once I hit my forties, my joints were always sore and the repetitive-motion injuries that daily distance running was causing me were simply not worth it. Eventually, I started doing anything but run -- ellipticals, stair climbers, whatever. Then I started doing CrossFit, ditched all the old gym routines and went whole-hog with their integrated system of strength training and metcons that involved all sorts of fast, intense intervals of rowing, sprinting, weights, etc. Yesterday it paid off.

I ran the Haddon Township, NJ Turkey Trot, and, as an experiment, did absolutely no distance running beforehand other than ordinary CrossFit training, in which the longest "distance" I ran was one mile consisting of 4x400m as part of a larger metcon workout. The last time I ran as far as 5k before yesterday was the Warrior Dash on October 10 of this year. OK, in the interest of full disclosure, I should make clear that, when training for that race (i.e., the Warrior Dash back in October) I once ran 4.5 miles, and once ran 5k, divided up into 12-400m runs separated by pushups, pullups, lunges, etc., but, still, in the last year, prior to yesterday, I'm sure I hadn't run more than 15 miles total for the whole year, and it's probably more like 10. Just CrossFit, baby.

And it worked out great. I was never a speed demon, and I haven't run a 5k in years, but I still came in at 22:57 (or, if you believe the stupid chip timer that didn't work right, 23:02), which is less than a minute slower than a 5k that I ran when I was eight years younger and, most importantly, running all the time. And I know I could have run faster yesterday, but I held back just a little because the course was so badly marked that I never saw a one-mile or two-mile marker and was vaguely freaked out wondering how far we'd gone. So anyway, whoo-hoo CrossFit! You made a non-runner like me run almost as fast as when I was a daily runner. And I am not nearly as sore. Nice.

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