If you are a runner, you’ve probably heard some of your running buddies talking about using CrossFit to improve their performance. You’ve also probably seen people vehemently disagree with their assertion. CrossFit and running have been a hot, debated topic over the past few years.
The beliefs of the endurance community and fitness enthusiasts collide when this matter arises.
Can CrossFit improve your running performance?
Can it make you a stronger, better, faster runner?
To answer these questions, let’s dive into the world of CrossFit!
What is CrossFit?
CrossFit, in the simplest definition, is fitness training.
The movements in CrossFit are different from traditional gym exercises because they have multi-joint (functional) movement patterns. The exercises use multiple joints, such as knees, hips, and shoulders, to perform compound movements. These are executed at a much higher intensity than typical cross-training programs.
CrossFit workouts can be performed safely by anyone of any age or fitness level (though we recommend learning from a qualified coach!). The movements and workouts can be modified to suit anyone.
How Does CrossFit Affect a Runner’s Performance?
If you are a runner, you may love CrossFit too!
Crossfit combines powerlifting, weightlifting, strength training, and gymnastics training. These benefit the slow-twitch muscles used for long-distance and fast-twitch muscles used for sprinting.
The main problem encountered by many runners is running only works one part of the body – the legs. Over time, the repetitive one-movement pattern of running can cause an imbalance in the rest of the body which can lead to any number of injuries. If you have been in running circles long enough – chances are you have seen or experienced this first hand!
CrossFit exercises, on the other hand, involve the whole body & varying movement patterns rather than isolated muscle groups and singular modality movement patterns.
Working the entire body will help runners lose overall body fat, which will increase endurance and speed. Being lighter and stronger will also diminish the amount of impact that runners experience in each foot strike – lowering the chances of injury.
Can CrossFit make you a faster, better runner?
If you’re looking for a cross-training option, CrossFit is a great fit!
The functional exercises that CrossFit utilizes help build strength, improve the range of motion, and make everyday tasks easier to do.
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) improves strength and endurance which are essential factors in good running. In a blog post by Anurag Shahi M.D., mixing up your running with high-intensity workouts like CrossFit will lower your risk of injury and improve your overall fitness levels.
If you are wondering whether CrossFit can help you become a better runner, the best way to begin is by asking a coach for help. They can guide you along the way!
With hard work, determination, and discipline, you’ll be well on your way to a new PR!
If you’d like to learn more about how CrossFit can help prepare you to be a better runner please schedule a time to talk with one of our amazing coaches by visiting crossfitsouthpaw.com/get-started today!