Can Running and CrossFit Coexist?

Timed Mile 4-21-13

4 months ago, when I started my CrossFit Elements classes at CrossFit Amplify, I definitely identified myself as a runner who was trying CrossFit. 3 months of actual practice in, I felt like a CrossFitter who runs. In the last couple of weeks, the pendulum has swung back again.

Amanda wrote a post about running and Crossfit several months ago over at MissZippy — her take?
“I think you can do both marathon training and CrossFit, as long as you let one take the bigger priority. In my case, of course, marathon training is number one on the list. CrossFit, for me, is a way to gain some muscle, work on weaknesses, and thus enhance my running.”
This is my thinking as well right now. There are others (like Coach Mike at my box), who don’t believe you need to run to perform well at it, that CrossFit is enough. Coming from a man with a 19:50 5K PR, maybe there is some truth to it.

I decided to put it to the test. I’ve been going to the box pretty consistently since the New Year, but only run 11 times for a total of 38ish miles. Not what I would consider run training. In previous years, after some good run training over the winter, my PR for a spring mile was 7:22 – yup, not fast, but reasonable.

I headed over to our high school track yesterday, using the jog over as my warmup, as I had done in the past. Hit Garmin, start running, 4 laps later: 7:20. All things considered, pretty happy with that. Still not fast, but felt pretty strong the whole way through — I think CrossFit has not only strengthened me fitness-wise, but also mentally.

Laima and I are training for a fall marathon, with some tune-up races along the way. I’ll definitely ramp up my run training,  but will also try to get CrossFit in 2-3 times a week — not only do I still enjoy the novelty and pushing of the envelope, it definitely has made me stronger, which will only help my running.

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8 thoughts on “Can Running and CrossFit Coexist?

  1. Good results! I think there is no question it can help with quick speed…where it may fall short, though, is endurance. I think you can't substitute the long runs w/ CF.


  2. As you know, I've been debating this also and thus far, I've been amazed at how much CrossFit has helped my running. I won't make a final decision until after my half in August, but my training runs and everything have just been easier and quicker!


  3. Solid spring benchmark! I know that strength training in general (crossfit or otherwise) would help me a lot. I will try to focus on it later this year. I'm sure with mixing in some more running, you are going to ROCK your marathon this fall!


  4. That is a great time for a mile! And I totally think CrossFit and running can coexist 🙂 It's basically running and strength training. They SHOULD coexist.


  5. I think they can and should coexist also!! I can't wait to do both again – hopefully soon…. Yeah, odds all you'll have a priority of one over the other, but that is perfectly fine too. I think for 10k or under, you could easily use CF as your “speed work” workouts. I am really interested to see how I do once I can get back to actually working out and running. Glad to hear you'll still be able to fit in the schedule!


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