Power and speed are critical components to success in the endurance world. With careful planning, our strength and conditioning plan increases these two mainstays of performance while decreasing recovery time, reducing injury, promoting preservation of lean tissue and creating a more sustainable performance curve.
We focus on eliminating unnecessary volume of training while increasing intensity. Our programming is structured, sport-specific and seamlessly integrated with Olympic lifts, powerlifting, gymnastics movements, explosive activity and mobility-based support. Everything we do focuses on midline stabilization and working from inside to out.
Our strength and conditioning approach for endurance athletes is unparalleled. We incorporate the CrossFit fundamentals of being constantly varied. Repetition is the enemy and results in a decreased ability to build fitness.
Make no doubt. Our program is not easy. But we believe the journey is part of making the results more rewarding. Our design is to maximize you as an athlete and to elevate your fitness.
Our commitment to you is that we will coach, inspire, lead and educate with care, sincerity and a relentless motivation to finally get you where you want to go!
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? (Many marathoners cannot jump onto a 12 inch box.)
How many push-ups/pull-ups/squats/etc. can you do? We can do more.
Have you, or are you, suffering from chronic-use injuries (plantar fasciatis, 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:
|• Increased cardiovascular function||• Decreased muscle mass|
|• Better fat utilization||• Decreased strength|
|• Greater capillarization||• Decreased power|
|• Increased Mitochondrial growth||• 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?
Our suggestion is this… Running: Start with 8 x 200m repeats working up to 4-5 x 800m repeats. Bike: Start with 8-10 x 1/4-mile repeats working up to 4-5 x 2k repeats. Swimming: Start with 10 x 50m/y working up to 10 x 100m/y. Rowing: Start with 8 X 500m repeats working up to 4-5 X 1K repeats…… Meaning you should be able to handle this workout and a CrossFit workout in one day. PROGRESSION is the key.
For Stamina (tempo and time trial) you should be working on building from about 10 minutes to 90 minutes depending on the distance. You will never really need to train much further than the 90-minute mark if you are working hard enough.
Do not be fooled in thinking you only have to train for stamina for 10-90 minutes. If you are a triathlete trying to make the transition into this program you will need to gently progress into it. You are fragile, and this is not conventional strength and conditioning.
Once you can handle the workouts by progressing them, you should then be following this site 2-3 times per week for a single sport and up to 6 workouts per week for triathlon.
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, incorrectly assumes that this type of training is of limited value.
“Anaerobic Training” has the following benefits and 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 SIMULTANEOUSLY 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; this is ALL the training that is required. Therefore, change your daily workouts to the WODs (and rest if it is a rest day), and then follow our Endurance WOD for your specific training. See next answer for how to start.
I am a recovering Long Slow Distance Addict, where should I start?
LEARN THE SKILL, LEARN TO UNDERSTAND INTENSITY, LEARN HOW TO HANDLE VOLUME.
SKILL: We use the run technique principles that have proven not to aide 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!
Take as much recovery as you need.
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 sport. Your number one goal should be to follow the strength and CF components of the program… 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 Strength/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!
What does WOD mean?
Workout Of the Day
I am in the military and I need to ruck/run in boots/carry logs long distances – should I do this in addition to the running?
No – the same principles apply. Go short, and go hard. Learn the technique, then do it fast, then you can do it long. Ruck marching long distances has more to do with muscular endurance than with cardiovascular fitness. Muscular endurance can be trained more efficiently by CrossFit than by walking for miles.
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
Why 3+hours between Wods?
We have the 3+ hour recovery time set up just for that reason, Recover! These intervals are meant to be done at high intensity. If you do the Endurance WOD 10 min after the main WOD, I can promise you that your workout will suffer for it and not be of the quality and intensity that we would like to see. I do understand that you can only do what your schedule permits, but back to back WODs will not be “As hard as you can go”!
It is a great misunderstanding to think one has the ability to perform this workout and a CF WOD back to back.
Schedule rest days as you need. Endurance Tempo/TT (Stamina) days are done on a strength/CrossFit off day.
Pay attention to your energy levels. Schedule complete rest days as you need them based on your performance levels and energy levels.
My performance seems to be not as good since changing over to this training what should I do?
The drop off is normal. There is an adaptation phase towards doing both of these WODS in a day. Keep an eye on your nutrition, if it’s not ON, get it dialed in! Pay attention to your energy and if you need some more rest.. Take IT!!
3-4 months is a good marker. We’ve seen much less and much more. You will have to judge it as to where you feel comfortable.
How should I plan my week?
Workouts will post on a weekly schedule as if it were a single sport (SS) or multi sport (3S) athlete w/ the ability to do one short interval (SI) per week and one long interval (LI) per week per sport and or an added Stamina (Tempo/TT) on Saturday and or Sunday.
If you are weak sauce in one of the 10 general physical skills (see CrossFit Journal!) specific movement / exercise, time domain, focus on this just until you are good at it.
Endurance WODs will post as stated above as 3 different WODs throughout the week. Short Intervals (SI), Long interval (LI), Tempo/Time Trials (T/TT). Separate them to what fits your schedule. Again, if you are weak in a specific area (i.e., short intervals like 100m-300m, or longer intervals 3 min – 5 min) you should focus on this until you make progress. If you can NOT keep up with the demand, scale it back, as this is about progression, not destruction.
Skill: If you are not warming up properly, doing skill based work for each and every sport including strength, running, or gymnastics (these are examples. Everything you do here should involve technique training and warm up, cool downs) based movements, you are not following this site as intended. There is more work involved here than just lacing up your shoes and running 2-3 hrs at a time. Period.
Use at your own risk, and remember… Have FUN!
What does 4-8 X 400m mean?
You will determine the number of repeats you complete taking into account the following things:
1. Your ability to maintain proper mechanics for the distance of 400 m (stay within your ability range)
2. The distance of the race or event you are training for.
You will complete 4 or 5 or 6 or 7 or 8 repeats.
How do I Figure Out Tempo Wod Times?
P + (P x (1 – E)) = G
P = fastest time for the distance. Convert to seconds.
E = Desired effort level in decimal form (90% = .90)
G = Goal time in seconds
Example: 90% of 10k TT Pace
So, if my fastest 10K is 48 minutes and my desired effort is 90% then my goal time should be:
2,880 + (2,880 x .10) = G
3,168 seconds= 52.8 minute 10K
What about row wods?
If you want to row/C2 add 25 meters to every 100m on the run. That simple.
TT/Tempo days are only on strength rest days so the focus is on that wod for that day.
TT/Tempo workouts are race pace relative to the distance or time (whichever way it may be prescribed for that day) which allows you to learn/work on pacing.
When your event approaches taper 1.5 – 1 week
Time Trial = As fast as you can go/race. An all out effort for the distance. There should be nothing entertaining or fun about it… Until it is over of course, and if you are PRing it!
Tempo= Reduced but consistent pace for Time or Distance. 100% is all out effort, 90% is a 10% pulled back effort. Range between 85% to 95%.
RPE: Rate Perceived Exertion… It is on a scale of 1 – 20. See the posted link.
INTERVALS– You should be trying to hold the fastest pace possible.
% of what? Use the indicated % of your best time for the prescribed distance or time. If you do not have a time or distance for what is prescribed go set one that will be used in future wods. Keep track of times/distances/paces with dates in a log book so you can refer back to them.
Rest periods should I be doing anything?
You choose how you want to do it, but if you are going all out, you won’t do much more than rest. If you want to walk, go for it. If you want to jog, go for it. If you want the most distance gained out of each interval you will rest. More does NOT = better.
No breaks on the set between rounds unless indicated. It is he/she who is proficient in all metabolic systems who will be most successful.
What are the signs of overtraining?
Not sleeping, eating, mood swings, you are pushing as hard as you can and getting medicore/poor results. There are an infinite number of signs for overtraining. Be aware of them, and know that you are responsible for understanding this. More is not better, and rest/recovery is the reason you get faster.
What should I be doing for warm up?
Warm Up: Mobility
DROM: Dynamic Range of Motion
Exercise specific skill work, warm up/ramp up of weight and intensities. The shorter the workout, the longer the warm up.
Run: 1/2 mile easy jog or equivalent for Swim/Bike/ C2.
Run: 3 sets of 3 different CrossFit Running drills (see trainer) of choice with brief (100-200m) jog increasing to sprint between each. Follow up with 3 sprints <100m. 80%, 90%, and 100%. Recover completely and begin workout.
Swim/Bike/ C2: 3 sets of 3 different skill specific drills, follow with equivalent distance like the run but is conducive to your sport. Finish with 3 short sprints of 80%, 90% and 100%. Recover completely and begin workout.