May 20, 2014

A CrossFitter's Guide to the Half Marathon



So I officially checked "Half Marathon" off my bucket list. I've wanted to take my shot at running one for some time now and the Cleveland Marathon seemed as good a time as any. Now that it is over I have a few observations to share (of course).

First of all, anyone that tells you that if you do CrossFit 5 days a week you will be fit enough to simply go out and run a half is full of sh*t. CrossFit will make you mentally tough enough to do it (or stupid enough depending on how you look at it) but your body cannot handle the volume of work without some serious pain. I actually incorporated some pretty decent run training into my routine and this was still the harder than a sixteen year old boy sitting behind the hottest girl in class while doing Chinese algebra.

I had this theory going in that I could simply incorporate some extra running into my CrossFit workouts and I would be fine. I still hold by this idea however I made one (critical) mistake. My training plan was 4-5 days of CrossFit, 1-2 strength sessions, 2 run sessions (One interval, One distance). The error was in the distance and intensity of my run training. I felt like the high intensity of the CrossFit workouts would carry my cardio (it did) and make the pain bearable (it didn't). I felt great through the first seven miles but my body started to break down at around mile eight and by mile nine I was miserable. I had terrible cramps in my calves, my ankles hurt, and my right foot felt like it was broken. I went from my average 8:30 mile for the first seven miles to around 10:00 for the remainder of the race. I finished the entire course in 2:06:34.

Hindsight being 20/20, during my training I should have done much longer intervals and my long runs should have been more intense. I also think thirty more days would've helped since I only started my run portion of the training sixty days ago. If I try this again (and that's a BIG if) I will focus on longer intervals and more intensity during the distance. I did learn however that my training was perfect for a 10K as I PR'd my 10K distance unintentionally.

I have a few "Thank You's" to give out now that this is over.

My training partner Shags: Thanks for kicking my ass 98 out of 100 workouts and putting up with my not "acting like I've been there" when I win the other two. I know the number is really like 99 out of 100 but I'm factoring in sit-ups, wall balls, and hangovers.

My run coach Speed: Thanks for having the best name for a run coach in the history of forever. Also thanks for all the tips and advice. You've made me a decent runner so you're basically a miracle worker. You are like "Run Jesus"

My CF coaches Trav, Kyle, & Joe: Thanks for putting up with my sh*t and being flexible during my training. I'll be back to sucking at CrossFit full time as soon as this pain subsides…

My buddy Ryno: Thanks for bringing my girls down to the race. It was great to have them there to see me finish and I appreciate it more than you know.

The girl I ran behind for 6 miles: I don't know if I should be thanking you or Lululemon for making those yoga pants but regardless, good job….





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