How Your Endurance Training May Be Sabotaging Your Strength
– by Jeff Arias & Justin Quandt
Many of you enjoy or have an interest to compete in endurance races (such as a 5k, half marathon, marathon, triathlon, or obstacle race). Or perhaps you enjoy the feeling you get from extra conditioning, or are working toward a weight loss goal.
The challenge is, how do you maintain your strength and athleticism and still fit in enough running/endurance volume to be prepared for your event? You want to hit your race PR or weight loss goal, but you don’t want to lose strength, flexibility, and power. How do we do both? Today we’re going to help you learn how you can prepare for a race and maintain/improve the strength & physique you get from CrossFit with one training program.
Traditional Long Distance Training: The Flaws
Typical distance training focuses on mileage accumulation. The first week you run three miles, the second four, and so forth, increasing until your goal distance has been met. While this approach can prepare you the complete a long distance race, it also carries some drawbacks:
- Emphasis on distance and volume is stressful on the joints, which can lead to foot, ankle, or knee injuries
- Long distance only training increases stamina, but may negatively affect strength, flexibility, and power
- Muscle tissue is reduced over time
- Participants often have a hard time setting new PR’s because they are unable to produce the increased power needed to run faster.
Others run a similar number of miles per week in pursuit of a weight loss goal. Although running and other types of cardio do burn calories:
- Long distance cardio places the body under high stress, increasing cortisol production
- Hunger increases substantially, especially for starchy or sugary foods
- High calorie consumption is needed to maintain the training volume
That’s Great, But How Will This Affect My Body?
To put this theory to the test, consider the athleticism and physique of elite sprint athletes and elite marathon athletes. Both have a low body fat %, but power output and appearance differ significantly:
Would you like to be both Strong and Fast?
The Foundry Endurance Program
A more efficient way to train for endurance events.
The Foundry Endurance program is a year-round program that works in conjunction with our regular class programing to produce breakthrough results. It does this by using elements of sprint/short distance training and by focusing on the three factors that make us faster: Technique, Intensity, and Volume.
Athletes are welcome to participate on a part-time (complete the Endurance workout occasionally) or full-time (complete most Endurance workouts and assigned work) basis.
Fully committed athletes can expect to become physically and mentally prepared for endurance events such as marathons, half marathons, obstacle races, and rowing competitions, in addition to daily workouts. We will approach endurance training in a way that reduces risk of injury, increases power output, and promotes a healthy body. At the conclusion of the Winter season we invite participants to test their abilities by competing in the Chicago Indoor Rowing Championship.
Does It Work? Summer Season Results
We just completed the summer season. Participants completed a combination of CrossFit and Endurance workouts over sixteen weeks, with technique sessions held once per week. We’d like to congratulate the efforts of our top three participants and highlight their results. Each of these athletes participated in a 10k race on October 31st to cap off the season.
- Reduced 5k time from 43:32 minutes to 30:00!
- Lost 5% body fat
- 15lb PR in Back Squat
- 10lb PR in Clean
- Finished her first EVER 10k with a time of 72:09
- Placed 2nd in his age group and 4th overall in a 10k with a time of 47:15
- 30lb PR in Back Squat
- 45lb PR in Clean & Jerk
- Placed 3rd in his age group and 7th overall in a 10k with a time of 49:01.
- 10lb PR in Clean
- 10lb PR in Back Squat
- 10lb PR in Front Squat
- Program begins Monday November 9th. You may join in at anytime.
- The program is led by Coach Jeff
- The full program consists of 4 CrossFit workouts and 2-3 Endurance workouts per week.
- Classes are held Mondays at 7:30pm and Fridays at 6:30pm.
- There are additional assigned workouts to complete and post to Wodify during the week.
- There are levels of participation (Rx+,Rx,R) depending on your goals and the distance of your endurance event.
- Program participation requires an unlimited membership.
Frequently Asked Questions
What kind of workouts can I expect?
During the next 12 weeks the main focus of the program will be rowing. Other elements will be included such as: long and short intervals, body weight movements, light to medium resistance exercises, long chippers, time trials and tempo work
What is the time commitment?
To complete the full program, you will perform four regular CrossFit workouts during the week and 2-3 Endurance workouts. A typical week may look like:
- Monday – Endurance
- Tuesday CrossFit
- Wednesday – CrossFit
- Thursday- Rest (or CrossFit)
- Friday – Endurance
- Saturday- CrossFit
- Sunday – Endurance (or Rest)
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