The Crossfit workout is a great way to get into shape and develop your strength. The Crossfit workout will target numerous aspects of your fitness and if you stick with it, you will have a broad fitness base. This workout is not for the faint of heart and it definitely will challenge you and elevate your fitness
“Will Crossfit benefit my running or triathlon performances?” I often hear this question from runners and triathletes. The answer depends on a few things.
YES – If you have any muscle imbalances or you are lacking some basic strength, then the crossfit program can help target these areas and contribute to your improvement. However, for most this would be most appropriately placed in the off season when your running or triathlon specific fitness is not as important.
NO – If you are getting ready to compete, then the crossfit workouts will not provide any real benefit to you as a runner or triathlete. In fact, they may take away from your performance. Here is the reason. Crossfitters state that their “specialty is not specializing.” This is the complete opposite goal of the build up and peaking phase of a sound running program (your running program should not be the same year round). As you get closer to your goal race many of your workouts begin to take on a very specific purpose. Ignoring the specific and targeted nature of your run workouts will result in substandard performance. If you expect to complete mile repeats or a tempo on the bike the day after a challenging crossfit workout, then you can kiss your run/bike workout goodbye because your body will not be able to perform the intensity of work required to reach your full potential. When this happens week after week your race specific fitness will begin to fade or slightly improve at best.
To be a fast runner you need fitness specific to running. To be a fast cyclist you need fitness specific to cycling. Your max squat potential, your ability to hang clean, snatch, or run a fast 800 does not matter if you cannot do the work required that is specific to your race.
So if you’re considering a Crossfit workout, I would recommend these in the off season when you are targeting a different component of your fitness. As you transition into the competitive part of your season, then slowly phase out these workouts and focus your energy on the demands of your upcoming races.
If you’re interested in improving your running speed, check out these posts Plyometrics and Running, Common Running Mistakes, Body Weight: Impact on Running, Core Exercises for Runners