Thursday, April 28, 2016

CrossFit is ENOUGH!

In case you were wondering....Does CrossFit prepare you for a half marathon? I discovered this weekend that yes, in fact it does. At least it does prepare ME for a half marathon. Now I certainly do not suggest or recommend just going out to run a random 13.1 with no training, that is usually a sure fire way to hurt yourself, but I now know that doing CrossFit consistently 3-4 times a week for just under a year has prepared me and my body to be able to run the distance.  For this race I walked a little bit. I did a 7 mile hike in February, that is the farthest I went. Otherwise maybe once or twice a week, in addition to CrossFit, I would walk/jog for one hour, and lets be honest, it was usually way more walking, because....well, walking. I was tired or just didn't feel like running. So I walked. For one hour. And I swam a little tiny bit.

This past weekend was my favorite race, The Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon. I'll do a race recap soon but for today I wanted to talk about how CrossFit  prepared me to go the distance. Actually I'm not exactly sure how it prepaired me.....but I do know that CrossFit s intense. There are long intense workouts and there are short ones. It works on the fast muscle twitches and it works on slow muscle twitch, the ones that determine endurance. Muscular endurance is important when running long distances and creating efficient slow muscle tithe will ensure that you are able to get the right amount of blood flowing to your muscles, bringing oxygen as fuel. And to go a bit further with it there are actually two kinds of fast muscle twitch (Type IIa and IIb), one for a quick burst and doesn't sustain very long (unless your LoLo Jones or Usain Bolt or Michale Phelps....) and then fast muscle twitch type IIb....this one is mostly strength less endurance. Type IIa yields more endurance but produces slightly less strength.

So why am I even talking about all this? Well first it's way cool and second the more you know and understand your body, how muscles work, and why you get tired, then the better you can become at training your body to do what you want it to do. Obviously Olympic athlete have like the best genes in the world. But they also have amazing coaches who know and understand how to develop their weaknesses and improve their strengths.

Anyway, so how does all this translate to CrossFit preparing me to run 13.1? Well mainly I think I have improved my fast and slow muscle twitch.  My body is more efficient at using oxygen, my cardio was fine, I sustained my heart rate consistently at my peak (170) for one hour 58 minutes (that was not my final time though). I am much stronger than I have ever been; subsequently heavier too...ugh...and I was very VERY concerned about this being a factor in the race, and maybe it was, but I did not feel heavy, I felt strong, strong in ways and places I have never felt strong before.

So my take away is this, CrossFit is enough! But I think if I actually trained for another 13.1, put in some miles on the road, combined with CrossFit, I will get a new 13.1 PR. I am 100% certain of that. So is another 13.1 in the cards for me? Absolutely. When? I'm not sure. But I'm thinking Tulsa's Route 66 in November would be a good time, hilly, but when have I shied away from a hill or two?

I am very happy with my 2:22.52 finish time given the fact that I literally did not train for this in the sense of a runner training for a race I trained through CrossFit. It certainly was not a PR but it also was not a PW (personal worst). I did worse in Seattle half (by 21 seconds with a finish of 2:23.13) and  Virginia Beach (still holds my PW at 2:24.54) and I trained for those. So this race was a success and I am excited! 


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