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Considering Crossfit...(input requested!)

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Last week I decided to switch up my run a little bit by going down THAT road instead my normal road. It didnt add any distance or elevation to my routine so I didnt think much of it. But it just so happens that I ran right past a CrossFit facility that is 1/2 mile from my house.

A few months ago, Runners World (I think, it might have been Outside) did an article about using CrossFit to prep for a half marathon.

I've been doing some research online. Basically it comes down to Short bursts of High Intensity instead of Long Slow Runs (LSR). Results depend on whether or not you have "drunk the kool-aid". Essentially, from what I can find there are either people who *love* this type of workout (CF, Insanity, P90X) or those who dont. I find reports of injury and success.

The cost of joining this gym is substantial: $150 per month. And while I love the pictures of the super cut trainers and would love a bit of support and @$$ kicking to do the strength and intensity workouts I need to do...you have to ask yourself - will this be worth it?

Truthfully, I dont know the answer and would love some input. Perhaps there are questions I have not considered. So I toss it out to you, Sparkers.

Generally speaking my training has been going a little less formally than last year. I had a good run of 6.3 miles this week and shaved 5 min from my 11.7m bike ride yesterday. Swim has been regular mile with no repeat of the *pain* when I bruised my ego in the pool. (We'll see what today's swim across the Hudson feels like after!) I've done precious few bricks. I'm having a consistent pain in my hip that is really hindering me and I dont know if its a repeat motion injury, stride weakness or what. But if I cant figure it out, doing the HM in Sept will be out because I cant make the distance. I did LSR 7.5m once and I was in hip agony by the end.

I wish you all successful, happy weekends filled with active pursuits and healthy choices.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    While I like the idea of CrossFit, i know that I'd never do it. However, a good acquaintance (we know each other well enough to have friendly but intense political disagreements/discussions at the coffee shop on a regular basis and have an overlapping circle of friends/acquaintances) owns a CrossFit franchise with his wife. His wife is the trainer and manager. I am friendly with some of their clients. They all love it. There is a strong camaraderie among them. They are very supportive of each other.

    From my outsider observation from the facebook posts (I 'liked' the business page and it is pretty active), conversations with individuals and observing them in public social interactions, I think it works because: 1. they are a self-selected group of highly motivated, internal-locus of control people; 2. they see each other outside of the gym so they hold each other accountable; 3. the owners work hard at providing positive feedback and challenging their clientele and this is part of their business plan.

    Would you have a similar experience at the CrossFit near yout? Hard to tell. Could you go and observe? Do you know anyone who goes there? Would they give you references?

    It is a lot of money and perhaps a personal trainer can help you reach the same goals without a 12 month contract.
    1659 days ago
    I'm with Lenlen on getting that hip pain investigated, and think it's a good idea to do it before taking on another vigorous weight bearing activity.
    Injuries can really put a hole in our fitness routines, something to take very seriously.
    Crossfit isn't going away, you'll be able to pick it up when your hip issue is resolved. Or maybe your health treatment provider will recommend it as part of your rehab?
    1666 days ago

    Comment edited on: 7/29/2013 11:26:33 AM
    I love cross fit and I do it twice a week. You can do it basically by picking four or five exercises and doing them in 30 to 45 second bursts and moving immediately to the next exercise and doing three sets. It does help develop better cardio and leg speed.
    1667 days ago
    I think it depends on what your primary goal is. A HM? Or something new and challenging? In the most recent Triathlete magazine there was an article about the benefits of swapping some runs for plyo workouts. Running develops slow twitch fibers hole plyo or crossfit develop fast twitch. This can help your running. But not if you trade a LSR for a crossfit workout. Any reputable running program will say that the LSR is the cornerstone of endurance training. Use crossfit as croastraining, not as a substitute for the necessary runs. If I could I'd run 3 times a week and do crossfit twice. I know I'd love it, but that won't work with my family's schedule right now.

    Your experience as a teacher will help you here. You'd know pretty quickly if the trainer/coach would be good for you. Just like anywhere else, some teachers are great and some are so so. Injuries can happen anywhere. The important thing is to find why works for you, keeping you healthy and happy.
    1668 days ago

    Comment edited on: 7/28/2013 8:03:11 AM
    That seems like quite a bit of money. Do you have the time and desire to get your money's worth?
    1668 days ago
    I'm mainly lurking and listening, as I'm having trouble getting in the same level commitment to my training that I had a year ago. Hmmmm...
    1668 days ago
    My daughter (age 30) recently started Cross-fit at a gym specializing in that. They mostly do very heavy lifting and then keep trying to increase the weights. They also do things like squats with weights, pull-ups, other things that required strength and coordination.
    She was into gymnastics, track (she didn't run, just did shot and discus) and cheerleading (the heavy duty pyramid toss stuff). She has taken to cross-fit like a duck to water. She does some running for that, but it is not much distance. Recently she did a couple 5k runs, more for camaraderie and fun than anything. I would suggest you go to the gym, talk to people and observe. My impression is that, although they work on general fitness, the emphasis is strength.

    I am wondering if there would be a group of runners at the local YMCA, YWCA that you could hook up with and share info, etc. with them. You seem to be into endurance sports going for the distance.

    1668 days ago
    My opinion: $150 is a substantiation amount. If you can afford it AND are going to make consistent use of it - then go for it. If you have doubts about either the affordablity or the commitment - don't waste your $$$
    1668 days ago
    The question is, do you see yourself going to the gym regularly for one month and enjoying it? If yes, it may be worth a try, and once you are there you shall see if you want to prolong your membership.
    I think you are already doing very well on the exercise front, doing running+biking+swimming, so whatever you decide, you are living a healthy active life.

    I wouldn't go to the gym, because I was never able to go to a gym for more than 2 weeks, being a genuine outdoor-exercise person.
    1668 days ago
    I've recently started at a priceier gym, and am paying a personal trainer ( Crazy right?). For me it is a *lot* of money. But I had been at a plateau for 5-6 months- something had to change. So if you can afford it, it's great to invest in yourself. I* needed* that extra motivation to finally start moving down the scale again. I think though, that if it isn't bringing something significant to your life, if it's just something to goof around with, it might not be worth it.

    I would check and see if that gym does a free week so you can see if it's a good fit? I'd also look at other gyms in the area that offer group fitness classes as part of the membership (that might include a cross fit class)?

    Re: hip pain, I've found yoga to be very helpful in stretching my hips (if it's a matter of tightness). things like pigeon pose help a lot. If it's more of an actual pain, a visit to the doctor might be in order :-/

    Best of luck!
    1668 days ago
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