• Rob Olson

6 Reasons Why CrossFit + Running Are Great Together

Updated: Jun 28

Talk to any CrossFitter, and they will tell you how much they LOVE CrossFit.

Talk to any Runner, and they will tell you how much they LOVE Running.

They are both right about how awesome their method of fitness is. But I'm here today to tell you about the amazing combo when you do both and of the exponential gains!

3 Ways CrossFit helps Running

  1. CrossFit helps you build a strong core. Have you ever been driving down the road on a Sunday morning, and seen somebody going for a run, who just looks tired and worn down, and is slouching over, head down? I see it all the time. What failed this person? Not their will to run or their cardiovascular conditioning, but their core. Their core failed at keeping them upright. When you lose core stability and hunch over, it makes breathing harder and decreases running efficiency. Ouch. CrossFit movements, by definition, are done "core to extremity", meaning, your core is always working!

  2. CrossFit builds posterior chain muscles. Many runners are anterior dominant, meaning they run primarily with their quads and hip flexors (front of their legs). Not only is this a weak position to run from, but will all but guarantee an injury. CrossFit helps to balance individuals out, with things like deadlifts, kettlebell swings, and squats working to build the posterior chain muscles - hamstrings, glutes, and low back. Once the athlete balances our their muscles, injuries tend to go away, and the run faster!

  3. CrossFit gives you coaching! How often in life, as an adult, do you get coached? At CrossFit Simsbury, we TEACH athletes how to run. It's not as simple as just get up and go. There is a lot of technique to learn. This technique will reduce common running injuries, and increase your running efficiency to get you running further and faster!

3 Ways Running helps CrossFit

  1. Running builds your aerobic capacity. Most CrossFit workouts are short and intense - great for building anaerobic capacity. But running, done at the slow and steady conversational pace, is fantastic for building aerobic capacity. That will help make your body more efficient at exercise!

  2. Running helps you learn about heart rate and pacing. Want to run a long distance? Keep your heart rate low and remain calm. Want to run a short distance quickly? Get the heart rate high and breathing up. While the same can be said about CrossFit, it is often harder to learn and feel. Running, as we've all done since we were kids, provides an immediate "ah-ha" to heart rate and distance.

  3. Running brings out the competitive nature in more people. Whether you have done or are interested in 5k, 10k, half marathon, marathon, ultra runs ... they all bring "scoring" to the sport and millions of people compete in these races every year. This is in the most basic sense, and introduction to the competitiveness in CrossFit. CrossFit, like running, can be measured, and performance and fitness can be judged. When I'm talking about CrossFit to a beginner, I relate to them about running 1 mile. If you run a mile in 12 minutes in 2019, and 9 minutes in 2020, you're fitness has significantly improved! The same holds true in CrossFit wods. This often makes it "click" for the athlete, and they take workout tracking more seriously and work harder in search of gains!


3 Ways CrossFit and Running are the same

  1. Nutrition. Both CrossFit and Running can be done without any focus on nutrition, but to really see results, nutrition is paramount. Both sports encourage people to eat healthy, eat for quality and perhaps quantity, and to focus on food as fuel.

  2. Focus on delayed gratification. Both CrossFit and Running reward delayed gratification. Want to achieve something great? It will take time, hard work, and dedication. Nobody runs a marathon without training. Same is true for CrossFit. Hard work pays off!

  3. Friends. Both CrossFit and Running are great social outlets. Best part, they are likely people interested in health and fitness! There's two sayings I like, surround yourself with those you wish to be like, and that you are the sum of the 5 people you spend the most time with. If you want to get fit and healthy, hang out with some Crossfitters and Runners!

If you are interested in learning more about running, CrossFit Simsbury is hosting a 4-part running seminar to teach things like technique, pacing, nutrition, and even running shoes. It is designed as a beginner level course, but is open to all levels!

For more information, click HERE

Also, for those looking for more knowledge and accountability, be sure to check out Robs Runners


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