crossfit running

Don’t make me choose one over another aka Marathon training and CrossFit

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Marathon training with Crossfit

I have been searching the Internet for advice on how to train for a not-so-slow marathon while keeping up with CrossFit but there isn’t a lot of information out there about it. It must be true that CrossFitters generally hate running and runners stay away from something crazy like CrossFit.

Most advice that I did find says to cut back on CrossFit, if not in frequency then to just pick the days that are mostly upper body i.e. not do heavy leg days the day before a speed workout day. Fine, makes sense.

I also read that it might be a good idea to combine running and Crossfit days, for example run in the morning and do CrossFit later on. This means that the next day can be a rest day and the body is therefore not continuously under stress (intense exercise is awesome and fun but for the body it is also stress).

That also makes sense, when training with intensity all the time, rest days become even more important than they normally are. At the moment I go 100% at CrossFit and mostly use my running days as active recovery days. This is now slowly changing. My training plan will not be very high mileage but it will be high speed (for me), which means I need a rest day or two every week.

I don’t know yet how exactly I’m going to do it, but I’m mostly going to experiment and adjust my training as I go.

There is a risk of overtraining and injuries when doing both high(ish) mileage running and CrossFit, but I’m a pretty robust little thing. Well, I’m not that little but I am pretty solid, I have really not had any running or CrossFit injuries in my 7 years of running and 4 years of CrossFit. I’ve just had a knee pain thing that turned out to be a pinched nerve in my back that went away once I started doing strength training and I’ve had painful shins/calves during marathon training which is totally normal. In CrossFit I’ve just once been ‘injured’ and out of action for a week after I did rebounding box jumps and blew up my calves.

So I’m going to trust my base level fitness and strength and see how I go. Today, for example, my quads are sore from Tuesday’s squats but CrossFit today is not a heavy squat day so I will go. Tomorrow I’m taking the day off because I’m doing the Box Battles on Saturday. I still ideally would need to squeeze in some 800s this week, about 5-8km worth but I think I can do it on Sunday in between my kids triathlons (one starts at 10:40 and the other one at 14:30).

I’m all into intuitive eating and training, listening to your body and adjusting and experimenting. If this works out and I run this marathon well, I can write a book about it for other people who love running and CrossFit equally and cannot pick one over the other.

What would you do? What do you think would Katrin‘s marathon time be if she ran one tomorrow?

You Might Also Like

2 Comments

  • Reply Anna @AnnaTheApple Thursday, 20 April 2017 at 12:51

    I think it just comes down to listening to your body, which you seem to be doing very well. I find that as the highest mileage weeks happen I just scale back a bit. But that doesn’t mean giving up or changing forever. You won’t lose a lot of strength from that. Go through the motions but at less weight to keep the mind-muscle connection and muscle memory strong. It’ll be interesting to see your journey!

  • Reply Autumn Thursday, 20 April 2017 at 12:24

    I’m looking forward to seeing how you get on – although I think you’ll be just fine as you have common sense in bucket loads when it comes to training. I love combining the two although I do think it’s tricky if you have a goal race. It can definitely be done though and weirdly enough I ran my best half-marathon the day after an intense crossfit comp and I was seriously sore on the start line. Odd.
    Not sure about Katrin but I think Sam Briggs would smash the marathon! I do find it strange that most crossfitters hate running. There’s always a collective groan when running is programmed!

  • Leave a Reply