As a Crossfit Endurance coach, I am often asked questions about how CrossFit Endurance really works. Being a relatively new method of endurance training, there is an awareness of Crossfit Endurance in the endurance community but many people aren’t sure what it really involves.
Crossfit Endurance is a program that was created by Brian McKenzie, and according to crossfitendurance.com it is “an endurance sports training program dedicated to improving performance, fitness and endurance sports potential”. Essentially, CrossFit Endurance removes unnecessary volume in training and replaces it with efficiency and added intensity. At the core of this program are CrossFit strength and conditioning components.
As an Ironman Athlete I used this method to successfully complete my first Ironman (11:44.44) and use these methods to coach athletes who are part of the OC Endurance Team at Oregon CrossFit in Bend, OR. The following are reasons CrossFit Endurance worked for me and why I encourage all endurance athletes to have an open mind and try it.
Ruining as a skill
We all know that cardiovascular endurance is a pivotal component of any runner or triathlete’s training protocol. However, have you ever thought about running as a skill? CrossFit Endurance uses the Pose Method® to teach running as a skill. According to the Pose Method® website (http://www.posetech.com) it “is a simple and comprehensive biomechanical model which eliminates injuries and enables every runner from novice to elite to fully utilize their physiological potential.” Pose running uses gravitational torque to become more efficient. The more efficient an athlete can become the less work one will need to do.
For years I spent my training time running very long distances and through the process became extremely thin. Before I knew it, I had become a one trick pony. I could run a long distance relatively fast, but ask me to pick something heavy up and it was all over. Since beginning CrossFit and CrossFit Endurance a few years ago, I have become much more balanced in regards to strength, mobility and endurance. As an age group athlete I find this very important. Focusing on strength, mobility and endurance has not only made me the fastest I have ever been but also the strongest. I also feel better prepared for any physical task life may bring me.
Time Crunch anyone?
Balancing all areas of life can be challenging. CrossFit Endurance opened up the door for me to be able to train for an Ironman while still having time for family and professional responsibilities. Short intense training durations have replaced the long, slow distance efforts would have taken me hours to complete. The interval training prescribed by CrossFit Endurance allows me to train hard over a short period of time, and time trial and tempo efforts I complete on the weekends are shorter and more intense than traditional training. These shorter duration training session have actually increased my cardiovascular fitness and have also increased my ability suffer and built mental toughness.
The Truth about CrossFit Endurance
The truth is that CrossFit Endurance works. By no means is this an easier way to train. Maintaining proper technique while training at high intensity takes discipline and dedication. I recommend this training program for anyone who has an open mind. The hardest thing for most endurance athletes is wrapping their heads around the low mileage. There are plenty of athletes that this is working for. For more information I suggest talking to a CrossFit Endurance coach/team in your area (http://www.crossfitendurance.com/teams), visiting the CrossFit Endurance website (http://www.crossfitendurance.com) and taking a look at the book Power Speed and Endurance by Brian McKenzie.
Crossfit Endurance has changed my perspective on endurance training and given me a way to train that better fits into my lifestyle. It has allowed me to continue to improve as an endurance athlete and be balanced in different realms of physical fitness.
Fitmark Ambassador 2013