Training Tuesday–CrossFit Endurance

Yes, it’s Wednesday, not Tuesday.

Oops.

Anyway, I wanted to do a post about CrossFit Endurance as I’ve had a lot of questions about it in the last week or so. Keep in mind I’m not an expert, I don’t have a coach (for the CFE anyway), and I’m kind of making this up as I go along.

From the CrossFit Endurance website:

We focus on eliminating unnecessary volume of training while increasing intensity. Our programming is structured, sport-specific and seamlessly integrated with Olympic lifts, powerlifting, gymnastics movements, explosive activity and mobility-based support. Everything we do focuses on midline stabilization and working from the inside out.
Our strength and conditioning approach for endurance athletes is unparalleled. We incorporate the CrossFit fundamentals of being constantly varied. Repetition is the enemy and results in a decreased ability to build fitness.
Make no doubt, our program is not easy, but we believe the journey is part of making the results more rewarding. Our design is to maximize you as an athlete and to elevate your fitness.

The CFE model is 3 days a week of single sport (in this case running), with 3 days of strength and anywhere from 4-6 CrossFit WODs as well.  This means doing double days a few days a week – but always separating the running portion from the CrossFit by at least 3 hours to give your body a chance to partially recover.

The 3 running workouts always have specific purpose – you are never just running to accumulate miles. There are the short interval days, the long interval days, and the tempo/time trial days.  CFE believes that intensity is key to building stamina and endurance, and not just hours upon hours on your feet, so the tempo/time trial days should never be longer than 90 minutes of running. 

There are also specific workouts posted to be performed on certain days (never on the TT/tempo day).  This is where I start to differ – I’m still following my gym’s programming instead of the CFE workouts.  This could prove to be a problem but I won’t know that until October when I run the half.  I’m also doing the TT/tempo days as a regular long run – so by distance, and probably more of an LSD time run instead of a crazy intense workout.  I feel that, for myself, I really do need the long run to feel prepared to run an entire half marathon.  I hope that as time passes I’ll be able to turn up the intensity for at least part of the long run, but at this point this is just wishful thinking.

Here is an example of a few weeks of my training (just the running workouts):

    Short Intervals       Long Interval       Long Run (TT/Tempo)
    Tabata (20 on 10 off)    3 x 800 m (2 min rest)              10 km LSD
3 x (100m, 200m 400m) 4 x 1200m, rest 2 min              15 km LSD
10 x 100m, rest 45 sec              5 x 400 m              17km LSD

(This is a few weeks away yet, and the 10km week is a cut back week)

I’m not making these workouts up – CFE posts workouts daily, so all of my workouts (save the long runs) have been taken directly from there. 

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Post 4km long run!

So far I love this way of training.  I can be done my running workout in 30 min or less during the week; I am running faster during the intervals than I have before, and I truly feel stronger since the last time I tried training for a half marathon.  I also like the low mileage I’ll have with this type of training – I think my knee will enjoy it better than the higher mileage I was doing before.  The key to this type of training is the strength training and CrossFit WODs, however – the running workouts are complemented by the CrossFit workouts. 

This week’s training:

Monday:
CrossFit
Hill repeats @ Max Effort

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200m up this hill – it’s steep and it HURTS!

Tuesday:
CrossFit

Wednesday:
CrossFit or Bike (or nothing!)
3 x 1200m, 2 min rest in between

Thursday:
CrossFit
Swim

Friday:
6km LSD
CrossFit

I hope that this summary has been helpful – for any specific questions please feel free to ask away, or check out the CrossFit Endurance website’s FAQs!

Training Tuesday

No, I didn’t forget the “Tri” (and yes I’m still doing it – August 12!) but yesterday marked Day 1 of Week 1 of Half Marathon training.

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My first #brilliantrun – more on that next week!

I’m hoping this time my knee will hold up and I won’t have any issues with runner’s knee or my IT band.  I plan on foam rolling A LOT.

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My physical therapist. Look at that steely look he’s giving me. “Get to work!”

To keep my knee and cranky ITB happy, I’ve modified the CrossFit Endurance training plan to suit my own needs.  I will be doing 2 CFE workouts during the week (1 short intervals, 1 long intervals) and then will continue doing my long runs once a week.  This way my weekly mileage will stay lower, I will get a bit faster (I hope) but I’ll still get in the long runs I love and need.  My longest run will also only be 17km (although I think I have it twice on my training schedule), which is also the longest run I got in when I was training over the winter.

This week’s schedule:

Monday
CrossFit
CFE: 10 rounds, 1 minute on, 1 minute off (did 2.3km in 20 min)

Tuesday
CrossFit or OFF

Wednesday
Open Water Swim
CFE: 5 min on, 2:30 off, 6 min on, 3 off, 7 minutes on

Thursday
Lane Swim
CrossFit

Friday
4km LSD
CrossFit

It’s busy but that’s the way I like it! As usual things may change – I hurt my back on the weekend so might take it easy on the CrossFit workouts this week.  I’ll see how it goes on a day to day basis.

Let the training begin!

The Weekend in Pictures

…and video, too!

It was (and still technically is!) a long weekend in Canada, and Shawn and I were both lucky enough to have Friday off.  We piled the dogs in the car and headed up to the cottage early Friday afternoon for a few nights.

There was swimming.

And sleeping.

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And some stick chewing.

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There was also some running (please be kind! It’s weird talking to myself)

On Sunday we headed home late morning in order to head to the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park to see my first NASCAR race.  We stayed for about an hour, and watched probably only 10-15 minutes of the race (they do go around the same circle for 51 laps!) but it was definitely more interesting than watching it on TV.

There were pretty cars.

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LOUD cars.

BBQ pulled pork for Shawn (I had fries – I like my pigs alive!)

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The rest of Sunday was spent relaxing and planning our front garden as well as our veggie garden! I’m going to stop by the garden centre today to pick up the perennials and some of the veggies we want to grow from plants.  Last year we planted too many tomato plants and it kind of went wild.  Hopefully this year the garden is a little more controlled!

How was your weekend? If it’s a long weekend for you, how are you spending it?

Return to Running and Lifting Heavy

Hello and Happy Easter weekend to those that celebrate it! Hope the Easter bunny is good to everyone Winking smile

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Yesterday I started my return to running.  I did one of the CrossFit Endurance workouts, 3 x 1200m with 3 min of walking in between.  In total I covered 4.08km in 30 min, which I am very happy with for my first “long” run back.  I didn’t go balls to the wall like CFE suggests for my intervals, instead I started with what I thought was a slow comfortable pace.  However, when I glanced down at my Garmin I had a 6:30/km pace going – which was my faster pace before I got injured.  Maybe it’s true what they say, when you fix what’s broken you become a faster runner? We will see – I have 5km on the agenda tomorrow and I truly do intend to take this one slow and easy.  My knees were pretty good yesterday – my bad knee (the right one) gave me no issues, and I had just a bit of tightness on the outside of my left knee.  I foam rolled twice yesterday and my IT band on the left is definitely “lumpier” aka has more adhesions than the right one.  I will keep stretching and foam rolling it out over the next few days and hopefully this will fix it.

This morning my friend and I did a partner WOD at the gym.  A partner workout means that there is usually a lot of reps of a lot of different exercises, and in one way or another they are split up  between partners.  Our WOD today was:

1000m row
100 air squats
100 push press (45lbs)
75 box jumps (20’)
50 pull ups
30 ring dips
1000m row
Whatever partner is not working holds a 24k kettlebell – putting it down means a 10 burpee penalty at the end of the workout for both partners.

We both ended up doing 500m of rowing each time, and split the rest fairly evenly.  I did the box jumps on a tire (the box scares me – I don’t need messed up shins!) and did pull ups with a band (ring dips we both used a band).  It was pretty brutal – holding the kettlebell in between your active times really hurts your arms. 

Before the WOD we did a few back squats.  I haven’t done any really heavy squatting since before I hurt my knee, so today I wanted to test it to see how it would go.  We got up to 135lbs before we decided to start our WOD.  Not bad, only 15lbs off my current max which is 150lbs and it felt easy. 

This weekend has been great – back to running and back to heavy lifting.  I hope both continue to go well.  It’s nice to be back!

What are your plans to be active this long weekend?

Getting Back in the (Running) Saddle

As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been dealing with ITB syndrome and have been to physio (from which I graduated!).  I’ve been slowly introducing short runs (400-800m) as warm ups and cool downs at CrossFit and they have been going really well.  Minus the fact that apparently I have lost all my cardiovascular ability in the few weeks I haven’t been running.

I’ve been afraid to try going longer distances, or running for more time, as I’m afraid that my knee will start to hurt again and I’ll just be back in that depressed place I was a few months ago.  But really, it’s time to push that fear aside and start running again.  And now I have a plan!

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I think I posted before about wanting to try CrossFit Endurance as a running plan, both for fitness as well as training.  I finally sat down this morning and wrote out a training schedule that I think will work really well for me.  I will have to modify it a bit as I get stronger as I like to do long runs, and I don’t think that, for me, 10km as the longest run will have me adequately prepared for a potential half marathon in the future.  Right now I want to focus on getting back in the saddle, and running 3 times a week, and maybe (hopefully) getting a bit faster.  And I think that CFE is perfect for this goal, at this time.

Also…if the next few weeks go well I will be signing up for The Limberlost Challenge, a trail race in July! I’m aiming to just do the 14km race as I’ve never done a trail race or run anything over 16km before.  The idea of a trail race really appeals to me, as it’s more about just finishing and getting through it, rather than how fast you completed it.  Running on trails, in the woods and by lakes is a huge bonus, too!

So fingers crossed my knees and ITB syndrome behave themselves so that I can get to training for that race.

This is what my first week of CFE training will look like:

Tuesday: 9 x (1:00 on, 1:00 off), 1:00 at 95% max effort.  
                    Yoga
Wednesday: CrossFit
Thursday: 5 min on, 2:30 min off, 6:00 min on, 3:00 min off, 7:00 min
                      CrossFit (if time)
                      Yoga
Friday: CrossFit

I work all weekend so will not be attempting the “long” run this weekend, as I’ll either be working or sleeping.  And besides, I’m just easing back into running and I think that these 2 workouts will be just fine for that.  I can adjust the effort as needed, at least at this point.  Next week I’ll do the full 3 workouts – the longer run is a 5K time trial which will be a great “long run” distance for me as I get back into this running thing.

Wish me luck!