As if the conventional triathletes needed anymore reasons to hate me I have stopped doing the long slow distance (LSD) training that is the accepted norm, and instead I have been training using strictly the CrossFit Endurance methodology for the last month. And guess what? I like it a lot! I believe I have found the training program I have been looking for. I have never really been a fan of the LSD training methodology I just did it because that is just “how you train” for triathlons. But the idea of doing 4-hr bike rides or 2-hr runs just makes me sick, it is boring, dangerous (more time on the road), and even lonely.
Before I even knew about CrossFit I always gravitated towards shorter (duration) but higher intensity workouts. Growing up playing sports that was how we used to train. We did lots of sprints, plyometrics, and strength training. The general philosophy was “we may not be the most skilled but nobody will be stronger than us”. Not to mention I really enjoyed the camaraderie of team sports and CrossFit does a great job of bringing that camaraderie back. The “shared” experience of the super hard workouts and the overall encouraging environment of CrossFit build friendships and makes the whole experience better.
What is CrossFit Endurance? It is an endurance training program where building overall strength is the main objective. Athletes focus on building strength, explosive power and speed by conducting Olympic style lifts, sprinting, plyometrics, and even gymnastics all in the pursuit of greater overall fitness. An average training week for me looks like:
- Attending CrossFit classes 3-4 times a week
- Conducting one short interval session per sport (swim, bike run)
- Conducting one long interval session per sport (swim, bike, run)
- Conducting a time trial for sport of choice (example 5k or 10K run at maximum effort)
- Total training hours per week 6 to 8 hours.
While 6 to 8 hours a week does not sound like much, especially when most triathletes do that in one weekend, those 6 to 8 hours are done at maximum effort.
Is CrossFit Endurance right for you? Let me give you the famous answer…it depends. Really it depends on your goals and what is important. For me my time is extremely valuable and I can’t justify training 14+ hours a week. Also as I have said numerous times my number one priority has always been overall body composition and overall strength and I am not willing to sacrifice that for faster finishing times. While CrossFit Endurance athletes are competitive to my knowledge there has never been a CrossFit Endurance athlete winning a major or even “local” event so if becoming an elite triathlete is a priority CrossFit Endurance may not be for you. Not to discourage anyone but “elites” are usually the top 2% of all triathletes and many of us do not have the natural ability or even the desire to reach that level, so for the other 98% of triathletes (that have full time jobs and families) is does not always make since to train the the top 2%.
If you are interested for more information don’t hesitate to contact me.