You’ve Run What?!?!?
It’s Monday. Everyone needs humor on Mondays. And maybe an f-bomb or two. For this we turn to the Outlaw Way and a blog post from a few weeks ago. For all you reformed runners out there or for those of you still crazy enough to enjoy 26.2 miles of running, this one’s for you. Please take a minute to enjoy or at least laugh at yourself if this rings true to you.
How many of you guys have run a marathon?
If you answered in the affirmative to the above question, go ahead and take your left shoe off, do some mobility work, then kick yourself squarely in the nuts. It’s not that I hate running, it’s that I hate YOU for running 26 miles. You wanna know something funny? I ran a marathon once. You wanna know how I did? Who gives a fuck. I got arthritis in my big toe while doing it—not kidding. ARTH-fucking-RITIS.
I also got weaker, skinnier (weak is the new skinny, right?), and mostly hated every second of my life while I was training. The weird thing is that every year MILLIONS of people sign up for marathons thinking that if they self-flagellate for FOUR FUCKING HOURS (that’s if you’re as fit as Oprah of course) they’ll achieve some higher level of fitness conscience. The reality is that all they’ll receive is some sort of a long term injury, a flatter ass, and a medal that says you finished… ‘Cause evidently FINISHING something as stupid as running for an entire day is good.
The irony is that a large portion of the people who are currently competing in the Open are people who have also run until they almost shit themselves (look, I have no idea what irony actually is, but it sounded like it fit right there). Amongst the Open competitors are also another group who have done nothing but bitch about the first two WODs. The main argument we’ve seen is that we’ve only done two movements so far, and that can’t possibly be a good test of fitness. I mean I can see their point. It’s super boring and pointless to do one movement a bunch of times, right? Seven minutes of Burpees? Holy shit, that’s like 2 minutes longer than it takes me to microwave my bacon every morning. Ten minutes of Snatches?! I’m surprised that the earth didn’t run out of coconuts from all the coconut water that was needed to replace the global loss of electrolytes during that grueling endurance test.
Guess what? As bad as the first 2 WODs supposedly were, and as horrible of a test of fitness as they were purported to be, look who’s winning. The fittest man in the world and the second fittest woman in the world.
Yep, the naysayers are right. You can’t possibly test fitness with 2 movements. Anyone wanna go for a jog?
(Source: The Outlaw Way – www.outlawcoach.wordpress.com)
I totally agree with you. There is a certain grueling mental toughness that comes w/marathons..ironman’s. From a pure functionality perspective, I agree with crossfit. Marathons can be seen as inefficient means of training the body, but from a mental perspective..I believe it is the ultimate gauge in mental toughness and endurance. A good example is military special forces..I guarantee nearly any seal/ranger would be able to do a marathon/ironman because of the training (physical and mental) they go through..but I wouldn’t put my money on an elite cf’er being able to do it. That being said..i still take crossfit for everyday training over a marathon.
Thanks for your reply and input. This is always a touchy subject in the endurance community.
Can we start by agreeing that the metal fortitude displayed by our special forces is no where near equaled by a mere runner??
Running may be grueling. Some would also argue that deadlifting 3 times one’s own body weight is also very grueling.
Check out sealfit.com (used by many Navy Seals). You may find that their trainig somewhat mirrors CrossFit.
I would have to disagree and argue that an elite CrossFitter would in fact finish a marathon. I will not argue that they will win it but they will be in the high end of the middle with respectable times. On the flip side, a marathoner has no shot at middle of the pack in an elite level CrossFit workout. Let’s not forget, the goal of CrossFit is to be well rounded in all areas of fitness. I have a hard time calling any marathoner strong (one of the fitness domains). Check out http://library.crossfit.com/free/pdf/CFJ-trial.pdf for an idea of what we’re saying.
Being a two-time Ironman finisher and I will not argue the benefits of crossfit, since a triathlete does cross-train with swimming, biking, running, and strength training. However, I have done 8 marathons, but why do I run? One reason is that doing a marathon or an Ironman is a “concrete goal and achievement” that is clearly defined. Every marathon is 26.2 miles, you finish or you don’t.
A “concrete goal”… you do a marathon…you are a marathoner. Do an Ironman…you are an Ironman. Do a crossfit…you are a what? A crossfitter!?!
Thanks for your reply. This blog (which I borrowed from Outlaw CrossFit) was sure to ruffle feathers in the endurance community.
I have to argue that the strength training in involved in ironman training is not necessarily what most call “strength.” See power lifting and olympic lifting. Both are large load, long distance, short time lifting. Strength. On the flip side, the swimming, biking, running is mixed training, but it is generally long slow distance ie: low power.
Please see CrossFit.com for a full list of benchmark CrossFit workouts. These also fall under the category of “concrete goal and achievement.” They are a set amount of weight, reps, exercises all to be performed to a specific set of range of motion (clearly defined). Observable, measureable, repeatable. Performance, power, and improvement can all be tracked and measured upon repetition of a given workout.
A marathoner is specialized (only good at marathons), an ironman is specialized. A CrossFitter, I would argue, is a great mix of all domains of fitness. Will they win a marathon? No. Will they finish? Yes and will probably do so with a respectable time. Will a marathoner have a 30″ vertical? Squat 2x their bodyweight? I think even you would agree the answer to both is no. I would answer, “no way in hell.”
Please see http://library.crossfit.com/free/pdf/CFJ-trial.pdf for an idea of where we are coming from. Yes, it is an in-house article and will obviously have some bias but who doesn’t?
I believe the original question was basically, why run a marathon?
I simply stated it’s a concrete goal and accomplishment that is awarding for “most” people who have completed one.
Apparently your marathon did not go well “arthritis in my big toe”. Apparently, you did not train well for it and to say a “Crossfitter” can go out and run a marathon with a “respectable time” is a huge laugh and a big injury waiting to happen.
Again, I have done 8 marathon, 2 Ironmans, 4 half-Ironmans, 50 mile mt bike race in Leadville, several 100 mile bike ride,…, all between the age of 43-47. No injuries. Why? Maybe luck, but I tend to believe I trained properly.
You mentioned why run 26.2 miles…I ask why jump “30″ vertical” or “Squat 2x” your bodyweight?”
Throughout, the history of mankind, I’m sure running has been more beneficial to our survival than the 30″ jump or the squat.
But of course, we do not live in a world that requires running, jumping, or squating to survive day to day. We live in a world that allows us to do things we “personnally” enjoy…be it crossfit or running. Time for my burpees! 🙂
Again, thanks for your reply.
The prevailing answer to the original question is there are much better ways to become more physically fit than simply running, and running, and running. I too said CrossFit also provides concrete goals and achievements that are rewarding for most people who participate.
If you re-read the blog, it is noted that I am not the author of the original blog. It was a borrowed post so
I cannot speak to the arthritis injury. I do personally, however, train several athletes who have and do compete in marathons etc. (excessive running) and all have seen dramatic improvement in their times by incorporating CrossFit and deceasing the volume of their running.
I say have a high vertical leap and a big back squat becasue, simply put, strong people are hard to kill. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not talking just fighting here- that’s about as high on my list as running a marathon. The overriding point may be better exemplified by looking at a firefighter. I will choose the firefighter who trains using a CrossFit style over a fire fighter who runs as his/her primary conditioning in the event that they have to enter and exit a burning building multiple times to save lives. Being able to lift, carry, climb, crawl, push, pull, carry, (maybe even squat or jump??) are much more likely skills needed to survive and ensure the survival of others over 3 hrs of running. Might you agree?
Throughout the history of mankind you will find quite the opposite of long distance runners. People hunt(ed) in short bursts. In the event they track(ed) their prey, carried their kill home, moved their settlements, etc they did not do so by way of long distance running. At best, they were on a slow walk. Being able to carry back your kill was a much needed attribute. The person who runs 30 miles on a consistent basis is highley unlikely to be able to carry 200 lbs of dead weight. Throughout the history of mankind, it has proven that the strong survive. No group of people has yet to stake claim to their land by running.
I, again, invite you to read http://library.crossfit.com/free/pdf/CFJ-trial.pdf for a much more well written article than I can generate.
You are also more than welcome to come by for a workout to see how well CrossFit type training translates to, and may even help you improve, LSD running