By Elizabeth Koch
* This is a repeat post from back in January. We have lots of new runners
joining us lately and I felt like it would be a great topic to revisit for
all our new runners.
So, a common question that has come up recently with the start of our endurance group is how to add CFE into your current workout schedule. “So do I do the WOD first, then do endurance group? Should I skip the WOD and just run? Should I run and then do the WOD?”….. You get the point! Before I break it down, allow me to make one point, if I may, as I climb up on my soapbox…QUALITY OVER QUANTITY, LESS IS MORE!!!! I believe strongly in these principles in almost everything that I do, especially when it comes to fitness and nutrition! Keep it smart and simple!
If you follow the Crossfit Endurance page at all, and have read their FAQ section or the About Us section of our blog, you will notice that we suggest you perform your endurance workouts 3+ hours before or after you do your regular CF WOD or let it be your only workout. As in anything you do though you need to approach this rule considering who you are and what your goals are. Why are you coming to the endurance group? Are you training for an upcoming endurance event? Gearing up for the CF Open? Wanting to improve your running form and skill? Or do you just love Kristy, Melissa, Chad and me that much? I agree with the CFE prescription of waiting at least 3 hours before or after a CF WOD to perform your endurance work, but I also understand that life does not always allow us to come to the gym twice a day, or you may not want to come twice a day. Here are my recommendations for rest and recovery when it comes to endurance work:
1. If you are serious about your training and have a specific event you are working towards (½ marathon, marathon, triathlon, serious Games competitor) try your hardest to give your body that recovery it needs so that you can get the most out of each one of your training sessions. If you want to hit both a CFE WOD and a CF WOD in the same day, aim for one workout in the AM and then the other in the PM. (i.e. hit the 6am WOD in the morning and then swing in for some endurance at 5PM).
2. If you are not used to performing multiple workouts in a day and don’t have a desire to, then don’t! On Mon/Thurs or Tues/Thurs, make Endurance group your only workout.
4. If you can’t or don’t want to recover at least 3+ hours between workouts, then approach one workout in a scaled fashion (i.e. 4pm CF WOD followed by Endurance group at 5, but maybe only perform 6 intervals when the workout is written 6-12 x200). Or you could do the endurance WOD for the day, and only perform the strength portion of the daily WOD if it is written that way.
The point I want you to take away from this is that if you choose to perform two workouts back-to-back, something, somewhere is probably going to give. If you PR your deadlift inside the box, followed by your best Fran time ever, chances are you are going to be feeling it outside during those 800 repeats. The basic principle of Crossfit is constantly varied, functional fitness at high intensity. If you are hitting multiple workouts in a row with little to no recovery between them your ability to maintain high intensity will be compromised thus reducing the effectiveness of your workout and training session. The purpose of the 3+ hours between workouts is to allow your body time to recover and rebuild.
From the CFE site: “We recommend the 3+ hour recovery time set up just for that reason, Recover! These intervals are meant to be done at high intensity. If you do the CFE WOD 10 min after the CFE S&C WOD, we can promise you that your workout will suffer for it. The second wod will not be of the quality and intensity that we would like to see. We do understand that you can only do what your schedule permits, but back to back WODs will not be “As hard as you can go”.”