How to Survive a CrossFit Class as an Endurance Athlete
I should really stop promising what I will be writing about a week in advance. I was planning on attending a crossfit class this weekend with my friend Todd and getting some fresh photos for you at Academy of Lions, the location where I crossfit when I am in Toronto.
Unfortunately, my grandmother was hospitalised and my schedule has taken a bit of a different turn this week as I try to spend as much time with her as possible.
That being said, I did want to talk about crossfit and endurance athletics, despite the lack of awesome photos for you. I am the last person who should be considered an expert on this matter as I am hardly a WOD queen, but this opens up an important conversation that I think should be had. People who don’t do crossfit often love to hate on crossfit.
I have always approached all athletics with a curious and social angle – I am just as likely to be training in adventure racing, triathlon, cross fit, hot yoga, muai thai, and so on. Each community brings something unique and awesome and it always makes me a little sad when I see an attitude of superiority creep into a sport, make it an “us” vs “them” situation.
I see articles from cross fit sites hating on long distance sports. I see sprinters explaining why the marathon is the worst for you. I see ultra runners and triathletes throwing shade at each other. The bottom line is that everyone is going to believe that their sport is superior because of all of the passion and stock that they have put into that sport.
But we are missing a vital learning opportunity to be better as athletes if we stay closed off from other sports and THIS is why I participate in such a wide variety, especially the sports with an established culture surrounding them. For instance, if I go to crossfit, I am going to get butter coffee from the paleo coffee bar and I am going to like it.
So what does an endurance athlete possibly do at a cross fit class?
I go in knowing my limits and understanding that I have a lot to learn. I am not an avid cross fitter and I recognise that for a lot of things, I don’t know what I am doing. I listen, imitate form and I start at the easiest level offered, even if I am the only one in the class doing it. Leave your ego behind. It is better to be doing the easy push ups alone than injuring yourself by doing too much, too soon and making yourself miss training blocks.
Have good form
Don’t crank out a squillion kettlebell swings and realise you did them incorrectly when you can’t lift your arms the next day. Listen to the instructor (choose a place with certified trainers) and follow their cues.
I know it is timed, but until you have that form down, just do as many reps of an exercise as you can while keeping perfect form.
Keep your training schedule in mind
Have an interval session tomorrow? What the heck are you doing at the class?! Try to fit it into a time where you have an easy day or rest day following, especially if there is lower body work. Strength training is advantageous for endurance athletes because it provides power and muscular strength that is required to take you long miles.
And for goodness sake,
Drink some butter/MCT oil coffee.
I am not telling you what I am doing next week for Workout Wednesday, but I promise it’s going to be awesome.