However, I stopped on page 46 at the article titled:
Totally Fit: Devotees of an intense new training regimen say you don't need long runs to train for distance running - By Selene Yeager
This article is all about CrossFit Endurance (CFE) and how it can replace your normal running routine. If you are asking what CrossFit Endurance is click here to read more. Here is the description from Ms. Yeager from the article:
"...CrossFit Endurance (CFE), a high-intensity, low-volume training plan that blends CrossFit conditioning (i.e., heavy, explosive strength training) with sprints, time trials and tempo workouts. Goodbye, long runs. CFE reduces mileage to as much as one-quarter the average of a typical marathon program."
That sounds glorious! Sign me up ...
Now I am very aware of what CF and CFE are and actually think they are very solid programs for maintaining a fit and balanced lifestyle. In fact, before I became an endurance athlete, I was very involved with P90X and High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workouts which encompass many of the same principles of CF. These types of workouts made me very fit and I looked better with my shirt off doing these workouts then I do now. I will make that concession right now - CrossFit makes you more buff than running!
You know what these workouts did not do? Make me a better long distance runner.
Maybe I am old school or maybe I am just skeptical of snake oil? I believe it takes more then 6mins to get ripped up abs and have experienced first-hand how increased volume can lead to increased performance. CFE takes the principle of Specificity and stands it on its head. They say get stronger and get faster by not running all that much - this is just plain wrong.
Am I suggesting that weight training has no benefits to runners? Absolutely not.
What I am suggesting is that if you have 8hrs a week to train for a marathon that time would be much more beneficial if used for running as opposed to dead lifting empty beer kegs. The principles of CFE disagree with this according to the last line of the above citation, "Goodbye, long runs. CFE reduces mileage to as much as one-quarter the average of a typical marathon program."
Now to give Ms. Yeager credit, this is not a complete fluff piece. Aside from looking for advice on the RW Forum, she does go the extra step and interview a CFE enthusiast (James Herrera) who slightly contradicts the opening of the CFE article with this statement:
"I'm a firm believer in HIIT, but I still feel a runner - especially a new runner - has to cover about 75 percent of the distance in training for a marathon to prepare for those elements."
Okay, now that I have given my thoughts on CFE I want to talk about what stood out to me that wasn't in the article: Race Results from those training exclusively using CFE.
Usually when we are being sold a new "kind" of training/regimen/product we always are shown the successes. Maybe this got cut from the RW article? Maybe the writer chose to just focus on the idea and left out the results?
Or maybe these impressive race results just do not exist?
I did some searching online and over the CFE website and found a couple of CFE blogs and nothing was really impressive in terms of race times. I hate to sound like an elitist but I found a couple of 4+hr marathons and 6+hr 50ks but nothing considered fast. I am not trying to downplay the success of those who accomplished these races but would really like to see some proof from the CFE camp that this type of training does work.
So I guess my question is if CFE is so wonderful then why are the results not being pimped all over the internet? Why can I not find any pro runners or triathletes who are preaching CFE? Was Chuck Norris unavailable for the infomercial?
So tell me, what are your thoughts on CFE? Have you tried it and do you believe it can replace traditional marathon training like suggested in the article? And Mr. CF cult member, please show me some fast results.
Thanks for Reading,