Yes, we are actually going to run. Reason being that we have not done it in a while. While CrossFit’s speciality is not specializing, we must from time to time take part in certain monostructural cardio that is a singular speciality. Running is a prime example.
The beauty of CrossFit is that is prepares us to run, long and hard, in many ways through increased physical capacity gained through the varied training, even at shorter WOD time/distance durations. However, if we don’t actually get out and do it once in a while at varying distances, we do not accustom the body to the actual physical aspects of running. In other words, the muscle activation and adaptation that is needed to make it happen and the ability of the body’s joints and support structure to withstand the shock, impact and strains of the actual movement.
The body needs this “acclimatization” process in order to handle it, injury free and with the body being able to maximize it’s potential ability, when the time comes to “throw down” for real.
I use Lance Armstrong as a prime example. Make no mistake about it, Lance is a FREAK of nature and a superb athlete. Having raced alongside Lance (OK, I was behind him most of the time…), I can tell you he is a truly gifted athlete. So, when Lance, the 7 time winner of the Tour de France, went to make his marathon debut, people were astounded when he said it was harder than Hell and he didn’t do as well as would have been thought.
Reason being is that Lance’s entire athletic ability has been pretty much wrapped in a cycling world for the last God knows how many years. Although Lance used to be a triathlete, the long run, coupled with a tremendous amount of impact and physical torture (seriously, marathons just can’t be healthy) were more than his body could handle at the time. Not that he wasn’t ready for it insofar as cardiorespiratory ability, but the body was not accustomed to the needs of running – utilizing oxygen, metabolizing waste, replenishing fuel, and handling the impact and strain. I think you get the picture.
So with that in mind we run today. I don’t dig running anymore than the next guy, but I do it. That way when the time comes in the real or athletic world, I am ready for it. I have been dragged behind a K9 at work at a full trot for miles in the pursuit of felons while the dog is on an active track all across Hell’s half acre. In full gear at a jog, that’s a lot of work and strain – I had better be ready. Once again proof that CrossFit is “Functional Fitness”. Get some…..