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Endurance Training Decreased Training Time & Increased Work Capacity by Brian MacKenzie - CrossFit Journal

In CrossFit Endurance, Running

January 01, 2008

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In reflecting on the CrossFit Certification seminar I recently attended at North Santa Cruz, these words still ring in my ears like Christmas bells: "Increased work capacity across broad time and modal domains, increased work capacity across broad time and modal domains, increased work capacity across broad time and modal domains."

The same weekend as the cert, three of the athletes I train were running the New York Marathon. They all finished and felt as though they had not really done a marathon, unlike many marathoners who train only long distances for long hours. At my training business, we start with technique with everyone we train. We teach each of them to squat, deadlift, snatch, and jump. It does not stop there. We look at their ability to keep a foot underneath themselves when running and how quickly they can "pull" it up off the ground as they move forward. This is the most effective approach to improving running that I have found, and as their speeds and paces get more impressive, the better the athletes get at correcting their technique in all sports as they begin to adjust to the neurological patterns associated with proper form.

Once we are comfortable with the technique we increase the work capacity. It's about power! Time to get serious. Typically, soreness follows, which is to be expected but often comes as a surprise to the non- weightlifting individual. I always laugh at this, because most endurance athletes don't connect that soreness with their other experiences.

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5 Comments on “Endurance Training Decreased Training Time & Increased Work Capacity”


wrote …

I am loving crossfit, but as a marathon runner am having a hard time trying to do both. How do you incorporate marathon training into crossfit?


wrote …

Great article and programming idea. A friend and I are looking to do a half-IM in July (5.5 months from now) and I'd like to follow the spirit of this plan. We have more time to train and our goal is to just complete the event comfortably. We both have a decent aerobic base and enjoy the Crossfit philosophy of preparing for every type of activity. We have the bug to do this event so I thought to go at it with some specificity in mind but without losing focus of broader fitness.

To begin, we'd follow the WOD with a little CFE (crossfitendurance) thrown in twice a week between now and 13 weeks out. Then switch to a more triathlon focused plan.

Here is my thought for a weekly plan:
-2 rest days (I noticed no rest days in the model program)

-one heavy lifting workout (Crossfit Total & oly stuff)

-1 workout of a low intensity combination of two tri-sports working up to 2/3 of total race distances (alternate different sport couplets each week) (9 mile run, 50 mile bike, 1200 m swim)

-follow up the next day with the third sport with a high intensity routine.

-1 workout for each sport of CFE-style high intensity intervals (tabata, tempo, ladders, intervals, etc)
(each sport is specifically trained twice each week)

-2 GPP/metcon workouts (girls, burpee intervals, high rep/high speed couplets & triplets)

With 5 training days and 6 workouts, there will be one dual-workout day. The longest training week will end up being around 8 hours which works well with our life schedules. Does any one see any holes in this plan?

thanks for any feedback,

Chicago, IL


wrote …


I'm also a rookie in Crossfit, but I beleive in its application. I have experienced increased speed, agility, and strength since I began Crossfit this past summer.

I have several friends who are distance runners and they challenged me to enter and finish the American River 50 mile endurance run utilizing Crossfit & Crossfit Endurance priniciples, they are not convinced by all the press about Crossfit and my apparent success. Since I am the only person they know utilizing Crossfit, I accepted their challenge. They even paid my entry fee up front.

Would it be possible to make some adjustments to the Rookie Prep and manage to finish and survive a 50 mile run within 13 hours?

Any guidance would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in Advance,

Las Vegas, NV


replied to comment from Annie Wylie

Sorry for the late response, but you should do CrossFit Endurance.


replied to comment from Paul Watts

Good luck Paul! Show the haters whats up

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