Greg Amundson, on a challenge, decided to try and run 100 miles in 24 hours using only the main site WODs as his training.
The thought of running 100 miles never occurred to me before I met Melissa Mackenzie, an expert in endurance running and training. During a CrossFit Level 1 Certification in San Diego last November, Melissa, the co-owner of CrossFit Newport Beach, challenged me to run 100 miles in 24 hours. After all, CrossFit has always made the claim that short-distance anaerobic workouts transfer to long, slow-distance aerobic events. This has been proven by athletes such as world-renowned rock climbing expert Rob Miller, who routinely breaks mountain climbing records on CrossFit training alone. Attempting to run 100 miles on CrossFit training alone seemed like the kind of challenge I could sink my teeth into.
I had one month to prepare myself for the event. Melissa and I agreed I would only follow the CrossFit main site WOD (Workout of the Day) and that I would do no additional long-distance running. Between the day I agreed to do the run and the day of the event, my CrossFit journal had me running just twice: I did Helen (400-meter run, 21 kettlebell swings, 12 pull-ups) and Nancy (5 rounds of 400-meter run, 15 OHD squats with 95 pounds.)
That is exactly two miles of running.
Another challenge I added was to run the entire distance on Zone food alone. No supplements or other weird energy-type drinks. I wanted to prove that CrossFit training and the Zone diet can truly create a “ready state” from which an athlete can do just about anything.
Besides doing the 100-mile challenge for scientific reasons, there was an altruistic side. I’d had a discussion with my good friend Jimi Letchford, also at the San Diego Cert, about the potential of using the run as a means to increase the awareness of Operation Phoenix, the CrossFit initiative to raise funds to equip the entire U.S. Marine Corps with functional fitness equipment to help increase combat preparedness, reduce injury, and strengthen unit cohesion. We agreed upon a plan in which the run would start and finish at CrossFit Camp Pendleton (A.K.A. “The Warehouse”), and that any media gained from the event would be used to encourage people to visit the CrossFit link to Operation Phoenix with the hope of a donation.