The days of long, slow distance work are over—at least for anyone who’s discovered CrossFit. With the CrossFit Endurance program, distance athletes are suddenly finding success without the four-hour steady-state workouts that can beat their bodies into the ground.
Brian MacKenzie breaks the CFE program down into three parts: skills and drills, intensity, and stamina work. Skills are required to prevent injury and give you the tools for success, while proper intensity ensures that the athlete is getting enough stress to enable an adaptive response. For most, four to six CrossFit workouts per week will suffice, but some competitors (such as triathletes) need to do only four WODs a week while adding in a number of sport-specific sessions based on stamina training and intervals. The final piece is stamina workouts that take the place of endurance work.
“The important thing to note is that in this paradigm shift that’s occurring, the direction that we go is the exact opposite direction the endurance community takes—every time,” MacKenzie says.
Additional reading: Less Is More for Champion Runner by Parker Morse, published June 9, 2009.