A few Monday's ago I addressed the myth that if you want to lose weight you need to to more cardio, and more cardio for most people means a long slow run. When most people consider what they need to do "to get into shape," they mostly think about doing long slow runs. The long slow run has a tight grip on the misbelief that it is the best way to lose weight and get into shape.
Don't get me wrong, a long slow run has its place in a well round and varied fitness program. We regularly program 5 and 10k runs for the gym, and a bunch of us meet on Sundays for a nice easy social run. Some of us have caught the rucking bug and are walking with weight rather than run on the weekends. That's great! A long slow run or a nice long ruck combined with 3-4 days of CrossFit is an excellent training program.
A long slow run is also great for mental health. A long slow run can help you get into a mental state where you can either solve all of your problem, or completely forget about them.
However, long slow runs do not build muscle, or help increase bone density, or help improve other metrics of fitness such as speed, power, strength, flexibility, stamina, balance, agility, coordination and accuracy. The long slow run focuses on metric of fitness only - cardiovascular endurance. I argue that it's not even that great, for the average person, at improving endurance.
Recently, Outside magazine interviewed retired marathoner Ryan Hall, arguably one of the best American marathoners of all time. Hall has made some significant changed to his fitness program and consequently he looks very different from his competitive marathon days.
When asked by Runner's World about his body composition changes, Hall replied:
“I’ve been small and weak my entire life—just, like, totally underdeveloped,” Hall told Runner’s World. “I’ve always wondered what it would feel like to be big and strong.”
Useless is the absolute opposite of the type of fit person CrossFit aims to develop. Of course, we must remember that Hall was a marathon specialist, thus developing and maintaining his general physical preparedness (GPP is what we build through CrossFit) was antithetical to running fast marathons. However, when most people start a fitness program aren't looking to specialize. They're looking for well rounded fitness and when they look to running as the sole modality for getting fit they're losing of potential fitness gains by neglecting cross training, high intensity intervals and strength training.
Now that his competitive days are behind him, Hall encourages people who are wanting to look and feel good to place a greater emphasis on weightlifting and include easy runs in a cross training program. Huh, that sounds exactly like what we do every week at True Spirit CrossFit. We cross train our way to fitness, thus we become CrossFit.
If you want to get outside for some long slow fun with your TSCF community, and you don't want to run, join our official GORUCK Club the Montana Mighty Rucks. It's free to join our club and all we ask of you is to show up with a positive attitude and have some fun walking with weight. We are hosting a ruck this Saturday in Yellowstone National Park. You can get all of the details by clicking here.
Hotshots 19 Memorial Workout- April 16
Travis Manion Memorial Workout - May 1
Memorial Day Murph Challenge - May 31
Record your WOD on Beyond the Whiteboard.
Do you need CrossFit or yoga gear? Click on the links below to buy through our Just Strong, Reebok, Rogue or Hylete Affiliate share sale programs. These are affiliate links and our gym will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on these links.
Check out our Flickr page!