8-30-11

(4x)
6 Squat Cleans (135#/95#) (plate or med ball squat cleans are also an option)
12 Burpees
200m run

ENDURANCE WOD (to be done a minimum of 3-4 hours after your Strength and Conditioning WOD)
8 x 200m Sprint w/2min rest between efforts

“You must maintain unwavering faith that you can and will prevail in the end, regardless of the difficulties, AND at the same time, have the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.” – Jim Collins

8-29-11

7 rounds, each for reps, of:
0:30 Box Jumps (24″/20″)
0:15 rest
0:30 Push ups
0:15 rest
0:30 KB Swings (53#/35#)
1:00 rest

“Extraordinary accomplishments only happen when your passion produces extraordinary effort. If it does not consume you, be ready to accept mediocre results.” – John Rennie

Is CrossFit really enough?

My goal sharing this with everyone is for you to see the process of our training, and to get a glimpse of my perspective.  CrossFit IoTA is not me, it’s each and everyone of you that walk into our box, trains the way we train and works hard to achieve whats theirs. You need look no further than the team of people who ran the half yesterday to see the results of all our training. Thanks for indulging me…

Is CrossFit really enough? – Putting your money where your mouth is.

by: Paul Whitteker

Truly this adventure started in December 2009.  As I sat at Battle Born CrossFit in Reno,NV for my first CrossFit seminar I couldn’t help but be excited. I was about ready to have the mysteries of CrossFit Endurance un-locked and get to learn from some of the best, at least so I hoped.

As I flew to Reno I truly wondered why I was going?  I wasn’t an endurance athlete.  I was nearing the completion of first year of doing CrossFit and the longest I had ever run in my life to this point was a 5k.  I didn’t get any pleasure in running, but I did get pleasure in performing well and at the time being 36 years old I had run in and placed in every local 5k I had entered, but I still thought of myself as a young and budding CrossFitter, not a runner, but if this would make me better tan why not go.

The weekend proved to be nothing less than amazing.  I learned how to run with proper form and technique. How and what to do to fix my and others techniques. I was beginning to see a little light.  I learned things about nutrition, hydration, programming and a plethora of other information as they applied to the endurance side of sport.  As I thought about my home town I couldn’t help but think of all the endurance athletes that lived in my community that could be training so much better.  My coaching fire had been light.

But then I heard something I’ve never forgotten. “If you master the correct technique, run the way we have shown you this weekend and can do all CrossFit workouts as prescribed your ready state is a half marathon!” (CFE Trainer Carl Borg) This was immediately seared into my brain.  Did I just hear Carl say what I think he said?  Is he NUTS?  I had run a few 5k’s the past summer, all of which where under 19 minuets and I felt like I had been hit by a freight train after each of them, but wait, there where still WOD’s I couldn’t do as prescribed.  How could a 135# Clean and Jerk make me run a half marathon, there is no way…

Needless to say I finished the amazing weekend and went home inspired, overwhelmed and in awe of the things I had done, seen and heard.  Not two months later I was given a great opportunity by the trainer at the CrossFit box I was working out in, CrossFit Cache Valley, to help a few of his athletes with endurance training and running.  These where enjoyable times that I was able to both learn about myself as a coach as well as help others on their way to mastering this skill we call running.

Fast forward to August 2010, I’ve opened by own box and that comment that Carl made months ago has popped back into my head.  The Top of Utah Half Marathon was coming up, I’d been practicing my running, and was doing all of the CrossFit WOD’s as prescribed and thought now’s the time! SOLD OUT was what the website said.  This couldn’t be. I was primed, mentally committed and was going to take 13.1 miles on.  I was frantic, made phone calls, emailed any and everyone I could think of including the race director, but it wasn’t to be.

I was determined in 2011 for this not to happen so I put a reminder on my calendar and then forgot about it until a snowy day in March (welcome to Northern Utah). The reminder popped open as scheduled, race registration was open and I signed up.  The time had come to test my training.  Little did I know then that this would be the summer that I would really be testing my training!

The summer of 2012 seemed like we raced almost every weekend.  My box had grown and I had a solid group of endurance athletes that loved to race as much as I did.  We where all following CrossFit and the CrossFit Endurance training methods.  We where all pushing each other to new and greater heights, personal bests were happening all around us, the summer was speeding along as we raced away the weekends.  There where many firsts both in experience and places for all of us in events such as run-bike-run’s, triathlons (both open water and pool), biathlons, and single sport events to include ultra distance relay races.  The team was amazing and we where even getting some members who where not endurance athletes and had little or no experience to jump in with us and give it a try.  They where having fun, trying new sports and stepping outside of their comfort zones.  This was starting to get EXCITING!  But always in our sights coming up the road was that 13.1 mile run, would I and those that trained with me be ready?

I was hearing things from friends, neighbors (non-crossfitters) and even a few members that it wasn’t going to work and there was no way I could do it.  “You’ve never run this far before, you just don’t know how it feels.”  I never argued but just smiled and said we’ll see.  I kept my cool but inside I was sweating a little.  These people had done it, they where familiar with the pain and had trained Long Slow Distance, perhaps I was wrong.  Ever so small doubts begin to creep in, but I knew I could breathe and that muscularly I was strong and my joints where stable.  They didn’t know what a sub 8 min Helen, 6:10 Karen or Murph with a vest felt like.  How did they now if my training would work?  Really I had no time to deal with anyone on this issue; I just pushed it all out of my mind and keep my eye on the prize.  I was going to prove to them and myself that I was doing the right thing and training the right way. But I digress. 

My training this summer has truly been classic CrossFit WOD’s, mono-structural, couplets and triplets.  I treated race weeks like any other week, the races became my Saturday WOD’s and it just became part of my training. And so it was, I raced twice in April, twice in May, once in June and three times in July. I never placed lower than top 3 in my age group and even managed a top overall in one of the Tri’s I did….but none of that mattered….13.1 miles was still coming for me in August!

I must confess that owning a box, coaching, training, having a family and racing this summer hasn’t allowed me to really train CrossFit Endurance the way I had been taught.  I did program it for all of my clients who where willing to do it and I made time for the interval and track work during the week for myself, but frankly didn’t have time to get in the tempo and time trial work done on weekends I needed.  But all summer as I trained and did the track and interval running work each week one thought continued to pass through my mind, “Long Slow distance, creates long slow runners”, exactly what I wasn’t interested in being.  Not in the least.

Two weeks out I finally managed to get out for a run down the canyon where the race would be held and needless to say I was exactly where I wanted to be.  My training was working!!  I averaged a 6:30 mile pace over 7 miles.  In true CrossFit fashion I was putting Carl’s words to the test on myself. “If you master the correct technique, run the way we have shown you this weekend and can do all CrossFit workouts as prescribed your ready state is a half marathon!”

Race morning finally arrived and as the team and all of the other participants arrived, I was surprisingly calm.  I didn’t feel any anxiety or nerves.  I knew I was as prepared as I could be and just needed to run my race.  I had never run a race with nearly 2500 participants, but I knew I would at the very least finish.

I placed myself near the front of the pack not wanting to deal with having to bob and weave through everyone else.  As the crowd counted down and the gun went off, I just focused on what I had to do.  At mile 4 I was feeling good, but by mile 6 the outside of my foot had a sharp pain.  It felt like my shoe was cutting into my foot.  I abruptly stopped felt the place on my foot and knew that it wasn’t my shoe, so I continued on.  This was something that had never happened to me, but I just decided it didn’t matter and I’d figure it out in seven more miles.  Mile seven I started seeing friends and people whom I didn’t know cheer me on and it gave me the boost I needed to keep going.

The last two miles where pretty tough as we had to climb up a gradual hill, my foot was throbbing now and I just wanted to stop.  I was starting to get passed by a few people, but as they passed I thought lets go do pull-ups and see what happens to you, come do Helen with me and lets see how you hold up, what does your Clean and Jerk look like….It was CRAZY self talk, but it kept my mind off of the uphill grind to the finish and my foot.

My goal before I started the race was to finish in under 90 minuets, I felt like that would be respectable, and needless to say I did, 1:27:16 and I was never happier to be across a finish line in my life.  Two and a half years of CrossFit and CrossFit Endurance have brought me to this point.  So many things have transpired over that time, but the one thing that has always been there is the WOD, no matter what it was I would show up and did my best.  Day in and Day out I have taken baby steps and am now the athlete that I am today.  Thanks to all who have helped me in my journey, and thanks to those who have let me be a part of theirs.

Top of Utah Half Marthon Results 2011

Photo from the start of the Top of Utah Half Marathon

You can find complete results here.

Here is the Update from the athletes from CrossFit IoTA who participated in the TOP of UTAH Half Marathon from our box. In a field that was nearly 2500 deep our team did fantastic!! I am so proud of all who put themselves out there and tested their training at this event.

Paul Whitteker – 1:27:16 (27th overall, 22nd male, 6th in age group)
Rick Hall – 1:29:24 (34th overall, 28th male, 5th in age group)
Stephanie Hall 1:33:36 (72nd overall, 14th female, 3rd in age group)
Camile Martindale 1:39:51 (128th overall, 28th female, 5th in age group)
Darly Burr 1:41:45 (153rd overall, 115th male, 15th in age group)
Tandy Olsen 1:43:20 (185th overall, 133rd male, 20th in age group)
Deena Wolfley 1:46:55 (245th overall, 74th female, 5th in age group)
Gordon Palmer 1:52:09 (364th overall, 230th male, 39th in age group) Christina, his wife, come to our box so we where all cheering for him!!
Cherri Olsen 2:07:21 (805th overall , 427th female, 88th in age group) Tandys wife, and we where cheering for her too!
Holly Corbridge 2:09:39 (873rd overall, 486th female, 70th in age group)
Mindy Anderson 2:35:37 (1472nd overall, 922nd female, 248th in age group)

A few members of our team before the race!
Camile, Rick and Stephanie with their winners Trophies. Deena Took off quick, but we got her trophy for her!

Top of Utah Half 2011 – Train the way we do, to run the way you can!

Coach Brett will have a great TEAM WOD at the box at 7:30 am for everyone.

GOOD LUCK TO ALL WHO ARE RUNNING THE TOP OF UTAH HALF MARATHON TOMORROW! – We’ve been holding Endurance WOD’s all summer and tomorrow the rubber meets the road for many athletes from this Valley.  It will be especially interesting for those who have been CrossFitting at our box and doing the Endurance WOD’s this summer.  We will be putting our training methods and training to the test.  The proof will be in the pudding. For those who have put the time in and trained using CrossFit and CrossFit Endurance (in my bias opinion the right way) i am confident we will do well.  I too am looking forward to tomorrow when I will finally run over 7 miles for the first time in my life. I will share my journey with all of you as well in tomorrows post. Good luck to our team of runners! – Paul

Article of the Day: Super Running, Is CrossFit Endurance the new way to train?

Can CrossFit Make You a Better Runner?

by Graham Averill on April 4, 2011 (blueridgeoutdoors.com)

Crossfitter Adam Eidson performs an overhead squat after running an ultra.“Any time you do one exercise over and over, like running, you’re creating imbalances in your body,” says Duvall, who was so smitten with CrossFit’s holistic nature she opened her own studio. “You think you’re fit, but when you begin to look at muscle systems individually, you realize there are weaknesses,” Duvall says. “And that’s when you get injured.”

But CrossFit will only take a runner so far. The training sessions will build a more balanced body and could shave time off your desired distance, but you can’t ditch running altogether. Eidson’s aspiring marathoners still put in occasional long runs of up to 13 miles, and Duvall will soon hit the track to build the form and speed she needs to break her five-minute-mile goal.

“Crossfit is used as a baseline to build strength, then you get into the specialty training,” Duvall says.