Thursday, June 6, 2013

On Blending Crossfit With Triathlon...

Nalani and I finally graduated our Crossfit Elements class this morning. The picture is proof! And no, we did not coordinate our outfits beforehand...
And yes, Moana came and hung out at the gym while we were working out. Mostly b/c when your session is scheduled for 7AM and your husband tells you (at 8PM the night before) that he has an early meeting tomorrow morning, well, you drag your kid along with you to the gym. She was such a trooper and so proud of herself because she was 'exercising' right along with us. Exercising every day is such a normal thing in her mind as she's seen it for 4 1/2 years now and I think that is super cool. Anyway. Back to Crossfit.... ;)

The WOD this morning was the most brutal one we've done... most of the Elements classes were pretty skill based just learning terminology and how to perform specific moves with good form, etc. And then we'd do a WOD that lasted like 4-8' maybe total, and while it's hard, well, it's only 4-8' so it's manageable. This morning the workout was quite possibly the hardest thing I've done in a long time... (Harder than Honu? Hard to say totally different kind of hard.) When I'm swimming biking or running I pretty much never push to the point where I think I might actually puke (maybe I don't push hard enough??) but this morning I was completely nauseous and seriously wondering if I might throw up? The WOD was called "Fight Gone Bad" which sounded pretty ominous before we even got started, and when we were done, I understood the name completely. It was a total of 15' of work with 5 different exercises we rotated through like a circuit counting reps and trying to get as many in as we could with 1' at each station (3 rounds). Wheezing breathing I was starting to fail on the wall balls (which really is one of my favorite new exercises!) and when it was over I was flat on my back for a couple minutes before I could speak or function at all.

I love the different type of training stress I get from CF. I think that while I can see how it can/will compromise some of my SBR training, if you do it right, it can really be quite complimentary in the end. Mostly b/c these full body WOD sessions will just make you STRONG, and I think part of the reason we start to fail/fade at the end of long races is a lack of strength- so form starts to fail and then we're just moving inefficiently and the energy costs get to be so much greater. So my gut says that if I keep up this CF 2x/week for the next few months, I'll get stronger and that will pay off in the form of better efficiency in the long run (literally, in the long run). So that is my plan and I'll let you know how that works out on September 8th. :)

The other thing though that I really like about CF is that it is such a new and different and very personal challenge. I think that if you keep your ego in check and stay within yourself during your CF sessions, it's possible to complete them without hurting yourself (I can see how you could very well hurt yourself if you didn't keep yourself in check or let your ego get in the way)... It seems to me the culture of the gym by my house is such that everyone can be in there just simply challenging themselves vs trying to compete with everyone else in their class. And I love it that my CF results are not published online anywhere for someone to go and check/see/compare... So now I have my 'score' for that benchmark session "Fight Gone Bad" but nobody else knows it- only me- so next time we do that one I know what I'm shooting for but it's still completely my own private goal to beat. Something about the public nature of our triathlon race results can result in some stress, but I simply feel none of that with CF. But yet I can still push myself to the point of wanting to puke! That is quite attractive to me.

Anyway, as far as combining SBR training with CF sessions... here's what I'm thinking... Prob best to do CF as last session of the day if I can swing that. Given that Moana thinks its super cool to go to the gym and watch mommy wheeze, I'm thinking I can go 2x/week to a 4:00 class and bring her along with me... that way SBR training is already done for the day and won't be compromised by that session. Then I just try to work as hard as I can without completely ripping myself apart so I'm not trashed for 2-3 days after each CF WOD.

Honestly, if I didn't have Vegas on my schedule for the fall I'd prob be doing CF 3-4x/week. I like it that much! Maybe I'll go that route later in the year... For now I'll stick with 2x/week and see how it goes...

4 comments:

Julie Dunkle said...

I love CF- 3x a week and I find I do it first thing....while i feel like puking during the WOD - the recovery is quick and I am better off SBK sooner than later....beating the DOMS -

I too love the compete with yourself- our WOD was 16 min today- clean jerks, Box step ups with 36 lbs, pull ups- 10 each-

I am hoping too to see the results in the back 1/2 or IM or 70.3- where stregth prevails.

Katie said...

Oh, I wanted to do cross fit but my coach thought I was too competitive so it could lead to injury :) Sounds like a lot of fun and my guess is that it will help resolve your imbalances :)

Also, do you ever do any treadmill work? I've been doing incline intervals and it's really helped my running form! Email me if you want more info.

thepumpkinsdiary said...

I am obsessed with these type of workouts! And when I am done with Tahoe, I will go fully into it and leave triathlon behind. Crossfit isn't 100% my thing (right now, anyways), I love bootcamp style workouts where we just totally smash ourselves for 45-75min. For some reason both these type of workouts and swimming are the two that just smash me.

Kiet said...

Too funny, first on my to-do list after this tri season is become a crossfit badass.