I’m a Crossfitter

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You know how you know a person does Crossfit? Don’t worry they’ll tell you. Do you know how you know if someone’s completed a marathon? Don’t worry they’ll tell you. That joke is old and dumb. People who are passionate about their hobbies and sports will of course tell you! I love talking about my ever evolving fitness!

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My love for Crossfit started years ago when I saw the Crossfit Games on tv. It was a strange competition with people working out in the weirdest, hardest ways you could imagine, but i was sucked in. These girls and guys are the epitome of FIT. And not in the strange, posed, spray-tanned, starved for weeks to make the veins pop, body builder way. They are active, healthy and moving fast. Simply put, they are athletes.

I had a small taste of Crossfit when I used the Crossfit Endurance training plan to work toward a fast 5k. I noticed the strength portion of the book was simple, effective yet tough. It reminded me of how I train clients: varied functional movements at high intensity levels. Crossfit also introduced the rower to me, which was especially important because of a calf strain that had me away from running a couple years ago.

This past spring I finished the Spartan Beast Obstacle Course Race. It was incredible and showed me what the Reebok Crossfit community is about: having a body that can DO things and helping those around you ACCOMPLISH hard things. I finished that race feeling like I could do anything. It proved I wasn’t just a runner and my body was so much stronger than I gave it credit for.

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I’ve had great experiences leading up to actually joining a box (what they call their gyms). It just took a while for me to join because i’m a trainer at Gold’s Gym–it felt a little dirty, like i was cheating on my home gym. But I craved my own, separate place to workout. A gym that no one stops me mid-workout to ask for advice or chat about fitness. In the same way i’ve had a running coach in the past, i needed someone else to program strength workouts. I wanted to take the stress off myself and enjoy being a place where i can concentrate on working out and where I’m treated as an athlete, not a personal trainer.

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Crossfit Silver Spring

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They had me at Beer Mile PR’s

I couldn’t officially start coming to the box for a WOD (workout of the day) until I completed a mandatory Crossfit Elements course (8 classes) at the CF Silver Spring box. Elements teaches the fundamentals and movement patterns of the sport and puts a daily WOD to the test at the end of each hour lesson. I was more than impressed with the level of professionalism and safety in this box.

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So far, I’m in love it. I’m obsessed with it and I can see why people tend to think it’s cult-like. It’s electric and motivating and FUN. As a trainer, i’m learning a lot. As an athlete I’m gaining a lot.

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The biggest misconception i hear about Crossfit is that it’s dangerous. Well let’s put it this way, any sport or intense training program has risks for injury. You need good coaches or trainers (like me!) and you need to use common sense. Also let’s talk about how often I’ve been injured running vs. strength training at intense levels.

Running: shin splints, runner’s knee, piriformis and hip flexor issues, IT band syndrome, bone bruises, calf strain…and these are just the ones I’ve had.

Strength/Crossfit: skinned knee, couple of bruises, maybe i’ll pinch my finger with a weight once in a blue moon. Now you tell me what is more dangerous. I’d put my money on running any day of the week as being more dangerous.

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My coaches Marcos & Katie!

The biggest changes I’ve noticed over the last two months are increased shoulder mobility + strength, glute activation and lat activation. The coaches take a lot of time each class to lead warm ups and mobilize our bodies using foam rollers, massage tools and various dynamic exercises to prep the body for the hard work ahead.

I went into Crossfit nervous because I’ve had issues with my right shoulder since I was 13. (My chiro even told me to stop doing overhead pressing exercises.) Six weeks later I have ZERO shoulder pain and i’m lifting weight over my head. My glutes have been sore and worked every class and i’ve PR’d my deadlift by 30lbs easily. Remember runners – strong booty means a strong runner, especially on the hills. And a strong body equals a powerful runner.

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I was worried I wouldn’t be able to train for a marathon comfortably with these tough workouts, but hey, it’s not interfering, it’s helping make me a well-rounded athlete. I haven’t had any issues juggling the running and Crossfit schedule. If anything i’ve felt stronger with each run because my strength training is on point.

What it comes down to, is I found a place and people I can put real effort and energy into to see results. When I’m working out I have people supporting me, shouting, “Go CORI!” I have coaches fixing my form and giving me expert tips to make me a better athlete. It feels fantastic being surrounded by people who want you to succeed, to be stronger, faster and better than ever. I hope everyone out there has a place like this, a gym or a trainer or coaches that can help push you safely to the next level to reach your goals or get you out of your comfort zone.

Last Saturday was the first time I felt the complete and utter exhaustion that comes from giving your all in a workout. The workout that makes you lay down on the floor afterward and create a sweat angel. The elusive Crossfit sweat angel. I achieved it and I want it again and again and again. Even if it means running 10 miles before class…

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If you have any questions about Crossfit please – ask away. I’m by no means an expert, but i’m all about new experiences to make you a better runner, weightlifter or get-in-shaper. This has quickly become my home away from home, my home away from the marathon course and the home that supports and motivates me all week long.

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Last Week

Monday: 6m easy 8:20/pace

Tuesday: 10.5m intervals (4 x 1.5m @ 7:03/pace)

Wednesday: 6m easy 8:29/pace, 20min shoulders/lats

Thursday: Crossfit

Friday: 12m MGP tempo (9 @ 7:50/pace)

Saturday: 10m easy 8:50/pace, Crossfit

Sunday: 9.9m easy 9:17/pace

Total Miles: 54.4

What’s your favorite type of workout besides running?

Have you ever had a coach or personal trainer? 

Author: She's Going the Distance

Runner!

7 thoughts on “I’m a Crossfitter

  1. Is this a sponsored post or free membership or something?

    I have some concerns … particularly about the whole injury and danger thing. Yes we know about your injury history with running … but describing the well-documented histories of injuries largely from over-doing it at crossfit as a ‘misconception’ is … um, concerning. Are the dangers most likely over-stated? Of course. But at the same time – one of the biggest issues is that there is no centralized form of data collection, so just as you can get over-reporting of injuries, so too can the risks be under-reported.

    You are correct in saying that every sport and high intensity activity comes with risks – and that it is critical to work with coaches and those who understand the risks to stay safe and healthy. Basic biomechanics would tell us that something like a competitive basketball game would be more dangerous than a few mile run around the track … so when you look at the activities of cross-fit, describing the dangers as basically coming down to ‘a skinned knee’? Given how much I value all of the information you put out based on your knowledge and experience, this post just left me feeling weird ..

    • oh jeez, no no no. Not a paid sponsorship or free membership- i pay in full. And definitely not trying to leave you feeling weird or concerned. Injuries aren’t documented well across the board- in running, in working with a personal trainer, in sports or in crossfit- not just crossfit. Definitely NOT saying there is not an associated risk with something like Crossfit or that every person should be doing Crossfit. I just happen to like the idea that they have challenged me in a brand new way and in, what i would consider, a safe environment.

      Would I recommend my 70 year old clients to join.. well maybe, if they are healthy and want something challenging. But is Crossfit great for everyone, of course not. Is a skinned knee the worst that could happen, of course not. And you, i’ve mentioned 100x are the exception to my #1 rule for runners. “Don’t just run.” In my experience working with endurance athletes, I find overuse injuries specific to the kinds I mentioned on the blog happen often. The healthiest athletes, including myself, include some form of strength and metabolic conditioning exercises 2-3x per week.

      What I was trying to get across more than anything is that when you find a good workout that motivates you and inspires you to become a better athlete or a more productive person on the home front or at work, grab it by the horns! (I initially brought up the danger/injury issue because its one that I, myself, was most concerned with because of my shoulder issue.) I hope this helps – I also put on my “about me” section that I do not want anyone trying my workouts or nutrition unless they speak to a physician and get the all clear. But I will edit this and add to the post as well!

      • Thanks for the reply and clarification – as I said, I left the post feeling weird, then came back and re-read and still felt weird, then came back again to re-re-read before commenting.

        I COMPLETELY agree with the entire thing about mixing up your workouts – I love adding bodyweight stuff, and am trying to be really good about doing it. But I think it is important to go beyond that, as you say – yoga, swimming, pilates, barre, weights, crossfit, and on and on. The more stuff you can do, the better.

        And I really don’t think anyone should specifically rule anything out – see what works for you and your body. But the other thing you say that is CRITICAL – make sure when you are trying something new that you do your research, find a reputable place and get a coach if applicable and ramp into things slowly. You certainly have an inside edge – my wife moved from one kickboxing gym to another years ago, and didn’t find out that the head trainer was clueless until she injured her arm – and discovered that she was just the latest. So you are able to leverage your knowledge and experience – it isn’t so easy for others, unfortunately.

        Thanks again – order in the universe has been restored 🙂

      • I agree 100% – I definitely have a better grasp because of my training background to be a little smarter when it comes to trying new things. That is SO unfortunate about your wife’s arm injury. It gives trainers a bad name for sure. And yes- completely agree with finding something that works for you, keeps you motivated and is a reputable place. I think i’m so gung-ho Crossfit right now because I found it motivates and pushes me out of my comfort zone, but my comfort zone is not normal. lol. who said running marathons were fun right? I love your insight to the post and If it’s ok with you i’d like to include parts of it in a follow up when I talk about CF again.

  2. I enjoyed this post! I’m a runner but have often wondered if crossfit would be a good addition to my strength training. Thinking about checking it out during the off season!

    • yes! i would definitely say try it in the off season. I started it at the beginning of marathon training- but i’m also used to these types of workouts so it wasn’t a huge shift in my training schedule.

  3. Pingback: 17 October 16 - Crossfit Silver Spring

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