Blog

The top 5 ways CrossFit can help you PR your next marathon time

Mar 13, 2019 | 0 comments

At CrossFit Jerusalem, we get a lot of runners.

 Some of them peaked years or even decades ago, and are looking to break through a plateau.  

 Others just want to build muscle and improve body composition.

 All want to strengthen their cores and reduce injuries.

 I am always amazed by our distance runners who manage to beat scores that they have been grappling with for years.l

(Pictured is Avi Horowitz. Two weeks ago he PR’d his Half Marathon with a 1:36 time after being stuck in place for nearly a decade. His goal in the grueling Jerusalem Marathon this Friday is sub 4. Avi works out at CrossFit Jerusalem. Go Avi!)

 Here are the top 5 ways CrossFit can help you achieve that peak performance you are after.

1. Core strength. CrossFit is a core strength and conditioning program. Not in the sense of doing thousands of crunches and other isolation exercises, but in the sense that every movement we do builds on a foundation of a strong and stable core. When you run, your body needs the ability to produce and transmit high forces across the entire frame from your fingertips through to your toes. Weakness in the shoulder girdle or abdomen will catch up to you when the mileage gets high. Neglect these areas at your own peril!

2. Flexibility. Short hip flexors and/or quads are the bane of runners, especially those whose lifestyles require lots of sitting. Literally some of the greatest athletes in the world are a hair’s breadth from devastating knee and back injuries which will take them out of training and competing, due to tightness in these areas. Doing full range of motion functional movement is a panacea for short muscles and the associated dysfunction, but if you have a real problem, there is no substitute for targeted mobility work. 

3. Balance and symmetry. We’ve all seen the hunched athlete shuffling over the finish line with their head looping off to the side. Kudos to them for their bravery and fighting spirit, but let’s face it: It ain’t pretty and it’s sure as hell not good for anyone. At CrossFit Jerusalem we regularly perform unilateral strength work to shore up those weaknesses and imbalances. Any strength work is a good start, but by working each side of the body independently, you are more likely to attain functional balance. Dumbbells or kettlebells are excellent tools for this special kind of strength work. Also, there are motor units which only fire when you do crossover work like scales and bird dogs, very similar to running.

4. Recovery. A well rounded GPP* athlete will be back to regular training with 48-72 hours of an extreme event. Compare this to the average week or so many marathoners take, during which the body loses precious progress made leading up to the event. The key is variance in training both before and after the event. Basic science tells us that an organism responds best to stressors it is unaccustomed to, which is why it is so critical to change it up constantly while at the same time being focused on your goal. *GPP = General Physical Preparedness ie. CrossFit like training programs.

5. Hip and leg strength. An often neglected muscle group is the gluteal complex. The reason we are attracted to people with nice butts is because this supremely important region is most indicative of fitness in the crudest sense. Strong functional glutes support healthy backs and knees, and will also power you up that hill when your legs are tired. Minor errors in running or squatting form, multiplied by thousands of reps, are a disaster waiting to happen. Prevent it before it happens by working with an expert coach who can watch you move and prescribe appropriate exercise.

 

We all love that special feeling of completing a long distance event. There is nothing quite like it! (Even lousy runners such as this author have been known to enjoy the occasional half marathon). Come prepared by incorporating smart CrossFit/GPP training 1-3 times per week in the months or years leading up to your event!

Book a free meeting with a coach who can help you meet your goals at https://app.acuityscheduling.com/schedule.php?owner=13876588

 

 

Will Deadlifting?

10 questions about deadlifting, answered.

How To Eat For Strength, The Corner Store Edition!

One of the easiest ways to sabotage your workout is to go into it starving.

Anyone who is serious about gains knows that eating a balanced snack 30-60 minutes before training will allow for better performance in the gym, and hence, better results.

Here are my top 5 picks that any decent convenience store in Jerusalem should have. Snacks are selected based on Macronutrient profile, meaning they provide an ideal ratio of easily digested proteins, carbohydrates and fats to fuel your workout.

Seven Ways To Get More Sleep

The science is in, you gotta get enough rest if you want good health and fitness.  Getting the right amount of sleep will put you in a better mood, make you more productive at work, less accident prone, and will improve a wide range of important health biomarkers,...

How CrossFit Jerusalem started and some lessons I’ve learned along the way.

For my 30th birthday my girlfriend (later wife) bought me a months membership to a local globo gym.  It quickly became apparent that Jerusalem needed a better option. As in, worlds apart better. Although it took some time until I made the final decision, that’s when...

It’s The Carbs, Stupid!

  You work out regularly but you can’t get rid of that gut.   You practice portion control, but your waistline stays the same!   So you workout more and start skipping meals. Some initial weight loss but 2 weeks later you are stuck again and your energy...

The top 5 ways CrossFit can help you PR your next marathon time

BlogAt CrossFit Jerusalem, we get a lot of runners.  Some of them peaked years or even decades ago, and are looking to break through a plateau.    Others just want to build muscle and improve body composition.  All want to strengthen their cores and reduce injuries....

The Benefits of Personal Training

Here’s how Personal Training can get you better results and speed up recovery from injuries:  If you enjoy working out in a group class setting such as CrossFit, or by yourself at a gym, at times you may find yourself plateauing, or even regressing due to injuries.  ...

Cheesy Corn Pie

There aren't many things which will make your house fill with an aroma as wonderful as the smell of a cheesy corn pie baking in the oven. In fact, it's what I'm smelling now as I write these words, and the combo of the melting cheese along with yummy crust getting...

You are not a rubber band

You are not a rubber bandYou are not a rubber band. You're a person. Stop stretching yourself in too many directions. Now, before you snap. Here's how to succeed: Pick one thing to focus on. Everything else goes into maintenance mode. Throw all your emotional and...

Functional Box Squats

blogThere is not much which can wear you down more than chronic nerve pain. Whether it's sciatica, ankle pain, or neck/shoulder issues, the pain may rise and ebb, but it never seems to go away. That sucks! While there is no magic cure, the good news is that it is...