CrossFit can be a valuable complementary training method for a whole range of sports, which includes improving your running performance. Read on for seven ways in which CrossFit can help enhance your running abilities.
1. Strength and Power
CrossFit incorporates various strength-building exercises, such as squats, deadlifts, and kettlebell swings. By improving your overall strength and power through these functional movements, you can generate more force with each stride, leading to increased running speed and efficiency.
Typically, CrossFit workouts involve high-intensity interval training (or ‘HIIT’) and cardiovascular exercises designed to improve aerobic capacity and endurance. This enhanced endurance can translate into improved stamina during your runs, enabling you to maintain a faster pace for longer distances.
3. Core Stability
CrossFit places significant emphasis on core strengthening exercises, but it’s not just about the planks and sit-ups. Using free weights and barbells (as opposed to static machines) forces the body to stabilise itself, where a machine in a typical gym environment would do a lot of the stabilising for you. A strong core is crucial for maintaining proper running form and stability, which in turn helps prevent injuries and allows you to transfer power efficiently from your upper body to your lower body while running.
4. Balance and Co-ordination
It’s not uncommon to find a CrossFit workout that includes movements requiring balance and coordination, such as box jumps, jump rope work, and agility drills. Developing these skills through CrossFit training can improve proprioception, enabling you to maintain better control and stability while navigating varied terrain.
5. Mental Toughness
It’s no secret that CrossFit workouts are challenging and demanding, both physically and mentally. Engaging in CrossFit can help you develop mental toughness and resilience, which are invaluable traits during long-distance runs or races when fatigue and discomfort set in. The mental strength cultivated through CrossFit can help you push through challenging moments and maintain focus during your runs.
6. Injury Prevention
CrossFit promotes functional movements, mobility, and flexibility, which can all help prevent common running injuries. Strengthening your muscles, improving joint stability, and addressing muscle imbalances through CrossFit exercises can reduce the risk of overuse injuries and keep you running consistently.
7. Cross-Training Variety
The very description of CrossFit is ‘constantly varied functional movement’, so it’s surprise that it will add variety to your training routine! Preventing boredom and plateaus, cross-training with CrossFit can break the monotony of solely focusing on running while still maintaining overall fitness and improving specific aspects, such as strength, power, and endurance.
When incorporating CrossFit into your running training, it’s important to balance your workouts, allowing adequate recovery time and avoiding excessive fatigue. Consider working with a CrossFit coach or personal trainer who can design a programme that specifically caters to your running goals and individual needs.
Remember to gradually introduce CrossFit into your routine, paying attention to proper form, and listening to your body’s cues. By integrating CrossFit training intelligently and purposefully, you can reap the benefits of improved strength, endurance, stability, and mental toughness, all of which can positively impact your running performance.
Interested in finding out what CrossFit can do for you? Get in touch to book your free No Sweat Intro with a member of the SCFIT team now!