The beauty of CrossFit training is that you can find ways to work it into everyday, mundane training tasks. One such area where variances in your environment allow for acceleration and intensity increase is running. Most gym goers are dependent upon the standard treadmill for their daily running requirement. Sure, it’s an efficient device. But it sure is predictable. While the paths we take in the real world are paved with hills, valleys, bumps and sometimes potholes, those we endure on the treadmill are remarkably predictable. This is nice for those who want to read this month’s Cosmopolitan magazine while keeping the heart rate at 120 BPM without smudging their makeup, but terribly lacking for those looking to challenge their bodies in new and unique ways each time they train.
Outdoor running provides a healthy, exciting, and physically challenging viable alternative to standard treadmill training. More specifically, outdoor varied running in places such as hills or even mountains (if you are fortunate enough to have one in your area) will provide sustained and varied resistance training which soundly defeats anything a treadmill can offer! Running mountains delivers a different level of resistance with each passing step. But you can make it even tougher, by integrating a CrossFit style workout into your running routine. Let’s learn how!
Devote the same 30 minutes you’d spend on a treadmill, to CrossFit style mountain running. Run your standard planned route the first time. Map out those spots in the trail which present the steepest climb, the biggest hill. These will become your CrossFit training stations as you run that trail. Are you ready to run the course for real? Let’s examine how a Day #2 (and every day after that) would look.
Start by running your standard path. Once you recognize you’re about to approach the steep area, STOP running. Yes, freeze. Drop and knock out 10 burpees. Then SPRINT the steep steep incline part of the trail. As the road levels, return to your slower pace, with your heart rate elevated and muscles challenged. After all, you waited until the TOUGHEST part of the course to complete the burpees, THEN sprinted. You’ve now faced down interval mountain CrossFit running. Continue to repeat it as you arrive to each steep spot in the trail.
This style of running is CrossTraining at its finest. You’re taking on a mountain, which is pretty cool all by itself. Toss in the fact you’re running the mountain – and stopping along the way to tackle some of the toughest bodyweight movements known to man, and we’ve reached the pinnacle of hard outdoor training that completely blows standard treadmill cardio right out of the water. Good luck!