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Training For The LONG Haul (Long Distance WOD Breakdown)

Over the past week, we have talked about the different lengths of workouts that we do in CrossFit and the effects they have on our bodies in terms of training and our goals.

Today we are gonna cover why we do long-distance exercises and what their pros & cons are!So, You Wanna Run A Marathon?Next week will mark 18 weeks until the Houston Marathon (if you plan on running this year, we can work with you on your training and send you a training guide for this year’s Marathon and Half Marathon on Sunday. Just Respond “I’m Running!” To this email and the length of race you’ll be participating in).Long distance running has to be one of the most popular forms of exercise in the world, due to the fact that it is the easiest sport to pick up! Just get a solid pair of shoes and just start going somewhere faster than normal (there are tons of mechanics to running to go over for safe exercise, but this is the extent that most people prepare for long-distance training).Judging by the amount of Brooks and Hoka shoes I see in the gym, many of us are into long-distance running in some capacity!On top of this, a good chunk of y’all use CrossFit to supplement your strength training to better prepare your selves for your races.While CrossFit does cover long-distance workouts (30+ minutes) such as 5k runs, Murph, 12 Labors, 12 Days of Christmas + Thankfulness; we tend to not cover these length workouts as much as their shorter counterparts.While this makes this pretty awesome for our Marathon preppers, why don’t we do WODs this long more often than just once every 1-3 weeks?The Downside Of Long Distance TrainingJust like a pitcher in baseball, we all should be monitoring our rep (pitch) count!By joining Vegvisir, you’ve actually gone ahead and gotten yourself a pitching coach that counts those reps for you in terms of all of the different joints you move daily with us.Longer workouts at high intensity up that rep count significantly, which can increase the risk of injury. While this can be regulated by either having everyone hit a rep count (workouts for time) or have a subjective rep count (AMRAP), there will still be a dramatic increase in reps put on joints.Whether it is last week’s 30 Minutes Rope Climb WOD or a 30-minute max distance run, you can also exercise for a while after all your energy stores are depleted, leaving you a little less focused on what you’re doing mid-WOD and have you trip on a box or fall off a bar without thinking.The last thing is, that since many of us come in to get stronger and get better at movements, overworking by doing too much volume can actually slow down our progress in building muscle because of the body’s focus on building type 1 muscle fibers and lack of time to recover to build type 2a and 2b muscle fibers.The Upside To Long Distance TrainingNow that we’ve gone over how high repetitions over a long period of time (20+ minutes) can be harmful, let’s go over how this type of training is helpful and why we all should do it!

  • Your body will use fat as fuel! Meaning that if you have a high-fat diet, especially if you’re someone who enjoys your red meat and fish, your body will start using your fat stores for fuel about 2 minutes into the workout and steadily burn that fat while your heart rate is elevated but not peaking (red-lining).Your heart health greatly improves over athletes who don’t train these distances. The steady state of an elevated heart rate reduces the risk of common heart mortalities.
    1. Training this too much can lead the muscle fibers of the heart to thicken to the point of causing atrial fabulation or an irregular heartbeat in a low percentage of long-distance runners.To learn more about this, check out the article on NRP: https://www.npr.org/sections/13.7/2016/09/14/493803246/is-running-good-or-bad-for-your-health
    Longer exercises also tend to be outside which can expose you to more sunlight, meaning improved mood due to Vitamin D and endorphin release from exercise.Longer workouts at a reduced intensity (relaxed pace leading to lowered heart rate) can help your body recover by helping blood move throughout your body easily without causing more damage to your muscles (you should be able to comfortably talk with someone if this is the pace you’re trying to keep).Lastly, and probably most obviously, long-distance exercise improves your muscular endurance in the muscles trained!
  • These reasons are why we will always try to throw long-distance training into our routines! After all, all of us will probably be asked to do at least a 5k fun run with a friend one day.Since we want you to be better prepared for life, training all these time domains with varying intensities can train our muscles to adapt to new tasks and situations more easily.If you’re planning on training for the Marathon, remember to respond to this email with “I’m Running” so we can get you your plan and get you ready for your upcoming race!Then plan on setting up an athlete check-in in the next week or so, so we can talk about the right amount of volume to load yourself with as you shift focus slightly to being ready for your big race!The most important thing to remember, whether you’re planning for a long race or are already doing a ton of long-distance cardio on your own, is to take your recovery seriously.You are burning plenty of calories and when you come into the gym we are helping you do the work to get strong. You need to make sure to stretch, take recovery days at least once a week, and have a full rest day once a week as well!

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