I received an email today from a coach asking about my thoughts on CrossFit for endurance athletes. It's an interesting topic. I have experience, both as an athlete and coach, working with CrossFit and endurance sports. Note, I am not speaking about CrossFit Endurance, simply CrossFit.
Here's the email from Jane....
I was wondering if cross fit training has a place in the yearly cycle? A lot of people I KNOW ARE DOING IT , BUT I FEEL IT'S TO MUCH LIKE A COMPROMISE BETWEEN CARDIO AND STRENGTH TRAINING. What is your opinion?
My response to her was:
CrossFit is all about overall, general development of athleticism and strength, nothing specialized. That is basically what the general preparation phase of any endurance athlete is. So I think it has a place in that phase. For most endurance athletes, the type of high-intensity training that CrossFit provides is something many of them ignore, so there is definitely a need for most endurance athletes to include some of this type of training. How much? That's individual.
The issue is more so the risk of injury, especially if trying to maintain a somewhat moderate level of endurance training. CrossFit instructors in general have a relatively high amount of intensity everyday in the training, and sooner or later, this catches up to the athlete, creating injuries, limiting progress.
So it must be a careful and dedicated balance, or compromise as you mentioned. Not easy, but the risk can provide some high rewards if some of the principles are applied properly.
Hope this helps.