Irrespective of your training level, you have a duty as a CrossFit athlete not to over-train your body. While some athletes feel that their day is not complete unless they exert their full efforts during the CrossFit training, the truth is doing so can wear you out and put you at a disadvantage in the competitions.
CrossFit competition is an embodiment of the culmination of lots of weeks or months of training, and to some extent, this justifies the risks that come with overexertion. However, in training, try not to go that deep. Research has shown that training at 100% intensity can have diminishing returns when compared to submaximal programming.
How Hard Should You Train?
Runners find this conundrum especially problematic. Before they realize it, they have already gone too fast in a race, and it is late to make any corrections. There is a methodology you can incorporate seamlessly into your CrossFit training that can help you moderate the intensity. It is called middle distance repeats.
Solid CrossFit exercise plans have included interval training as a proven way to enhance running efficiency and VO2 max. Based on the outcomes, the performance benefit of interval training far surpasses that of lactate threshold running and long slow distance running. If you want to explore your upper velocities without bearing the risk of falling apart in form, moderately long efforts of about 4 to 10 minutes performed at high intensity are recommended.
The above benefits solidify the fact that middle distance repeats are a must in any CrossFit training programme and more so to newer runners and racers.
The reason why many new runners go out too hard on themselves is that of the gap that exists between their physical ability and their expectations. Middle distance repeats bring in some sense into training.
If you can get hold of a GPS running watch or a stopwatch and run with it in a single afternoon, you will find out before long the pace you are capable of without the expense and risks of blowing up in your training. The first-mile repeat, you run will be great, but as you proceed, your body will slowly stabilize into your race day pace. Once you find this pace, it will be much easier for you to plan a strategy that will deliver the fastest possible time at your next competition event.
Getting the Distance Right
To understand the term middle distance, think of a range of length from about 800 meters to 2 miles. For training repeats, these distances are excellent especially between 800 and 1600 meters. When you do 2 to 4 laps on a track, you may never be fully exhausted, but the distance will force you to adopt a sustainable pace.
Try interspersing middle distance repeats with recovery intervals to give you a good posture and form. Your muscles will adequately relax and clear any traces of lactate. This will lessen the potential for damage to your joints and muscles when compared to lactate threshold running of similar volume.
The recommended CrossFit workouts for middle distance repeats include jogging, mobility work such as yoga, and ample warmups and cooldowns.