Clean Eating and Cross Fit

Do you ever feel like you need more in your fitness life than running? For three years, running was The Bomb. Over time, I ran farther and faster and it was (mostly) all good. I was proud of my accomplishments and proud of my newfound athleticism after a lifetime of uncoordinated couch potato-ness. Thirty miles a week? No problem. Eat whatever I want? Of course---I just ran 30 miles this week!

But somewhere a long the way it became less about just seeing where running would take me and more about being well-rounded, healthy, fit and STRONG. An ATHLETE, not a runner only. I decided to start with eating like an athlete. So, I read Tosca Reno's book on clean eating and a few websites. I picked up a Clean Eating Magazine. I tried to concentrate on putting good things into my body--mostly natural, whole foods. I'm not perfect at it, but I'm making progress!

Now, I'm a little obsessed with building MUSCLE. I want to get stronger. I had the goal a while back of doing a pull up--just one (I set my goals LOW apparently). I worked hard and did it. Today I did 12! I've added squats and lunges to my regular routine as well. Allegedly, the building of muscle will actually help my running. Win-win.

But I've been floundering a little with the strength training. I can't seem to get into a regular routine. I fit it in maybe once a week. I don't know good form from bad form on lots of weight-training exercises. Those big bars and plates intimidate me! (So I use dumbbells instead--less scary!) I knew I was in need of a little guidance. I started thinking about Cross Fit. I have seen the website and several of the videos. I didn't feel strong enough to even try it for the longest time. These past 3 or 4 months, I have actually started integrating some Cross Fit moves into my routine on occasion so I wouldn't have to start at zero.

Today I walked in the Cross Fit gym near my house and signed up for one month! After that, I may continue to go to that gym or I may just do it on my own at the YMCA once I've learned proper form. Let me just say it was the most INTENSE workout I've ever had. I gave 100% or close to it today. I've had a few races this intense, but never a total body workout like this.

They gave me my initial test today. I had to run 400 meters as fast as I could and row 500 meters as fast as I could. I had to do the following for 5 minutes or up to 100 reps (whichever came first): sit ups, pull ups, squats, push ups. I was happy with how I did overall:

Run 400 m. 1:46 (7:08 pace)
Row 500 m. 2:09 My form is awful. My trainer kept correcting me. I felt so awkward. I know this will get better when I get my form down. Rowing. Is. Hard. And I did it last. Whew!
Push Ups 54 Didn't make it to 100. I did 20 nonstop and then did 3 or 4 between rest breaks. Total muscle failure! My shoulders quit functioning. A year ago I did the 100 Push Up Challenge and did 107 in under 5 minutes. Not today!
Sit Ups 100 in 4:44
Squats 100 in 3:17 LOW squats --much lower and harder than I normally do. My quads and glutes will be SCREAMING at me tomorrow.
Pull Ups 12! Yes, it took me 5 minutes to do 12 good form pull ups. I really only did 11 good ones, but she gave me that last sucky one. My normal pull ups are apparently "cheat" pull ups--I was not straightening my arms all the way on the down. Today, she had me get off the bar completely for each one. So, I had to jump up to a bar about a foot above my fingertips to start each one.

I'm going back tomorrow for more---if my arms and legs are still functional!

  • Cross fit 3 days per week (it includes short bursts of running 400 meters many days)
  • Running 2 days per week---a short 3-4 miles and a longer run of 6-10 depending on what I'm training for
  • Rest two days per week. I am 40 now, you know!


Jennifer P said…
All the time! I hate strength training but I also know that it is much needed not only to be a better runner, but a more funner mom (airplane rides and piggy backs for me kids!). I am glad you found cross fit - I've only heard great things about it.

Funny thing: the word verification for this comment was the word cramp!
Book Worm Runs said…
Wow!! Awesome! Sounds scary and amazing all at the same time! :o) LOL! Good will be ripped in no time :o)
Katheryn said…
Wow! Good for you!
mrafalski said…
I've also been seeing the need for more strength training. I don't have access to cross-fit, but I've started using a kettle bell. Right now, I'm aiming for 2xs week kettle bell, 3xs week running, and yoga at least 1 or 2xs a week. Come hard winter, I may increase the kettle bell workouts and decrease the running.
RunnerMom said…
Are you getting a lot of soreness from the kettle bell workouts? I would imagine you'd get sore like I am with crossfit! Haven't tried the kettlebell yet!
mrafalski said…
Yes I am! I can feel every muscle in my legs, and of course my shoulders and arms are feeling it as well. Proof that I need it.