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CFE article in Outside magazine (Read 293 times)


    I know that this topic was brought up in "the board that shall not be named" but I was reading the issue of Outside this weekend that had a feature article on the Crossfit Endurance guy, don't remember his name but he has crazy tattoos and crazy ideas, and had to laugh. The writer of the article was prepping for a marathon and was assigned to do a story on this guy. He said that his goal was to run the marathon in a respectable 3:20 and basically Mr. Tattoo said that not running more than 13 miles, doing the CFE and doing some speed work would be able to help him accomplish it. Of course there was the part that said, and I'm paraphrasing, that Mr. Tattoo ran six 13 mile runs in preparation for his 100 mile race and with 10 miles left he was "crushing an 8:00 pace" but came in something like 45th. I'm sorry, if you are "crushing an 8:00 pace" how do you come in 45th? I know a lot of Crossfit junkies (they have even competed in national competitions) and even they think this guy is a quack. I just thought it was a well put together piece and wondered if anyone else had read it.....By the way.....the writer of the piece ran a 3:35 (a marathon PR for him by 5 minutes) and basically said his body/mind shut down at mile 14. Ooops Mr. Tattoo Big grin


      I have heard something about this, but I haven't read the article. But based on your synopsis of it, I'll say the following:


      I think Crossfit is a good way to get and stay in good physical condition. And I think it can probably help you be a better runner in as much as it probably helps strengthen some muscles that may not necessarily be used directly in running, which may have a positive benefit. However, I don't think that there are any shortcuts to running 100 miles: track, road, trail, TM, mountain, etc. It is hard and requires so many things to go right on that day. Your body and mind must be trained for what is to come, and crossfit, in my opinion, would be a benefit to that training, but I do not think it would be a critical component. You have to have some level of understanding of the mental part and the nutritional part to be successful. You cannot do that with 13 mile runs; I don't care how many of them you run. Your body and mind goes through a lot of complicated activities at the 50 mile, 100K, 100 mile distances.


      running under the BigSky

        I'd agree ^  crossfit is a wonderful conditioning/strengthening program, that I think compliments running very well (much better than "traditional" weight lifting); but successful long distance running requires long distance running- no different than successful sprinting requires sprinting


          I have a good friend who is a Crossfit instructor and damn fine 100-mile runner.


          You know how she trains for 100-milers?  By running.


            The name of "Mr Tattoo" is Brian Mackenzie. This RWOL (don't flog me for posting it) talks about him:


            Here is my take. Mackenzie's basic premise is that you don't need to specialize to run a marathon or beyond, and do it well. In my mind, CF touts the idea that they will make you a better generalized athlete not the best at any one disciple but better at all of them than most people. I think Mackenzie applies this same thougth process to CFE. But I would argue that CF and CFE do specialize. They specialize in making you a better generalized athlete. A Pentathlete is going to train to a broader range of skills but their training is specialized to maximize their ability in the Pentathalon. This is the same with CF. I mean look they actually had to make their own "games". Why? I would argue it is because most of their athletes could not do as well in any one sport, i.e. olympic weightlifting.


            So I argue the CFE will never make you the best at marthon and beyond. Will it make you better? Possibly but it is not specialized enough in my opinion. It is specialized for lower mileages. I think the lack of LSD limits important adaptions in the body that are needed to optimize endurance running at marathon and beyond.


            Finally, I have yet to meet anyone that has used the CFE program strictly and completed an marathon or ultra. I would love to talk to someone that has. I think that would be interesting. And I don't think it is impossible. There are somegreat examples of people that have gone from zero to finishing an ultra. Dave Groggins comes to mind.


            Overall, I like CF as a cross-training tool. I have done CF for a while and will admit that I think it has made me stronger. But I would never try to train for a marathon or beyond just on CF and CFE alone.


              @FurShirtFlyer - I really like your insight on it. There is no doubt that he is a tremendous athlete and could potentially be a great CF coach, but he makes some very "bold" statements in the article that are a little concerning. The magazine provides a 12 week schedule on prepping for a marathon with the longest run being 10 miles not 13 as I had originally stated.



              I don't know if the concern should lie with him or with Outside magazine posting a schedule that is going to help someone prepare for a marathon that has you running less than half of the total distance you are aiming to cover. It seems to me that it is automatically setting someone up for failure.


              Follower of Forrest

                I'm no expert, but it seems like CF training is a lot about learning to be efficient and pushing yourself to exhaustion.  Being familiar with this territory could be helpful for running.  Then again, I wouldn't skip the gym and just run in order to get myself ready for the CF I doubt the reverse would be too effective.

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                  I guess my ultimate question to Brian Mackenzie would be: Why aren't elite marathon runners using CFE? If it is that great, you would think the best of the best would be using it.

                  running under the BigSky

                    I guess my ultimate question to Brian Mackenzie would be: Why aren't elite marathon runners using CFE? If it is that great, you would think the best of the best would be using it.


                    I don't think he contends that it is the ultimate workout for marathon training, just that if you subscribe to the CF training regime you can do decently with a lot less miles than typical


                    I think he's a little off on his calculations however


                      Haha - thanks to FSF for digging out my old thread. I was going to refer to it in this. 


                      Like others have said, it seems you can build great cardio with CFE, and maybe possibly but not likely good endurance. However, it doesn't prepare your body for the pounding of long distances. That's why even the creators of the concept fail to complete 100-milers while following it.

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                        LB2 and Flyer, you sum it up nicely, I agree with your thoughts.


                        My take is that Brian MacKenzie's approach might work very well for events lasting up to about 2 or maybe even 3 hours because with less intensity (running at less intensity than doing Crossfit) you can definitely go longer at still a nice intensity. However, anything beyond what is covered by your glycogen stores requires specialized training, experience, and knowledge. Crossfit does not address these issues (because it is not a necessary part of their training).


                        And to the mental part in long-distance events, I fully agree. You will always encounter unexpected and adverse situations in an ultra, and it is how your mind deals with it what makes you succeed or fail. And for that, you need experience and a few bad long runs.

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                        Trail Monster

                          Meh. The guy is a little crazy but I can testify that CF works pretty darn well. I'm a low mileage runner. I think my YTD average is 20 MPW. Yet I still improved my marathon and 50M ultra times (4:33 and 12:05). Nothing super impressive but I really shouldn't be able to do either off what I typically run. Of course, now that I registered for BR I'm running more like 40 MPW. I definitely wouldn't attempt a hundred on CFE alone or with my typical mileage.

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