Glad to hear you are tasting the kool-aide. Please remember with all things that you must gradually get into CF first. You blow into it like a bat out of hell and you will end up on the injured list with a quickness. CF Endurance WORKS!!! My buddy has been crushing courses all year. I have been rocking with CF now since September, and in about 1 month, will be starting my CF Endurance to get myself ready for Savageman, and for next season. Aside form stress FX in the beginning of the season, because I was doing long runs, rides with regular CF, I smartened up and now on a really good regiment thanks to my coach. Please listen to your coaches, and learn the form, before tacking on weight. If you can get with Jen's box for CF Endurance, I have read tons of things she has said, and she is SPOT on. If you are here in NOVA, come on over to my Box. I could always use a partner in suffering.
Mark - thanks for the note.
Jason - I'll send you a PM with some more info. Glad to hear you are interested in trying it out.
I trained for a 100 mile trail run 2x this way and am training for IM Wisconsin with CFE as well. How Macca and Chrissie Wellington train isn't of much interest to me. It's their job, so they should be putting in the their time at 'work'. I'll never be at that level, nor do I aspire to be, so this is how I train. It works for me. I got burned out doing the typical triathlete training, and this allows me to train for whatever I want, do my strength training (CF - which includes cardio, strength, agility, speed, flexibility, etc, not just core and lat pull downs) and still have a lot of time to do other stuff without spreading myself thin. No injuries to speak of, either, but my own training is still very much a work in progress.
I think (or hope) that much of the language quoting Brian about triathletes is out of context. He's also been trying to promote his brand of coaching which, as the articles in competitor have pointed out, is working for him... So criticisms and critiques are easy to put into sound bites, but I'm more interested in looking at the science of anaerobic endurance training-- which you point of Friel and others agree with to an extent. Personally, I'm looking at CFE as one of my few options; with a recovering back injury I can't spend much time in the saddle of a bike. If CFE can help me spend less time there and recover actively while not throwing away my whole season, I'll take it! Like I said, total guinea pig moment for me!
O, I've been drinking the kool-aide for a while now. I joined up CrossFit MPH after some bad experiences at another box back in January. The coaches have been awesome and worked with my injured back. They've been really responsive and helped me craft the CFE program I'll be attempting. That being said, I have no qualms dropping in another box for a few burpees with some triathletes.. to be honest, one of the best things about CF is the other athletes kicking butt right next to you...
thanks, jen. our replies crossed streams in the internets.
i'll also add... my fitness model is pretty simple. i won't be the fastest or the strongest. but i'd like to be "pretty damn fast" and "boy he's strong" fit.
Well, as many people say, endurance training is an experiment of one. Some programs don't work for some people while they do better with different programs. There are some general principles that underlie basic human functions and fitness but endurance training is complex and involves many different elements. (I won't go into the details of Friel's analysis but he points out that there are 3 basic elements and 3 advanced elements, though muscular endurance falls somewhere in between basic and advanced.) He admits that there are fuzzy lines where it's impossible to make one rule fit every athlete, including the balance between the amounts of aerobic endurance work and high-intensity work. There are also different needs for beginner and advanced athletes, with beginners often having weak leg toughness/fitness, especially when it comes to running, and not much aerobic endurance.
I would just second trithis' caution about easing into it, or any other training program. High-intensity work can involve a higher injury risk. That's why many programs carefully limit the amount of high-intensity work over the course of a year. Injury avoidance is very important for consistent results. A single injury can put you on the disabled list for a long time, which means that you lose most of the fitness gains from the previous months of training. Though I struggled with running in my 1st year, since then, the only real injury I've had was from strength training (not CF, but it was bodyweight training, not the machines that CF doesn't like, and which I don't like either).
I can't say that I've gone deeply into the other statements of MacKenzie but I've heard similiar statements from some (but not all) CF enthusiasts. I do like many of the elements of CF. It's just some of those parts that kind of turn me off. I know there can be overbearing people in any sort of program, but my first (extended) experience with a CF enthusiast was of the "if you don't do handstands and CF, you can't possible be in good shape" sort of thing, over and over again. It sounds similar to the quotes from MacKenzie so I don't think it's an isolated attitude or a single misquote. I've also read similar statements on websites of some CF gyms.
I'm not trying to knock CF or say it isn't a solid training program. Just that there are some parts of it that really got under my skin in the past (but not related to anyone here with DC Tri). If I had listened to some of those people, then I might not have gotten into endurance sport at all.
I'll just close by saying good luck with the training and the injury recovery. I know from experience that injuries are very frustrating.
Completely random, but the author of that article (Max Wunderle) looked familiar to me since I knew a guy by the same name from my high school swim team in Westfield, NJ. Upon looking him up, I saw that he was the same guy I swam with and that he's since started his own triathlon coaching business and has had quite the career in ultradistance swimming and triathlon, including several Kona appearances. In fact, I remember the year he competed in the race around Manhattan, a 28-mile swim, and placed 5th in the event as a high school swimmer.
Impressive guy...small world!