Why Follow Our Run Programming (Even Though You Hate Running)?
Written by: Coach Slater
…because in the words of Chris Hinshaw, revered endurance Coach for AerobicCapacity.com, “We’re not trying to create runners. We’re using running to create fitness.”
Running is about training different muscle fibers and different energy systems to maximize your athletic potential. Camille LeBlanc-Bazinet was skeptical about the benefits of “just running” until she won the CrossFit Games in 2014 after making Coach Hinshaw promise to *not* work with fellow competitor Sam Briggs. (Jason Khalipa made a similar pact with Hinshaw regarding Rich Froning back in the day.) Briggs was the best female runner at the Games that year, and didn’t think she needed to train running. Hinshaw convinced LeBlanc-Bazinet that running isn’t about running. That’s the same message I’ve been learning and why I encourage you to follow our two-day-a-week run programming.
Lemme try to explain some science for a second… when working at a high intensity, your energy systems provide/release energy and convert glucose into pyruvate, which can only be used for fuel if there’s enough oxygen present. So, if your muscles are aerobically-trained (convert oxygen efficiently), then they can use this pyruvate as fuel. Otherwise, it turns to lactate, which builds up in your muscles, acting as a defense mechanism that limits your ability to contract the muscle. But, when you’re more aerobically fit, you can clear the acidity better, so you’ll continue working when you previously couldn’t.
So, running is about developing the largest muscle group in your body to clear fatigue more efficiently so you can do more work in everything else. If your legs are aerobically developed, your ability to pull that lactate out of your system has improved. Through running, you’ll find that you can do more pullups, more handstand pushups, more snatches, more thrusters, more everything. Got it?
Maybe you’re reading this and wondering why you need to worry about any of this or you don’t care about going faster in workouts. After all, you aren’t super competitive. You’re just here to be healthy. Well, this concept is important for you because improving your body’s energy systems is going to drive adaptation quicker, which means you’re going to improve and see results faster. You’ll look better, feel better, and you’ll be a more well-rounded, healthier human-being.
Or, maybe you’re asking if you can row/bike instead? Sorry, no. It’s not the same, according to Hinshaw. Running makes you support your own bodyweight more than rowing, or even swimming. Rowing or biking will tax the heart, but with running, you’re going to get more stress on all the muscles of the body, which will lead to more adaptations.
So, let’s sum it all up.
Our run programming is built directly off of Hinshaw’s Aerobic Capacity template. It’s designed to be completed twice a week, on top of our existing class programming. It doesn’t take place of anything; it merely adds to the work you’re already doing. You can complete the runs on the days it’s programmed, or fit it in wherever is more convenient for you.
See you out there!