Burning Runner: 6 Weeks To Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle

A report on using Crossfit Endurance for half-marathon training.

Written by: T.J. Murphy

At least for me, transitioning into Crossfit Endurance has been challenged by the narrowness of my previous conditioning. Last night I took heart in listening to a competitive weightlifter talk about his first exposure to a Crossfit workout and how stunned he was at how it wasn’t easy for him—that the workout exposed “holes” in his fitness.

Crossfit metabolic conditioning workouts—or “metcons”—typically last less than 20 minutes. They’re high in intensity and, per the definition of Crossfit, the workouts are meant to be constantly changing. In effect, weaknesses are quickly exposed. For an old dog distance runner like myself, I had a lot of trouble doing one burpee at first. As mentioned to me by several of those who are prospering with the Crossfit Endurance system of training, this brand of shock is par for the course. To engage the program I was encouraged to leave my ego at the door—that to obtain the value of CFE I would have to be prepared to be humbled.

Humbled I was and continue to be. But as I’ve mentioned to those who have asked me about it, the technique, core-strength and power focus of Crossfit has saved me from the high-wire act I recall performing of always being a bit broken, always on the edge of injury.

But will it get me back on course with my running?  That’s the question I aim to answer for myself from now through December, with the first marker being the Seattle Rock ‘n’ Roll half marathon.

To provide a view of what it’s like, below is a sample of the training I have thus far worked up to.


Dynamic Effort: Bent rows w/ barbell @ 85-95lbs for 3-5 on min for 10 min

7 rounds: 3 thrusters at 115lb + 5 chin ups + 7 box jumps between 18″-20″

PLUS: Mobility Training, Zone-Paleo Diet, Hydration


Running intervals: 4 x 400m with 2 min rest between

Crossfit Workout-of-the-Day (WOD)

PLUS: Mobility Training, Zone-Paleo Diet, Hydration


Maximum Effort: Bench Press working up to a 2-3 rep max for 5-6 sets

10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1:  Deadlift, Push ups, Power Clean

PLUS: Mobility Training, Zone-Paleo Diet, Hydration


Intervals: 5 x 800 with 2-minute recoveries

PLUS: Mobility Training, Zone-Paleo Diet, Hydration


Front Squat working to a 2 rep max for 5 sets

15-seconds on 45-seconds off then on to next exercise… 5 Rounds of Thrusters, pull ups, burpees

PLUS: Mobility Training, Zone-Paleo Diet, Hydration


Crossfit WOD of choice

PLUS: Mobility Training, Zone-Paleo Diet, Hydration


10K time trial

PLUS: Mobility Training, Zone-Paleo Diet, Hydration


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