Can CrossFit Make You A Better Runner?

  • By Jeff Gaudette
  • Published Jul. 3, 2012
Intense workouts like CrossFit might make you stronger and improve your general level of fitness, but will it improve your running? Photo: Scott Draper/Competitor

Will It Benefit You?

You can use information about yourself and your specific weaknesses as an athlete to assess whether or not a fitness routine like CrossFit might benefit you.

If you’re a new runner who wants to do more exercise but your legs can’t handle more mileage (yet), workout routines like CrossFit can improve your general level of fitness, even if it doesn’t necessarily improve your running. Likewise, if you’re an injured runner, make sure you don’t substitute these workouts at the expense of preventative exercises or recovery modalities.

For more experienced runner, or if you’re already crunched for time, your limited training time is better spent adding more miles (assuming your body can handle the volume), performing running-specific strength exercises such as short hills sprints or form drills, or adding preventative maintenance routines and recovery modalities into your schedule. Remember, to run faster, including running-specific workouts to your training schedule will give you a much better return on your investment compared to other non-running specific programs.

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Jeff Gaudette

Jeff Gaudette

Jeff has been running for 13 years, at all levels of the sport. He was a two time Division-I All-American in Cross Country while at Brown University and competed professionally for 4 years after college for the Hansons-Brooks Distance Project. Jeff's writing has been featured in Running Times magazine, Endurance Magazine, as well as numerous local magazine fitness columns.

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