Friday, January 2, 2009

Review of a Crossfit Endurance Interval workout

Today I did the Crossfit Endurance Interval workout posted on the CFE site on 12/31. In general, this workout consists of short time trial (TT) intervals, followed by brief rest. The only instructions are to cover as much distance as possible during the TT intervals. I guess the "rest" is up to us. I prefer to rest in motion (jog or walk), but as you will see, that is sometimes hard to do. Here's the workout:

6 minute TT, 3 minute rest
4 minute TT, 2 minute rest
1 minute TT, 30 second rest
30 second TT, 15 second rest
15 second TT

The recommended warmup is a 800m easy jog followed by a few short sprints to prepare the legs for hard running.

I warmed up as recommended (0.52 miles), then my workout went as follows:

Segment Time Miles Pace
6 min TT 6:02 1.02 5:54
3 min rest 3:01 0.25 12:19
4 min TT 4:01 0.67 6:02
2 min rest 2:01 0.14 14:25
1 min TT 1:00 0.19 5:16
30 sec rest 0:30 0.03 18:11
30 sec TT 0:31 0.11 4:53
15 sec rest 0:16 0.02 18:05
15 sec TT 0:17 0.05 5:21

Total 2.48

After a short cooldown, the total workout was 3.47 miles, just over 27 minutes. Here's how it went:

The first and longest TT (6 minutes) seemed to go on forever. I went out a bit too fast in the first 3 minutes, and struggled to hold on for the duration. I chose to walk the rest period, and recovered enough to allow me to hit the 4 minute TT pretty hard. Or so I thought...

The 4 min TT seemed easier (duh, it is shorter), but when I see my times I see that I did not hit it as hard as I thought I was.

It was much easier to go "all out" on the shorter TT intervals. For the rest periods following these intervals, I pretty much just stopped and tried my best to catch my breath. It's interesting that the 30 second TT was my fastest, because that one was on a slight incline. I think I ran that one so hard that the last TT was tough for me, even though I knew it was the shortest and my last.

It was all I could do to keep walking after my last interval. I stumbled into a short 800m cooldown feeling like I had really given it my all. This was a good workout that left me feeling like a hard workout should.

Give it a shot sometime, and let me know what you think.

Run hard out there...


The Running Man Ray's Words said...

Hey Neal, I run 4 days a week one of those runs long and slow. I have read on some forums that some people use the CF Endurance workouts to train for their Ultras full time, they say that they rarely do the long slow runs. Just want to know what you think about this.

Neal Jamison said...


I've posted on that in the past. In general, I believe in the CFE concept, but I also believe that the long run is necessary for longer ultras (12 hour and up). There is definitely a trade off.

I believe ultrarunners can safely (and wisely) trade a large portion of their weekly miles for shorter, faster workouts. But I think a long run, at least once per month is beneficial as well.

Good luck,