Did you run this week? Or did you find some reason to avoid the programmed time trials? A nagging injury, too busy today, I’ll just do it at home (then never did).

We all love the intensity, variety and excitement of the standard Crossfit metcon. Flying back and forth between pull-ups, wallballs, or rowing. Pushing for bursts of intensity and keeping rest breaks as short as possible. But the whole purpose of doing crossfit is to make you as fit and healthy as possible. That’s why we add in lifting, gymnastics, and longer sustained endurance events. Mixing in the full gamut of options ensures that you are equipped for any challenge and a well rounded athlete. Weight lifting gives you strength, bone density and joint health. Gymnastics gives you midline stability, body awareness and vestibular awareness. But running? Naah, I just don’t like running.

You need to run. You need to run regularly. Longer runs don’t get programmed into our schedule often, but when they do the attendance drops. We see classes of 15 become 3 and we see regular attendees
find reasons to miss. While running may not have the excitement of Filthy Fifty or the reward of a PR on a lift, it is crucial to your overall health and fitness. While Crossfit is based on the value of short interval work, extended endurance efforts need to be included to round out your fitness.

We don’t want you training like a marathon runner. You don’t need to add up 20+ miles per week to supplement your gym work. But you should never be more than 6 weeks away from your last run. How long should a run be? That depends on you. We should all be able to run for 3 miles without needing EMS. Maybe you want to push for a 5 or 6 mile run or go lighter with a 2 mile run. In any case, you should run more than 2 miles every 4-6 weeks.

That doesn’t mean you have to put on the fancy GPS pace watch and go for a PR every time you run. Just strap on the headphones and find a new neighborhood to explore at a good pace. Not every physical effort needs a time or measure. Just getting out and being active is enough sometimes. Maybe you have a legitimate injury. But we have these amazing rowers that are a great substitute. Or go for a 10 mile bike ride. Improving your endurance can happen in several different ways.

One of the most appealing aspects of Crossfit is the fast, intense workout and the feeling of absolute exhaustion at the end of a class. But running longer distances on a regular basis is just as important to your health and fitness. So don’t skip out on the runs when they come up. Maybe even add in your own runs at home or show up to the Endurance Club on Wednesday evenings and enjoy the Arizona winters with a group of friends. Either way, get running.