In addition to more swimming and cycling I figured that improved strength would help me across all triathlon disciplines and help to keep injuries at bay. As well as improving on the strength the plan was to loose weight to improve my power to weight ratio which would help loads in the bike and the run.
My main problem is that I actually hate going to the gym. It bores me to tears and any time I start a regime my enthusiasm fades after a short period of time.
I turned to Crossfit as a way of combating the boredom aspects.
Crossfit is a fitness phenomenon that focuses on getting you “functionally fit” and not just working to make your Glamour Muscles more prominent. A large facet of Crossfit is that technique and mobilisation are vital. A good Crossfit coach won’t let you progress to the heavier weights or more difficult movements until you have the basics ingrained into you. This minimises injury potential and makes movements more efficient and effective.
In addition to this crossfitters are very mindful of their diet. The main reason for this is that the diet really does have an impact on performance. The positive side effect is that your body composition changes to suit the stresses – you tend to loose fat and build up muscle as required. A better diet also aids recovery
A crossfit session is always very competitive as well and brings me back to my rugby playing days. I can’t help but get psyched as the countdown to the main set starts as my body spits adrenaline into my veins. This competitive edge is great to have all year round. Mobilisation and stretching is also a key factor in Crossfit, working to keep your body supple to help you perform movements to the full range, prevent injury and aid recovery.
I love the way that you just turned up to a session and were told what to do. I would essentially rock up, train my hardest and then leave. You can’t get bored. You can’t think too much! Perfect! The crossfit WorkOut of the Day” (WOD) could range from a 15 minute jumping and skipping routine to 1hour behemoth running, chin-up, press-up and squat routine. The variety is great and keeps you going back. No matter the WOD you would end up with 50% of the athletes on the floor at the end of it. Usually i’d be one of them! There’s more oxygen on the floor isn’t there? Plus for some reason my legs don’t want to support my bodyweight! Stupid Legs!
I give crossfit a lot of the credit for improving my running times and no doubt has it helped my swimming and cycling as well.
Triathlon Season Crossfit Hiatus
There was one problem with crossfit that would start to occur again and lead to me stopping for the summer. I simply could not expect to lift heavy sets of weights on a Monday morning at crossfit and be in a shape to be competitive for a hard bike session the day after. As my focus this year was to get better at cycling and triathlon I decided that I’d stop crossfitting over the summer and re-start over the autumn, when the swimming and cycling sessions would be more “mellow”.
I genuinely feel the fittest I have done since forever and constantly weighing in at less than I did when I was at university. I owe a lot of that that training. I look forward to coming back – but I don’t look forward to the first session. It’s going to be a bitch!
- Francis House Children’s Hospice
- COSMIC (Children of St Mary’s Intensive Care)
- MacMillan Cancer Support