So I started doing CrossFit a in mid January but injury and illness have meant that it wasn’t until late March that I actually managed to commit to it regularly. For the last six weeks I’ve been doing it three mornings a week and sometimes squeezing in another session in the evening.
I’ve been layering it with my usual aerobic endurance workouts and active recovery workouts on the other two weekdays and trying to run or hike hills at the weekend. I’ll be adding in more climbing activity now the weather is improving and my Yukon trip got cancelled.
I’ve been monitoring my diet pretty closely on FitDay.com mainly to try and increase my fat intake and ensure I’m getting sufficient protein. CrossFit sessions, especially back to back, are pretty hard going and if I don’t fuel right then I really pay for it the day after. The Paleo Diet for Athletes is a good read on that count.
I’ve lost about 3lbs in weight with a 1% drop in body fat accounting for another couple of pounds of dead weight turned into something useful. Given that I wasn’t exactly a lardy to start with this seems like pretty good going.
But my aerobic and endurance performance has suffered right? No. Previously my best time running the Tiger 3 Trail* was just over forty minutes. This week I managed a seemingly unattainable 36:36. I put this down to a lot of leg strength training; squats and deadlifts, which I never did before. This and greatly improved breathing, as CrossFit forces you to focus on breathing right to minimize oxygen debt and for form when lifting. Longer endurance efforts bike riding for several hours and much longer runs also show no decrease in performance and in some cases some improvement.
Up until my Yukon mountaineering trip fell through I was completely focused on training for mountaineering. Now I’m starting to refocus on rock climbing and while my technique is off CrossFit has made me quite a bit stronger to compensate. I’m pretty much climbing the same trad grade as the end of last year dispite having not touched rock or plastic since January.
I’m also able to do things that I certainly couldn’t do six weeks ago. Yesterday I managed my first muscle-up. Scary.
* Tiger: Start the clock as you head through the wooden gateposts onto the trail, follow the switchbacks and don’t use the powerline, stop the clock at the stone on the summit. This is a run of 2.6 miles and just over 2000′ of ascent.