CFSBK Endurance Program and Speed Series
Whether you love running, hate it with your whole being, or fall somewhere on the spectrum, building your endurance and speed are important components of fitness. Recently, you’ve probably been hearing many a wonder story from our runners at CFSBK as Coach Michael O.’s Endurance Program wrapped up its first cycle—people earning PRs at the Brooklyn Half and various 5Ks, etc. etc. You too could become one of those people, and have a shit ton of fun in the process. But don’t waste any more time! The weather is becoming increasingly glorious, demanding your presence outside, and CFSBK’s Endurance Program begins again THIS SUNDAY, June 1!
Sign up ASAP to become fast, like lightning, with the endurance of a sleek race horse! Learn more over here.
Below are some thoughts from Michael O., who is heading up both of these programs, about the first iteration of the Endurance Program. It will become clear quickly that he’s a pretty awesome guy, and a fantastic coach. Don’t hestitate to email him at michael.olzinski [at] gmail.com with any additional questions!
Thoughts on Wrapping Up CFSBK’s First Endurance Program
By Michael Olzinski
Well, here we are, after a very trying and testing 12 weeks of endurance training! It’s hard to believe that over 13 weeks ago, David, Jess, and I were mulling over whether integrating an Endurance Program at CFSBK in the middle of a freezing February would work. I had a great feeling that with the Brooklyn Half on the horizon, we would definitely have a turnout—but I never imagined it would be as successful and meaningful as it turned out in the end. I seriously couldn’t have come up with a more motivating and fun group of real athletes to work with, especially on those days when I couldn’t have imagined being out there on my own.
Most people in the group had never truly participated in an endurance running program before and were wondering if it would assimilate with their current training—and some were wondering if they really even knew how to run. It’s also worth mentioning that we started about four to six weeks before the weather crept around 30 degrees on a regular basis. It’s no simple thing to learn an efficient and consistent running stride when most days you can’t even stand still without your legs freezing up! Even at 6am on Tuesdays when I would look at the temp, see 10 degrees, and mutter to Megan, “Man, I wonder if anyone is even going to show,” I was greeted with anywhere from seven to 10 runners bundled up, faces covered, and ready to ROCK! It was truly a group effort and everyone who came added something to the group and to the sessions each time.
A Quick Overview of the Process
The program was fairly simple and straightforward. Since most people were coming in with a pretty solid program already, adding 12 weeks of runs was acceptable. I split the 12 weeks into three four-week periods, each with their own focus—which was apparent in the workouts themselves and in the communication and drills that we would work on prior to the work. Here is a summary of those focuses (which will give those participating in the next cycle a sense of what to expect!):
First Four Weeks: Intro + Basic Skills + Endurance
We used a handful of Brian McKenzie’s drills, along with some very basic mobility drills to ensure healthy tissue and joints in prep for running. The focus here was on running form, core posture, and the most basic form concepts. The training involved short HARD efforts, running FAST and for short distances. We used hills and flat sprints to try and recruit as much muscle as we could to the running stride. Running at high efforts will bring an individual very close to their most natural running stride, so we tried to capture this.
We also incorporated EASY endurance runs. We had no need yet to slog through miles, but focused on learning what it really means to go EASY and establish some of the lower aerobic zones can serve as the foundation for great training going forward.
Middle Four Weeks: Endurance Build + Extended Interval Training
Everyone’s form was definitely beginning to improve, so we added in more detailed drills. Also, as runs got longer, we had a higher need not to run on concrete/asphalt, so we tried hitting trails more and more. The endurance runs started to get a little harder and reached higher intensity. We incorporated some Fartlek running, longer track runs, and more intense loops. This middle portion of the 12 weeks is a pretty tough phase as you hit on both ends of the program: harder endurance and harder intervals.
In that vein, the intervals definitely picked up. Prior to Week Five, we only ran 400s and one rep of an 800M in the sprint medley, so nothing too crazy, but Week Five introduced hitting intervals over three to five minutes (i.e. the 1000m, 1200m and reps of 800s). This was a big energy system boost, and a tough piece of the program for sure.
Final Four Weeks: Endurance + Racing Skills
Our drills didn’t change much, as I really wanted the skills they enforced to sink in and start becoming adaptable. We even spent a bit more time prepping and working on drills, as time allowed. In this phase, RECOVERY gets a HUGE focus, as we step back on the interval sessions and allow some lighter, more endurance and aerobic-based recovery sessions. This was tough, but as you start to feel faster, one of the most important things is to allow yourself to RUN SLOW and stay healthy. On the other end, the endurance sessions had a big increase as far as time spent in the higher zones, with 10K simulation, mile repeats, and even a 15K race.
Lastly, getting ready to run 13.1 miles requires sharpening skills and paces needed to hit goals, so we spent a lot of time practicing the zones in which we wanted to race and coming up with a game plan. One of my and a few other athletes’ favorite sessions was the 14 x 400 reps at race pace. This is a GREAT way to simulate and practice how you might want to race a 13.1 mile race, with your last effort representing a true simulation of that last stretch to the finish line!
I am so happy and excited for the next round. I seriously hope to get deeper and deeper with those who I have come to know, and also add to our team with some new faces and new goals. Super stoked for EVERYTHING that you all have done with and for me.
Let’s keep it GOING!!!
You can read his cycle-end reports about how each of them finished things up on his blog The Endurance Journey (where the original version of this article appeared)—and where you’ll also find his personal wrap-up about his own PR at the Brooklyn Half a couple weeks ago!
To sign up for CFSBK’s Endurance Program and/or new Speed Series, head over here.
Spartan Race this Saturday
CFSBK Spartans! Your race is Saturday, and you need to meet Coach MeLo and Co. at 8am sharp at CFSBK to drive up to the race. Wear shoes and clothes you don’t mind getting dirty, and make sure to have your participant waiver and ID, garbage bags, a towel, water and necessary snacks, and a change of clothing and kicks for the ride home.
Know that we’re cheering for you! Some of us might still be sleeping when your heat unleashes its fury at 10:30am, but we’ll cheer when we wake up.
- There is no Active Recovery tomorrow, as Coach David is working as the Competition Director for Northeast Regionals this weekend.
Why I Don’t Do CrossFit ERINSIMMONSFITNESS
Response to Erin Simmons, “Why I Don’t CrossFit” Raise Your Standard
Laurel Braitman Reads Pets’ Minds Cool Hunting
How Stress Makes You Crave Food and Store Fat Breaking Muscle
AMRAP 30 minutes:
10 Power Clean 185/125
20 Push Ups
6am. Did Saturday's workout, but it wasn't Angie this morning:
550m run (1 lap around block)
10 power cleans @ 185
5 rounds + run + 3 power cleans. That seemed to go on forever. Very sore right now.
Samir Chopra says
Anyone interested in doing some version of Murph with me today – at Open Gym?
7am with Nick
I woke up a bit too late to make the 6am which threw my whole morning off. So I had some extra time to read the articles mentioned above, pro & con re Crossfit. I've read a bunch of this before and there's one thing that Erin missed. She didn't mention that people who go into a gym (crossfit or otherwise) should not check their brain at the door. For example: on Wednesday I did the deadlift & box jump WOD. I knew I couldn't do the ascending ladder Rx'd, so I chose one of the scaled options. And I also knew that I couldn't go higher than 155 lbs safely; I mean, without rounding and endangering my (51 year old) back. So instead of just piling on the weight and struggling through, I just kept it at 155 and worked the next set. And the thing of it is: no one cares!!
That's why I think this Crossfit is probably different from the ones that Erin visits. The whole scaling portion of the workouts, indeed the encouragement to scale; and do things with proper and safe form – that's what she misses in the article. (And also, it's good business sense – if I was forced to Rx the workouts I would have stopped ages ago).
That's also what I tell other people who seem to be intimidated by CSF – that you're free to do whatever weight you want, free to go as fast or careful or paced as you want. No reason not to think when you're working out as well.
Having said all that, this morning I used a 14 lb wall ball, started sets of 20, did two of those and went to 5's, finished 150 in about 10 mins and started some DU's – I think i made it to 30 using my old 3 single/1 DU scheme. And by the way, if I used the Rx 20 pounder, I wouldn't have come near to finishing.
I LOVE the new hoodies so much!!
Alan C says
@RichardG I agree with you post and people should not blindly do the WOD without consideration of the athlete's particular condition and circumstance. I do the same, particularly the overhead stuff. It may bruise my ego sometimes, but I am making progress injury-free. BTW, I was doing a "partner (visiting from another box) cool down" the other day, he mentioned that is liked the fact that the coaches at CFSBK were very focused on proper form, rather the weight on the bar.
Well put Alan!
I liked this response that Nancy H posted on her fb yesterday:
6am with Nick and McDowell.
A tough one today. Worked at 175 (Rx was 185) and it was heavy. Finished with 4 rounds + 3 power cleans. The bar kept kitting my right collar bone, so I ended up pulling with the bar away from my body, which only made the knock to my collar bone even worse. Then my feet started to get pretty crazy and I was getting them out way too wide. Quite a mess. So, I'm not sure I love power cleans for time. I think I'll be feeling this one tomorrow. But I had fun regardless 🙂
Holy smokes! 14x400m!
Much respect to all the runners out there who have the mental and physical toughness to do the endurance program. The upcoming SPRINT program also looks really cool
I'm at regionals. I exhausted. Everybody here looks like they walked out of a superhero comic book and fell into a pile of reebok apparel. That is all for now
Power Clean and Jerk
286, not Power
I'd like to point out another thing, aside from the careful attention to form, the stellar programming, and encouragement to scale to your abilities and not push yourself to the point of injury…and everything else that makes SBK so awesome.
What box just lets someone walk in and RX workouts? Especially someone with no previous Crossfit experience. No matter how fit you are…if you're unfamiliar with the movements you're at much greater risk of injury. I just don't understand how Erin could waltz in off the street (with a friend, fine) and participate in a full-force WOD. Unless she was super persuasive, which then seems malicious, since she used these experiences to knock Crossfit. Whereas anyone new to Crossfit should definitely be taking some kind of foundations, and with that proper training, should be able to work out safely and smartly.
I dun care who yuh are, Erin, yuh ain gone wod here unless yuh do foundations. boom.
David, thanks for posting the original and rebuttle articles.
I very much doubt that Ms. Simmons would've had the same experience if it had been CFSB that she'd walked into. In fact, she'd probably be a card-carrying member now.