Are you a crossfit athlete looking to take your fitness to the next level? Do you feel that your muscular endurance has plateaued and that the gains are not coming as fast as you would like to see?
As much as I would love to tell you that there is a magic pill that will keep your engine running forever, the truth is that in order to see the continual expansion of your fitness, crossfit athletes should be working the most basic athletic modality, which is running.
Muscle fatigue. There is nothing more inconvenient than burning muscles signaling your brain to immediately stop demanding so much from them.
This sensation is familiar to all athletes and it can be identified as the accumulation of lactate in the blood. Lactate prevents muscles from reaching total power output capacity for an extended amount of time and an athlete’s lactate threshold represents the ability to prolong lactate build-up for as long as possible. The higher the lactate threshold, the more dominant the athlete.
Interval training is the best way to improve lactate threshold. More specifically, running intervals presents itself to be the most advantageous way to increase your lactate threshold.
When compared to other movements such as rowing or biking, muscles demand the most blood circulation from running and with increased blood flow (oxygen for muscles) comes the advantage to delay lactic inflation1.
The benefits of higher lactate threshold attributed to running can be utilized whenever muscles are tested, no matter the movement.
Imagine you are doing a 15 minute AMRAP featuring snatches, pull-ups and burpees.
Obviously, there are aspects to the workout that require extra technical attention such as the snatching. However, the most proficient way to better your performance at these muscular-fatiguing workouts is to improve your running.
Sure, the heart rate elevates when you row, bike, swim or ski but different movements equate to different physiological results and running’s effects on overall fitness outmatch these other movements. Designating a portion of your training to running-specific workouts will upregulate muscular longevity in overwhelming ways that can only be met through running.
Going unbroken on the pull-up bar, cycling the barbell with ease, and cranking out burpees are all movements that necessitate a high lactate threshold. The most predominant way to expand your lactate threshold is to run.
Including running workouts into your training will ensure a delayed muscle fatigue response that you will be looking to tap into when you are trying to beat your buddy in this year’s open.