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Running doesn’t suck… you just suck at running!

If you’re competing at the CanWest Games and this sounds like you, it’s hosted on a track (hint, hint) so you should probably spend some time working on your running. You spend hours drilling snatch form and practising muscle up progressions each week, but have you spent enough time working on running technique and building your running base? You don’t go from no lifting to hitting a 1 rep max during competition - this would take a huge toll on your muscles, central nervous system and might cost you your competition - so why not treat running the same way? At the CanWest Games, you might see short sprints, shuttle runs, 400m runs or even a 5K - this is CrossFit after all, so it’s time to prepare for the unknown.

Now I’m not an expert at running programs or mechanics, but I do know what it takes to build a solid running base. At the 2015 CrossFit Games, I placed 2nd on the sprint event and at the 2018 CrossFit West Regionals, I placed 2nd on the 3 mile run. Just like with the snatch, you need to break down the movement and incorporate different drills, exercises and percentages, which will eventually lead to a PR. Running should be treated in the same manner. Your programming should be a linear progression, focusing on shorter to longer intervals, while gradually building intensity and volume. To get better at a 400m run, you don't just do 400m runs and hope to the running gods that you get better. You run 50m, 100m, 800m, and even 5-10K’s in order to develop different energy systems to increase your 400m time. An example of a a running program is:

Dynamic warm up prep

4 x 100m

3 x 200m

2 x 400m

1 x 800m


Record your paces and use an easy percentage (75-80%) of your personal best time each week to start. Incorporate more volume and intensity with each session leading up to the competition.

Even if there are no running workouts at the CanWest Games, incorporating a running program into your training is a great tool to improve your conditioning. If you REALLY suck at running, here are a few more tips to get you going:

-Wear real running shoes - your body will NOT thank you for distance running in Metcons or Nanos

-Enhance your performance with Nova 3 Labs Max Capacity - this supplement contains adaptogens to help you get mentally focused on your workout, increase lactate threshold and prolong the time before your legs turn to jelly

-Avoid eating foods that are high in fat and fibre before your run as they take longer to digest... nobody wants to see you hurl on the track

-Prioritize recovery as running lights up different muscles groups than lifting - stretch, foam roll and try Nova 3 Labs Max Rehab if you need help reducing inflammation and speeding recovery time between workouts

Written by:

Joe Scali - Owner and trainer at Semiahmoo Athletic Club, Strength & Conditioning Coach, 2015 CrossFit Games Athlete

Sharan Scali - Owner and trainer at Semiahmoo Athletic Club, Certified Nutritionist & Hormone Specialist

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