There is something you should know about me, EYF readers. Something that is a central and defining character trait. It has affected the way I train, the way I program, and the way I think about fitness.
I hate running.
I know, I know. Everyone hates running, right? WRONG. Not like this. I hate running with a passion most people reserve for the leaders of a genocide against their race. I hate running like Newton hated Leibniz (man, I'm a nerd.)
Unfortunately, I also suck at running. A lot. And because of this, I have to run. A lot. I don't like it.
But running is far, far, far too valuable a skill to ignore.
In the article "A Theoretical Template for CrossFit's Programming" Greg Glassman states "...metabolic conditioning is monostructrual activities commonly referred to as 'cardio,' the purpose of which is primarily to improve cardiorespiratory capacity and stamina." I disagree with this statement. The main purpose of any activity we undertake is to improve our ability to perform at that activity. The biological changes that occur (such as an improvement in cardiorespiratory capacity) are part of the process of getting better at those activities.
In other words, what I'm saying is this: The primary reason we run isn't to improve our metcon, it's to get better at covering distances on foot quickly.
This is an important concept to grasp. We don't deadlift because it makes us stronger, we deadlift because we were built to pick things up off the ground, and getting stronger is part of the process of getting better at that. The same holds for running.
Too many CrossFitters treat running as if it were merely an annoying impediment between rounds of swings and pullups during "Helen." When was the last time you did max effort 100m or 200m sprints? How seriously do you take it when the CrossFit.com WOD is 4x400m run, 4x800m run, or a 5k? Have you ever analyzed your running form with the same level of criticalness you apply to your clean & jerk?
If the answers to these questions are "not recently," "not seriously," and "no," it may be time to rethink the way you treat running.
Even if it is the most God awful exercise known to man.