10 Highly Effective Running Workouts for CrossFit Athletes

Use these CrossFit running workouts to become a better athlete. Running is an essential part of CrossFit, drop on your endurance training and you’ll have a gap in your fitness. Running improves endurance and thus, aids you to build a bigger engine and increases your VO2 max.


It can take many forms; from intense sprints to longer, steady runs, which will work on different systems within your body. Improving your endurance and cardiovascular ability through running will see you perform better in a broad range of workouts.


Our glycogen stores are relatively small. The greater our glycolytic capacity, the quicker we deplete glycogen. We cannot sustain activity of this type for long. We need an aerobic base to support our performance. Fat oxidization is a much more sustainable source of energy. The greater the oxidative capacity the higher the sustainable workload. One way to look at this is that:

  • Our aerobic base is our cruising speed.
  • Our anaerobic and ATP-CP systems are our afterburners.

The following graphic shows three athletes. Athlete A has a strong base (Oxidative system), an above average anaerobic capacity (Glycolytic system) and an above average ATP-CP capacity from his HIT training. Athlete B has an above average aerobic system but relies heavily on his superb anaerobic capacity. His ATP-CP stores are again above average. Athlete C is our weekend warrior for comparison.

Conditioning and work capacity
Conditioning and work capacity

While athlete A and B are quite close in their overall work capacity, Athlete A has a strong oxidative system. He has a high sustainable work capacity. Athlete B almost matches athlete A overall but will never be as competitive when activity is of long duration. He may be able to complete short intense workouts with similar or better performances than athlete A, but can only maintain high intensity for a short period.

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