Elevate Your Runs: 16 CrossFit Workouts Tailored for Runners

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Cross Training For Runners
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David Dack

Are you a runner looking to elevate your performance? Incorporating CrossFit-style workouts into your training plan can be a game-changer, whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned runner. CrossFit offers a challenging and well-rounded fitness program that can help enhance your power, endurance, strength, and mobility—qualities essential for runners.

In this article, we’ll provide a series of CrossFit workouts tailored specifically for runners, suitable for all fitness levels from beginners to elite athletes. Ready to take your running to the next level? Let’s dive in.

What is CrossFit and Why Is It Relevant to Runners?

First, let’s explore how CrossFit can benefit runners:

  1. Improved Strength:

CrossFit targets both upper and lower body strength through a variety of movements. Enhanced muscle strength can lead to improved running efficiency and a reduced risk of overuse injuries.

  1. Boosted Endurance:

CrossFit often includes high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and metabolic conditioning, which can significantly enhance aerobic and anaerobic endurance. This translates to better performance during long-distance runs and quicker recovery between sprints.

  1. Injury Prevention:

Runners are prone to overuse injuries, but CrossFit introduces variety into your training routine, reducing the risk of muscle imbalances and injuries. Additionally, CrossFit emphasizes functional movements and mobility exercises that promote joint health and prevent injuries.

  1. Core Stability:

A strong core is crucial for efficient and injury-free training. CrossFit engages the core through exercises like planks and kettlebell swings, improving posture and endurance.

Considerations for Beginners:

If you’re new to CrossFit, start gradually and prioritize proper form over intensity. The workouts provided below cater to runners of all fitness levels, so choose workouts that align with your current abilities. Safety is paramount, so if you’re unsure about any exercise, consult a CrossFit coach or trainer for guidance.

Now, let’s dive into the real workouts. Enjoy your journey to improved running performance!

16 CrossFit For Runners Workouts – From Beginner to Elite

Here is a long list of some of my favorite CrossFit workouts.

By the way, feel free to share yours in the comment section below.

  1. The Cindy WOD

If you’re a beginner, start with the Cindy WOD.

For a time limit of 20 minutes, do as many rounds as possible of 5-pull-ups, 10 push-ups, 15 air squats.

If that’s too much, do it instead for 5 to 10 minutes.

  1. The 15-Rep Bodyweight WOD Workout

This is a simple WOD you can do in the comfort of your own home.

Perform five rounds of the following exercises as fast as you can with good form:

  • 15 Air Squats
  • 15 Push-ups
  • 15 Sit-ups
  • 15 Lunge steps.
  1. The Fran WOD

The Fran is often the first WOD that beginner CrossFitters get exposed to.

But don’t let that fool you.

The Fran is very challenging and can put you on your knees if you don’t properly pace yourself.

This WOD involves performing three rounds of 21, 15, and 9 reps of 95-pound barbell thrusters and pull-ups.

You could change the resistance and intensity according to your fitness skill, but keep pushing yourself for better timing.

  1. The Barbara WOD

The Barbara is another standard CrossFit timed-goal WOD.

This WOD is also very simple and straightforward.

All you need is your body, and off you go.

Do 5 circuits of: 20 pull-ups, 30 push-ups, 40-sit-ups, and 50 air squats (body-weight squats).

Rest for two to three minutes between each round, and record your timing accordingly.

  1. The 800m Sandwich WOD

This one will test both your aerobic and anaerobic power in a mix of running and challenging bodyweight moves.

Here is how to proceed.

After a thorough warm-up, perform the following

  • Run an 800-meter run at a moderate pace
  • 50 Air squats
  • 50 Sit-ups
  • 25 burpees
  • Run an 800-meter as fast as you can

This is one round.

Aim to complete at least three to five rounds.

  1. The Jump, Dip and Swing WOD

In a span of 30 minutes, complete as many rounds as possible of the following exercises:

  • 15 Box Jumps
  • 15 Chair Dips
  • 15 Kettlebell Swings.
  1. The Burpee Box Jumps Challenge WOD

In 20 minutes, perform as many rounds as possible of the following two exercises:

  • 10 burpees
  • 10 box jumps.

Make sure to move as fast as possible while keeping good form the entire time.

  1. The Murph WOD

The Murphy brings nothing new to the table.

But the steep number of the reps is what sets it apart from other routines.

Here is how to do it:

Start off with a 1-mile run, then do 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups, 300 body-weight squats, then finish up the workout with another 1-mile run.

  1. The Front Squats Run WOD

This is one of my favorite CF workouts of all time.

But it’s quite challenging.

So you gotta be careful.

Perform seven rounds of the following exercises as fast as you can with good form

  • 15 Front Squats
  • 400-meter sprints
  1. The Escalating /Descalating WOD

After a thorough warm-up, perform the following moves in the order shown:

  • 30 Push-ups
  • 30 Air-squats
  • 800-meter run
  • 20 Push-ups
  • 20 Air-squats
  • 400-meter run
  • 10 Push-ups
  • 10 Air-squats
  • 200-meter sprint
  • 20 Push-ups
  • 20 Air-squats
  • 400-meter run
  • 30 Push-ups
  • 30 Air-squats
  • 800-meter run.
  1. The Filthy-50

The Filthy 50 is a nasty sequence of taxing moves that’s likely to seem to last forever if you’ve never done it before.

The traditional Filthy-50 WOD involves doing:

  • 50 Box Jumps (24in box),
  • 50 Jumping Pull-ups,
  • 50 Kettle Bell swings,
  • 50 Walking Lunges,
  • 50 Knees to Elbows,
  • 50 Push Press,
  • 50 Back Extensions,
  • 50 Wall Ball shots (20lb ball),
  • 50 Burpees,
  • 50 Double Unders.

Elite CrossFitters can pull off this mighty beast in under 20 minutes.

If you are a newcomer to the sport and/or not in great shape, then aim to complete the whole circuit under 45 minutes keep challenging yourself and improving your timing.

  1. The Total Body Power Challenge WOD

After a thorough warm-up, perform the following moves as fast as you can.

Make sure to record your time, and try to beat it next time.

  • 100 Squats
  • 120 Jumping Jacks
  • 75 Pushups
  • 40 burpees
  • 75 Lunge steps
  1. The One-Mile Squat WOD

Run 1 mile with 50 squats at each 400-meter mark.

Record your time and try to beat it next time.

  1. The Angie WOD

While recording your time, try to perform the following exercises as fast as you can:

  • 100 pull-ups
  • 100 push-ups
  • 100 sit-ups
  • 100 squats
  1. The Arnie WOD

This might be one of the most challenging WODs out there.

So, please make sure to be careful and perform the exercises with good form the entire time.

Here is how to proceed:

  • 21 Turkish get-ups, Right arm
  • 50 Swings
  • 21 Overhead squats, Left arm50 Swings
  • 21 Overhead squats, Right arm
  • 50 Swings
  • 21 Turkish get-ups, Left arm
  1. The Jag 28 WOD

While recording your time, perform the following moves:

  • Run 800 meters
  • 28 Kettlebell swings,
  • 28 Strict Pull-ups
  • 28 Kettlebell clean and jerk
  • 28 Strict Pull-ups
  • Run 800 meters.

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