The Dreaded Time Trial

The Dreaded time trial is probably one of the least favourite workouts at CrossFit Edmonton.  Those of you who are familiar with them can relate to the dull sickness that washes over you when you walk in and see a 400 m run x 6 or a 500 m Row x 6 on the board. So why week after week do these workouts keep showing up like an uninvited guest?

The answer is the same for why the back squat, deadlift and press variations keep showing up in our strength programming, and that is, they’re simply effective.  The 400 m run time trial is to cardiovascular conditioning like the back squat is to total body strength. In the world of “cardio” there’s not much that generates the same response in fast acting energy transfer than short duration/high intensity bouts of running, rowing and other monostructural movements.

Now us coaches realise that coming in and doing a time trial WOD is similar to swallowing a guzzle of cough syrup, but we feel, if we can be there to hold the spoon and choo choo train it in for you, you’ll be all the better for it.

Seriously though the time trial can be a potent cardio developer and its just as easy to track your progress as the strength stuff. The 3 sec+/- window that is part of the prescription is there to help orientate you to what capacity’s you have and allows you to set up a goal for the next work out. For example if you were able to hold a 1:30-1:33 time per lap on a 400 m run x 6 work out, then for next time making a goal to shorten that window by a second and completing it in 1:29-1:32 time per lap clearly demonstrates the improvement and we all know seeing results is one of the prime motives for sticking around and achieving elite fitness.

So the next time you come in, and a dreaded time trail is on the board, pull out the log book and challenge your self to beat your old time by a sec. This will make them more fun and you’ll be able to see your improvements.