Running is hard
It is so hard that most people avoid it and those that do run will often do what they can to dull the experience. This make running simply a matter of grinding out the miles and that is not fun.
In the springtime of the year we begin running after staying inside for the winter and every year the whining and avoidance begins. "I don't want to run" "I'm not good at it"
WHY DO WE HAVE TO RUN?
So let me be right up front and answer this question. You have to run because we want you to run. Because as your coaches we believe running is good for you.
So why run? Because you come to us to do the things you won't do on your own. Now before you dismiss this appeal to authority let me give you some more reasons.
I know you hear this all the time from us and I expect you always will. Efficiency is the never ending quest we are all on. Remember running is hard? Running efficiently is the way to make it easier. Efficient movement means matching the energy required to complete the work. This leaves energy for other things like say wall balls. :) If you think running will always be a grind then you are right. But if you change your thinking and then change your running form, the grind will lessen, so you can right about that too.
Any movement done with poor form will eventually cause injury. Add intensity and you decrease the time until an injury appears. Whether you shuffle your feet, run hunched over or heel strike you are setting yourself up for an injury. A high percentage of runners will experience an injury that will keep them from running for at least a week every year. Ever had shin splints? There's also the bustling business of replacement knees and hips joints too. Where do you think that comes from? These parts are supposed to last a lifetime. Something is not right.
Challenge to Improve
Most of you love the challenge of the wod and the movements we teach you. I would say everyone has had the experience of doing a movement for the first time and hating it but after getting some experience and capacity you change your mind. Whether it is handstand push-ups or climbing the rope once you can do it a bit then the fun begins. Changing your running form is challenging. For your coach the challenge of teaching it is only surpassed by teaching nutrition. It is hard for you to change your behavior. Hell just getting sensitive enough to know how your foot is landing on the ground is tough. With very few exceptions most do not know what they are doing when they run. There have been many many times athletes swear they do not heel strike but slow motion video does not lie. Take the challenge to change your behavior and you will see major short and long term benefits.
But I am fast I don't need to change my running form
You can compare your running times with others all you like but for your coaches it is not whether you are the best but rather are you reaching your potential. Do not think that because you have a fast 400m that you are a proficient runner. You might be or you might have a fast time despite poor form. We have all seen someone perform a heavy clean & jerk and we are happy for them but if it is ugly and a super struggle it is apparent that they would be capable of so much more if only they worked on their technique. Improvement is the game here. There is no "steady state" where you have arrived and further improvement is not necessary or possible. It is always possible and therefore always necessary.
I want revisit my assertion that you should do our running wods because we say so. From the first day I created CrossFit Tallahassee in my garage in 2009 I wanted to have a complete CrossFit program. This means our programming includes as much variety as possible. It also means including every aspect we can find that increases fitness and excluding none. Running is definitely in this category. It is also one of the most basic of human abilities. If your ancestors could not run you would not be here today. Everyone should be able to run and run well. So you don't like running? I suggest you change your attitude. You'll be happier. Look at running as a skill. Something that knowledge, time and effort you can improve, and that with practice will be easier. Not something to be simply endured like punishment or that requires an extreme reason to even do it like a bear chasing you or requires a distraction to make it tolerable like music. Developing skills is fun. Grinding out anything is not fun.
Pat, Teresa and I have spent years studying the subject and we know it is worth your time and effort. We take seriously our commitment to be your fitness advocate and coach even when you resist we persist. Whining is fine, but avoiding movements that increase fitness is not the CrossFit Tally way. Be open to doing the work required to get better. Don't settle for "good enough" and it is not ok to sell yourself short. Now let's see some smiling faces on the running days to come. Faking it till you make it is fine too. ;)