The Inside Scoop on Brian MacKenzie & CrossFit Endurance
Marc Pro Athlete Spotlight: Brian MacKenzie
It’s hard to believe that there could be any new or earth-shattering developments in the world of endurance sports, but Brian MacKenzie has shaken things up. The founder of CrossFit Endurance, a wildly successful offshoot of the CrossFit franchise that focuses on long distance events and triathlon training, created some controversy with his new approach to running.
We recently spoke with him about his fitness regimen.
The CrossFit Endurance (CFE) approach
CFE uses high-intensity interval training to improve endurance, a topic that Brian knows a lot about considering the 30-plus ultramarathons under his belt. He hosts more than 70 seminars a year in his capacity as coach, teaching athletes about this approach to training that focuses on strength and muscle conditioning. The right balance enables athletes to achieve higher performance in such endurance sports as running, swimming, and cycling.
Brian points out that even doing a simple squat can impact running performance. As the hips, ankles and knees align and interact to perform one rep, an athlete can better understand how the body works. By running alone, you lose the connection with other aspects of movement. Brian’s background as a movement specialist was instrumental in discovering this unique benefit of strength training.
Alternatives to long-distance running for endurance training
Rather than building on distance every week, Brian suggests swapping cardio for strength training to increase muscular stamina, as well as focusing more on functional strength. A typical workout session, aka Workout of the Day (WOD) might include:
o 8 x 200m sprints with a 2-minute rest in between
o Bodyweight training, like air squats, pull-ups, and lunges
o Power lifting, including kettlebell swings, presses and tire flips.
CrossFit Endurance is based on this type of high-intensity interval training, as it earns athletes the same results with less running – and much less stress on muscles and joints.
Tactics to improve performance after sessions
Like many endurance athletes, the training doesn’t end for Brian just because his workout is complete.
Unless an athlete dedicates time and effort to a post-workout recovery routine, a hard-core session takes its toll on the body and decreases any potential muscular and performance benefits from all that hard work. The benefits and gains come during the body’s recovery phase. That’s why it’s so important to take all the necessary steps to make sure your body recovers fully after each workout.
Brian highly recommends Marc Pro to marathoners and all endurance athletes. “They want to train more and don’t understand that can’t happen unless they recover better. [They succeed] only to break themselves.”
Brian’s favorite Marc Pro tip: using Marc Pro between intervals / sets vs. just after training. Poof! Mind blown.
Brian’s favorite thing about Marc Pro: ease of use and controllability
There’s no doubt that Brian will continue to find success with his unique approach to training, as he’s gained quite a following among professional sports players. Baseball, football and surfing athletes see the value in strength and conditioning alongside running or other endurance activities. Before long, his theories about long distance running will no longer seem so controversial.