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SPEED

  • SETTING THE STAGE
  • PROGRESS
  • TRACK DAYS
  • FINAL PREP
  • RESULTS

THE CHALLENGE

The mile is deceptively straightforward. It doesn’t require any equipment, and it can be run anywhere, at any time. However, running a mile is so much more than lacing up and getting outside. Improving mile time is a process; it’s the result of countless hours of explosivity training, speed work, and strength work. For Speed month, we’re following along as Adam Klink coaches three athletes to improve their one-mile time.

Over the next four weeks, Adam will take Josh Vales, Trevor Campbell, and Taylor Gerhardt – all of whom have different amounts of running experience – through a training circuit designed with the explicit goal of improving their mile time. While the month is less focused on pure endurance than previous Better Than Yesterday challenges, Adam will push these guys in ways they haven’t been pushed before. With most of the training taking place on the track, these guys will be put into a largely new environment; they’ll be forced to be uncomfortable and to work out in a way they aren’t used to.

After testing their mile times earlier this week, Adam didn’t waste any time getting started. Follow along to see how Adam pushes the three guys to become faster and more explosive runners as they prepare for their mile time trial at the end of the month.

THE COACH

As Head Coach at CrossFit Krypton, Adam Klink is no stranger to new challenges. Most notably, in July, he became the first individual to run a sub-5 minute mile and execute a 500-lb back squat on the same day. For Adam, he knew the toughest part of his 5-500 challenge was going to be the one-mile run.

However, Adam’s training philosophy revolves around adapting traditional ideas to what works for different types of athletes. As his 6-foot, 215 pound build eschews that of the typical runner, Adam knew that he couldn’t commit to long 40 mile weeks. Instead, eschewing the idea that faster splits come from putting in more mileage, Adam instead committed to short-burst, high-intensity run training in the months leading up to the challenge. Never putting in more than 10 miles a week – but running them all at or below his mile pace – Adam relied on his broad fitness background to ensure he was prepared for the challenge.

Ultimately, Adam’s training paid off. And, after months spent perfecting his one-mile training plan, he wanted to train other guys like him with it – guys who weren’t necessarily born runners, but who trained cross-functionally across different domains and were up for a challenge.  

“I just wanted to see if others could follow along with the programming that I’ve laid out to lower their mile time,” he said. “I think it’s a great goal and challenge for people just because its so easily accessible.”

THE PARTICIPANTS

Tom Campbell, Josh Vales, and Taylor Gerhardt have all trained with Adam at CrossFit Krypton. CrossFitters by training, the three men have trained across a wide variety of disciplines, but they’ve never focused so singularly on one aspect of their training before. All with different levels of running experience, the three came in with very different initial mile times and different amounts of focus paid to speed training. This month, though, they’ll all be solely focused on improving their speed.

Josh Vales is the most experienced runner in the group. Although he hasn’t done much speed-focused training in recent years, he ran a six minute mile in the time trial. With the goal of running a low-to-mid five minute mile by the end of the month, Josh is using this month as a chance to see just what his body is capable of when he trains one specific modality for an entire month.

Tom Campbell has never been a big runner. Training for speed about twice per month, Tom had never prioritized run-focused workouts prior to this month. However, after seeing how much Adam improved his mile time in the leadup to the 5-500 challenge, Tom decided to commit to being uncomfortable and work relentlessly to improve his mile time. Completing a mid-seven minute mile in the time trial, Tom’s focused on dialing in his running for the first time this month.

Taylor Gerhardt has been training with Adam at CrossFit Krypton for eight years. While he’s never trained speed specifically, he’d been running once or twice a week prior to this challenge. After finishing his mile time trial in a little over 6.5 minutes, Taylor’s goal is to get more comfortable running for speed.

thE WORKOUTS

Over the next four weeks, Adam will lead Josh, Tom, and Taylor through three days a week of speed training, supplemented by functional strength training. Because none of the men are primarily runners, Adam took a conservative approach to their training load to ensure they stay injury-free through the course of the month.

“I designed this program to be focused training and to be an intentful 20-25 minutes of work that doesn’t put a lot of stress on their bodies,” Adam said. “It’s not an unreasonable amount of training.”

In addition to pushing the guys on the road with a mix of road intervals, longer 20 minute runs, and track workouts, Adam believes the strength component is crucial to success. Focusing on training for explosivity, he’s ensuring the men build leg strength to become more powerful in their runs and building core work into the program to improve their position while running.

“Ultimately, the goal at the end of the day is really to make these guys stronger runners and stronger athletes, and that means getting them to work both on the road and in the gym,” he said.

The three men have used the first week of training to get a feel for the next three weeks and to begin to develop a routine. While Josh feels the training has been exactly in line with what he’s expected before, the others have come out of the first week realizing that the workouts are more challenging than they initially anticipated. However, they’re excited for what their competitive mindsets will bring out over the course of the month.

“I think the competitiveness of the other two guys in the challenge will make this even more difficult, but it also makes it a lot more fun,” Tom noted.

COMPETITION

More than ten days into the challenge, the competition is heating up. All three guys are settled into a routine, they’re getting more comfortable at speed, and they all feel like they could emerge with the largest time improvement by the end of the month. However, just because they’re feeling more comfortable doesn’t mean they’re taking the foot off the gas. Instead, they know that the first half of this challenge – and the work they put in – is setting the stage for the speed improvements they’re gunning for.

Josh, Taylor, and Tom have relentlessly stuck to the training plan and have chosen to complete their track workouts together. Even with constantly shifting schedules – the group includes a firefighter and a pediatric ICU nurse – the three men believe the best way to push themselves is by completing their toughest workouts together. Not only has this helped them feel like they’re improving their paces, but it’s also engendered the competition Adam wanted to see.

“These guys aren’t slacking off on this,” he said. “Even with their competing schedules, they’re insanely motivated to find the time to train, and it’s because each one wants to win. The trash talking is at an all-time high.”

TRAINING: STRENGTH + SPEED

For Adam, running for speed isn’t a feat of endurance so much as it is a feat of strength. That’s why he made strength training such a core part of the Speed Month plan, building in three strength-focused sessions per week.

“Strength training impacts how hard you can push and how you perform when you truly empty the tank in a sprint,” he explains. “Seeing how much you can dig in on these speed workouts isn’t an exercise in endurance so much as it is an exercise in strength.”

So far, Taylor, Josh, and Tom believe that Adam’s strength training has been instrumental in setting the building blocks for increasing their speed. While their legs have felt heavier during some runs, they’ve viewed the strength workouts both as a way to keep them fully engaged in the challenge and as a tool to build their explosiveness.

“Since I don’t have a background in running, I didn’t fully understand the relationship between the two,” Tom said. “However, it's been perfect for me, as it’s helped keep me focused on the challenge as a whole and helped me feel quicker out of the gate on the tempo runs.”

However, with the ultimate goal of the challenge being to improve their mile time, the guys have jumped into Adam’s run workouts. While they’re all less experienced here than they are in the gym, they’re all beginning to feel more comfortable on their feet and more ready to tackle faster speeds in the track workouts. As they’ve completed the run workouts for almost two weeks, Tom, Taylor, and Josh are beginning to find getting out and running more effortless and are feeling more confident in their ability to hit their goal mile paces for short distances.

 

progress

All with different levels of running experience, the three came in with very different initial mile times and different amounts of focus paid to speed training. After two weeks of training, we asked Adam how they’re looking.

Josh: The strongest runner going into the challenge, Josh is now beginning to feel comfortable at some fast paces. He’ll have the fastest mile time at the end for sure, but he’s also going to have to shave some good seconds off if he wants to win the challenge itself, because when you’re already that fast, it’s just that much harder to knock every additional second off.

Taylor: He’s probably my biggest worry. However, he’s such a hard worker that even if he is dead tired or hasn’t been able to put the work in, he’ll sell himself out in that final attempt. Taylor is always hustling and working, and he’s just an athlete at heart. For him, it’s going to be about being able to continue to learn how to pace himself a little better – but we’re working on that.

Tom: He is the slowest, but he has the most room for improvement. He simply hasn’t done any run programming before beyond running once every couple weeks in his CrossFit training. I’m most excited for him, and I’d love to see him even pick off one of these guys and run that last mile faster than one of them. I just think he has the most potential. He’s been working hard, and even though he’s been coming in last, he’s not getting discouraged. I think he also knows that since we’re doing this based on the percentage of time shaved off, he still has a really good chance.

INTRODUCING: JOSH VALES

The three guys Adam recruited to complete the challenge aren’t professional athletes or medal-winning runners. That doesn’t mean they’re shying away from a domain they haven’t trained a ton before. Each week for the rest of the month, we’ll be profiling one of these guys, learning who they are, how they trained, and why they’ve committed to Speed Month. This week: meet Josh Vales.

Most of us need to be well-rested to put in the work. For Josh Vales, that’s a luxury he doesn’t always have. As a pediatric ICU nurse working from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. most days, Josh puts in the work whenever he can, wherever he can. And – as a former college baseball player – he’s also committed to pushing himself to run a sub-five minute mile by the end of the month.

Working in a children’s hospital ICU, Josh is constantly in high-stress, high-impact situations. He views CrossFit is a release from the pressures of his day job. Making the conscious decision to separate his work from his fitness, Josh brings his 100% to the gym, no matter what happened the night before. “Once I get off of work in the morning, I bring every last ounce of energy I had, no matter how exhausting the night might have been,” he said.

Josh fits in CrossFit-style workouts twice a day at least five times a week, but he’s never trained for speed before. Even so, he’s committed to breaking the sub-five mile mark. However, he knows it won’t be without challenges.

“It’s definitely draining me mentally,” he said. “It can be hard to push myself to run after I work, but I know that sticking to the schedule is the only way I’m going to see what I want to see.”

Now, as he approaches the two-week mark, Josh has begun to settle into a routine. After leaving the hospital, he’s been getting in his longer jogs. On the weekends, when he’s more rested, he’s been going to the track and working on his temp work. He’s leaned into Adam’s strength work, and he’s committed to training alongside the other guys to hold him accountable. Simply put, he isn’t using his work or his other commitments as an excuse to step back

“Hitting that sub-five mark goal would be awesome, and I’m going to do what it takes to get there,” he said.

TRACK DAYS

With only a week and a half of training to go, the focus on track work is heating up. Having spent the past couple weeks building foundational strength with tempo runs and work in the gym, the attention has shifted to picking up – and maintaining – pace on the track. With the three guys shifting a higher percentage of their workouts to speed days, they’re working harder, cashing out earlier, and putting in the toughest work they’ve put in this month.

As none of the athletes had a background in speed training before the month, the increased frequency and intensity of track days is pushing Josh, Tom, and Taylor outside of their training comfort zones. While the three have been able to hold fast paces for short distances, holding their mile pace for distances above 400m has become a clear challenge. This was especially true during Adam’s prescribed 800m / 600m / 400m / 200m track workout last week, where the three athletes had to run all four distances at or below their mile pace.

“After the first 800m piece, it was tough for the guys to hold on,” Adam said.”They sold out on the 800m, and as a result, they were getting their butt kicked for the rest of the workout.”

That’s why, as the time trial day inches nearer, the guys are devoting more focus to the track. The three have all committed to prioritizing track work this week, with Josh slotting in an extra track session instead of an endurance day.

“These speed workouts have crushed me much more than the endurance days,” he noted. “Since I’m feeling a lot more from these speed workouts, I’m focusing more on including more of those in my training schedule, since that’s where I feel I have the most room to improve.”

For Adam, the goal of the track workouts – and the reason he’s continuing to up their intensity – is simple.

“The guys’ ideal mile paces are paces we haven’t run for four complete laps yet, so we’re using these track workouts to try to piece it together,” he said.

RECOVERY

While Josh, Tom, and Taylor are pushing their speed work heading into the home stretch, they’re also prioritizing recovery. The speed workouts are the most physically taxing – for the guys, they’re largely uncharted territory – and they push them in new ways. As such, Adam has stressed that recovery is key. Instead of solely training hard, he’s instilling the value of training smart. He’s encouraging the guys to push their bodies more and more, while also stressing the critical nature of not making speed work the sole facet of their training.

“Especially toward the end, recovery becomes more and more important,” Adam said. “At the end of the day, if you’re injured, you can’t run – and you certainly can’t run hard. That’s why it’s all about taking it one workout at a time.”

Because the speed workouts have proved to be physical bruisers, they’ve forced the guys to prioritize not overdoing their training regimen. In particular, Adam has stressed the importance of including recovery components in their training. From long cooldown and stretching sessions to active low-intensity jogs, recovery has become a critical ingredient in the athletes’ approach.

For Taylor in particular, he was met with nagging hamstring issues the first couple weeks of training. However, as Adam has stressed the value of training smart – as opposed to hard – Taylor has noticed a perceptible shift in how he’s feeling on the track now.

“For the first couple weeks, my hamstrings were way more sore than I thought they would be,” he said. “However, I’m feeling better in that my legs are really getting used to it. Simply put, my legs just don't feel as tired and heavy as they were at the beginning of the challenge.”

PROGRESS

With only ten days left in training, we asked Adam – and the guys – how they’re feeling.

Josh: The strongest runner in the group, Josh shifted his focus this week to prioritize his speed work over his endurance and strength training. However, while Adam notes that he’s the most serious of the runners in the group, he has also come to the realization that his initial five minute mile target may be ambitious. While he continues to feel like he’s improving, he isn’t sure how much quicker he can get in the next ten days. As such, he’s adjusted his focus from sub five minute mile to low five minute mile – and he’s confident he can get there.

Taylor: After running a 6:04 mile the first week, Taylor is continuing to work to get that split below six minutes. He’s putting everything he can into every session, and he’s not leaving any gas in the tank. While he had struggled with his hamstrings early on in the challenge, he’s feeling stronger, faster, and less tired. Characterized by Adam as the strong athlete in the group, Adam is convinced he’ll be ready to go by the time of the trial.

Tom: While Adam notes that Tom is struggling a bit more than the other guys, Tom’s moving faster during his tempo runs and still feeling good. Tom had a difficult time with one of the track workouts last week; however, he used that day as an opportunity to recommit to pushing himself as hard as he can. Believing he still has room to go, Tom is confident that if he keeps putting in the work, he’ll put out a time he’s happy with.

taylor gerhardt

The three guys Adam recruited to complete the challenge aren’t professional athletes or medal-winning runners. That doesn’t mean they’re shying away from a domain they haven’t trained a ton before. Each week for the rest of the month, we’ll be profiling one of these guys, learning who they are, how they trained, and why they’ve committed to Speed Month. This week: meet Taylor Gerhardt.

Taylor Gerhardt doesn’t sit still. As a firefighter and a landscaper, he’s constantly on the move, whether it’s responding to calls or completing a grueling landscaping removal. However, prior to this month, he had never focused on his speed. That’s exactly why he committed to the challenge.

Working 12 days a month at the station, Taylor spends his other days landscaping and fits the gym in around both of those. However, his constantly-changing schedule – especially when he’s on call – makes it tough to find a constant time to put in the work. However, he doesn’t use that as an excuse to stop training.

“It’s hard to get in a good workout at the station,” he said. “You can start a workout, but you never know if you’re going to finish it. That doesn’t give me an excuse to not work, though; instead, it’s all about finding quick and effective workouts.”

Part of the reason Taylor remains so laser-focused on his training is because of the benefits it affords him in his work. The vast majority of what Taylor does requires both physical and mental strength, and Taylor views the time he spends in the box as a way to improve his performance where it truly matters.

“In firefighting, the training that I do helps me feel better on long and hot days, ensuring that I can constantly be on my feet and on the move,” he said. “And, because of the way I train, I don’t feel fatigued or sore from exhausting days out removing trees, debris, and whatever else as the other guys do.”

While Taylor is a natural athlete and had spent years doing CrossFit, he had never focused on running before. Coming in with no running experience since middle school but inspired by Adam’s recent 5-500 challenge, Taylor had no idea what to expect. That’s why he was surprised when he ran a 6:04 mile at the initial time trial, which boosted his confidence heading into the month’s work.

That inspired him to throw everything he could at Speed Month. Instead of saving energy for the future, he’s cashing out in every workout to ensure he’s ready for the end of the month. Now dead-set on running a 5:45 mile, he’s getting used to running at faster paces and feeling better through the speed workouts.

“Every day feels better, and I’m putting everything I have into my daily sessions,” he said. “I’m ready to crush the last ten days.”

the livestream

The day is here. Tune in to this morning’s livestream to watch Josh, Tom, and Taylor compete for the biggest time improvement over the course of the month. You don’t want to miss it.

WHAT:

The Final Time Trial

WHEN:

October 31, at 9 a.m. Eastern

WHERE:

Instagram Live

@tenthousand.cc

CRUNCH TIME

It’s been four weeks. From long runs to punishing sprints to tough lifts, Josh, Tom, and Taylor have pushed their bodies to their physical limits as they’ve gunned to improve their mile times. Now, with the stage set for the final time trial, they're cementing their goal times and laying everything out on the line.

Over the past couple weeks, Adam’s track workouts have been instrumental in ensuring that the guys’ final times will be as strong as they hope. Because they previously hadn’t hit the track often before, these workouts have become invaluable.

“When you’re trying to run a fast mile, you have to put in a lot of work running at that pace of even quicker,” Adam said. “That’s exactly what these track workouts allow you to do, and that’s what’s helped Josh, Tom, and Taylor alike.”

With their increased time on the track, the guys feel increasingly prepared for those four final laps. However, that doesn’t mean nerves aren’t getting to them. For all three of the guys, their relative newness to training for speed is leaving them with more nerves than they’ve previously felt before competitions.

“Honestly, I’m a little nervous and anxious.” Taylor said. I’ve set expectations for myself that I don’t want to fall below, and the thought of not exceeding my expectations alarms me.”

That’s why all three guys have spent the past week dialing in their training and making sure they’re ready to go. From squeezing in an extra day on the track to getting in an extra recovery session, the guys are doing all they can to ensure they’re ready to give it their all at the final time trial – not just for themselves, but so that they can come out with the greatest time improvement compared to the other competitors.

EXPECTATIONS

While Tom, Taylor, and Josh all came into the month with little speed experience, that didn’t stop them from setting ambitious goals. Now, after spending the month training, the guys have all become noticeably faster – and they’re being realistic about what they think is possible for their final time trial.

Running a sub-six minute mile in his initial time trial, Josh came into the challenge as the quickest runner. Following that first run, he set the goal of running a sub-five minute mile by the end of the month. While Josh doesn’t quite think he’ll cross that mark, he’s set his sights on a 5:15 mile.

“I’ve done a couple workouts with lesser distances at that pace, and I’ve hit that time,” he said. “I’m feeling confident that I’ll be able to do the same in the mile.”

Taylor, whose first mile was in the low six minutes, wants to bring that pace down to six minutes flat. He ran his first mile without ever having trained for speed before, so he’s confident that after spending a month training, he’ll be able to hit his goal six minute pace.

“Coming in, I had no expectations,” he said. “However, as the month has progressed and I’ve continued to run hard and feel better doing so, I feel ready to hit a six minute clip.”

Starting the challenge as the slowest runner in the group, Tom didn’t know what to set as a goal initially. However, following that initial 6:53 run and the first week of workouts, he set an ambitious goal: to improve his mile time by a minute. While he doesn’t quite know if he’ll hit that clip, he knows he’ll be much quicker than he was just a month ago.

“I set an ambitious goal, but that’s who I am,” he noted. “Maybe I’ll surprise myself.”

From the coach’s perspective, Adan is confident that all three guys will PR. However, he’s not completely sure who will win the challenge itself – that is, who will have the greatest percent improvement compared to the beginning of the month. Focusing primarily on Josh and Tom, he thinks they’re neck and neck – but he has a prediction nonetheless.

“I think Tom is the dark horse to win,” he said. “He’s been putting in the work, and he was galvanized by that first mile time, where he did place below everybody else. I really think that could be the surprise.”

keys to success

With the final time trial almost here, Adam left the guys with the keys to success he’s taken from his experiences and that he knows will ensure they leave it all out on the track

  1. A solid final run workout. Building off the skills built on the track for the past month, the final running workout is 30 seconds hard / 1 minute rest, where they are pushing their threshold. Those 30 seconds on will be faster than their mile pace, but it will allow them to feel good and fast heading into the final time trial.
  2. Getting sleep. It’s tough to do with their packed schedules, but being well-rested is crucial.
  3. Proper hydration and nutrition. Eat well and drink well in the days leading up to the challenge. It’s one of the easiest things to control, and it’ll pay off in spades.
  4. Not coming out too hot on the first lap. That’s a recipe for destruction, so if the guys can say smooth and comfortable for the first and even second lap, they can make the all-important decision in the third lap: whether they want to kick it up a notch and push, or settle in and stay where they are. By taking the first couple laps at a more comfortable pace, it allows them to really attack the final two laps.

INTRODUCING: TOM CAMPBELL

The three guys Adam recruited to complete the challenge aren’t professional athletes or medal-winning runners. That doesn’t mean they’re shying away from a domain they haven’t trained a ton before. Each week for the rest of the month, we’ll be profiling one of these guys, learning who they are, how they trained, and why they’ve committed to Speed Month. This week: meet Tom Campbell.

 

Tom Campbell has been spending the last few months working in the crosshairs of the COVID-19 pandemic. Overseeing all surveillance testing at a university with a total enrollment of almost 25,000 students, Tom has been tasked with ensuring that all students are staying safe, acting healthily, and being tested frequently. On top of that, he’s also spending much of his week in classes as a second-year Ph.D. student studying kinesiology and rehabilitation. And, if that wasn’t enough, he also decided to commit to Speed Month.

Tom’s been an athlete his entire life, but he’d never been a big runner. While he started doing CrossFit over four years ago, his running routine involved – at most – one run a week. However, his runs were never speed-focused – he’d use his weekly run as a chance to push distance rather than pace. That’s all to say he’d never focused on speed before.

Seeing Adam’s 5-500 challenge, though, he wanted to begin to focus on speed. However, he knew it’d be a challenge – and the first time trial proved that. While his initial 6:53 mile was not a poor showing by any means, it was the slowest of the group. Rather than scare him away, that made him lean in even further.

“Being the slowest of the three forced me to stay really diligent with the training,” he said. “Frankly, it’s a lot of why I followed Adam’s program to a T.”

As he continued training, he began to feel better on the track. He credits much of this to the moments of failure he experienced throughout the challenge, especially at the beginning. For him, those workouts that left him feeling absolutely wiped out were what most pushed him to keep working.

“There was one workout in particular that absolutely sucked for me,” he said. We were doing 800m repeats, and I fell behind everybody. I just couldn’t keep up. What that did, though, was remind me that I had to keep putting in the work, as I didn’t want something like that to happen again.”

Soon after coming in with no expectations whatsoever of how he could improve over the course of the month, Tom decided to set an ambitious goal. Wanting to improve his mile time by a minute over the course of the month, Tom decided he would try to run a six minute mile for the final time trial.

“I’m a very ambitious person, so I set very ambitious goals,” he said. “This was the epitome of that.”

As the time trial approaches, Tom has revised that goal slightly, but that doesn’t mean he won’t go out without a fight.

“I’m not sure if I’ll quite get to that six minutes, but I’m going to do everything I can to get there,” he said. “If not, as long as I beat Taylor or Josh, I’m happy.”

THE FINAL TIME TRIAL

Last weekend was the moment of truth. After a month of training, countless hours on the track, and numerous moments of pain and failure, Josh, Tom, and Taylor laid it all out on the line. The results were nothing short of impressive.

After working together for a month, all three guys tackled their final mile the same way. Out of the gate, the goal was simple: to develop and settle into a quick – but not especially uncomfortable – pace in the first two laps. It got more difficult at lap three, though. At this do or die moment, it’s all about commitment – either you’re fully in, or you’re going to take a step back and dial down the intensity a bit. While Tom and Trevor struggled a bit here, Josh pushed through, still gunning for that low-five minute mile. For all three though, the strategy for the fourth lap was identical: to completely sell out.

They all gave it their all, and their final results reflect that.

“I was satisfied with my final mile. I know I set for a sub-five minute mile, but I had a feeling it would be closer to the 5:15 range anyway, and I was happy to come in a touch below that. One of the things that’s always hardest is being told to be slow out of the gate, as it always feels like I should be pushing harder. However, I think the biggest helper in the final mile was starting out easier than I normally would so that I could settle into a pace and even speed up over the course of the four laps.”

“Hitting a sub-six minute mile felt good. While I didn’t improve as much as the other guys, I think a lot of it boils down to how I approached that last mile. The fact of the matter was that I was wiped by the third lap, and that hurt me at the end. It’s frustrating knowing that it was in my power to put up a better time, but I’m still psyched nonetheless about the progress I’ve made. I was definitely underestimating the intensity that goes into running a fast mile before this month, but I’ve left with a newfound respect for something that seems so straightforward on paper.”

“I set a lifetime PR, beating my previous best by 22 seconds. I set a really lofty goal of six minutes coming into the challenge, which I didn’t quite hit – but I’m happy nonetheless. I know I could’ve done a little better, as I went out too hot on the first two laps and hit a wall, which meant I really had to concentrate on the last 800 meters – and didn’t end as fast as I wanted to.”

ADAM'S REFLECTIONS

Adam Klink came into the month with a simple goal: to turn guys who rarely trained for speed into faster, stronger, and more intense runners. By all accounts, Adam’s goal was realized. With all three athletes improving their mile times by about – if not more than – 20 seconds compared to the beginning of the month, he watched as Tom, Josh, and Taylor challenged themselves and became better athletes.

“Being able to PR mile times as much as they did with only four weeks of training is remarkable,” Adam said. “To see two of these three guys run a lifetime PR was a testament to the work they put in and the dedication they showed.”

Watching as one athlete improved his PR by 29 seconds to get his mile down to a 5:14 – the day after eye surgery, no less – was a personal highlight for Adam. Josh, who started the month at a high-five minute mile, paced the mile well, ran with a gameplan, and looked strong. For Adam, seeing this performance from a CrossFitter spoke to the intensity with which he approached his training.

More broadly, the athletes exceeded Adam’s expectations not only in their athletic performance, but also in their confidence.

“Between the first time trial and the last, the biggest change was their confidence,” Adam noted. “The confidence they showed in the first two laps as they settled into a pace from the get go was impressive. The fact that they looked smooth and in control the whole time was the biggest change.”

And, with the month over and the guys more dominant runners than ever before, Adam is convinced that the guys will continue to incorporate running into their workouts.

“I think they have realized they have another side of their training that they can develop.” he said. “CrossFit is about endurance and intensity, and so is running, so I know that the guys will incorporate track workouts and add intensity in their running to carry that over to their CrossFit workouts as well.”