May 30, 2019

Crossfit Games Athletes VS High School Endurance Athletes

For most Crossfit athletes a 5k run (3.1 miles) is probably the farthest they will run during their training.

Crossfit Games athletes will likely run further distances more often than the average Crossfitter since they know it may show up in the Games, however it is still not a big chunk of their program.

High school cross-country athletes focus entirely on endurance with no other goal other than to improve their 5k time.

So as a non-specialist in long distance endurance training how would the 5k’s of some of the world’s best Crossfit athletes compare to those times of the average high school cross-country athlete?

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*Boys and girls cross-country 5k times were collected from a nearby regional competition in southern California. Crossfit Games athletes 5k’s were collected from their athlete profile.



PATRICK VELLNER (2nd in 2018 Games) – 18:50 5K

BJORGVIN KARL GUDMUNDSSON (5th in 2018 Games )- 19:20 5K

NOAH OHLSEN (6th in 2018 Games) – 19:50 5K

BEN SMITH (12th in 2018 Games) – 20:20 5K

CODY ANDERSON (10th in 2018 Games) – 22:33 5K


Boys Varsity 5k – Morro Bay XC Invitational (TOP 23 SHOWN)

As you can see above the 2nd fittest man in the world Patrick Vellner would have finished in 23rd place in just one average regional cross-country competition.

The other 4 Crossfit athletes would have placed even lower with our last place athlete being Cody Anderson who would have finished in 169th place.

Related: A First Look at the 2019 Crossfit Games Athletes

This is not intended to make Crossfit athletes look “bad” it is simply showing the comparison between a non-specialist and a specialist. It is very likely that almost all of the cross-country athletes have never touched a barbell in their life.

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KRISTIN HOLTE (7th in 2018 Games) – 19:30 5K

KARA SAUNDERS (4th in 2018 Games) – 20:10 5K

ALESSANDRA PICHELLI (14th in 2018 Games) – 20:41 5K

MARGAUX ALVAREZ (22nd in 2018 Games) – 21:47 5K

SARA SIGMUNDSDOTTIR (Injury in 2018 Games) – 22:32 5K


Girls Varsity 5k – Morro Bay XC Invitational (TOP 12 SHOWN)

Unlike the men where the fastest Crossfitter would have been in 23rd place all 5 Crossfit Games women would have placed in the top 12. Holte, Saunders, and Pichelli actually would have won the race had they been competing.

The reason for differences between the men and women’s results are due to the fact that both the men and women Crossfit groups have very similar 5k times but the boys cross-country times are about 4 minutes faster than the girls.

Crossfit athletes don’t claim to be specialists and they aim not to be, what makes them the fittest on earth is that they can perform almost all fitness tests above average.

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