Visit to River North CrossFit In Chicago

ImageThis past weekend I was in Chicago to report on the Chicago Triathlon, a race celebrating its 30th year. Saturday morning I dropped into River North CrossFit for a workout. Before the WOD (a bear complex workout) I overheard the coach, John Lee, talking to one of the members about mixing CrossFit and running. He’d mentioned that he’d finished 4 half marathons. In preparing for the races he said he barely added any additional running to his training.


It was a great gym. In business for just one year, they’re already up to 400 members. The drop-in fee of $25  also bought me a t-shirt.

After my workout I approached John and asked him some questions. He told me that right now he was training for the Chicago Marathon in October. Typically a first-time marathoner will run upwards of 20-mile long runs. Lee’s longest run in getting ready for the half marathons that he ran?

“Three or four miles,” he told me. “And I’d be sore the day after but still I’d come to the gym and do CrossFit. By Tuesday most of the soreness was gone.” He added that in one of his half-marathons he didn’t do any extra running at all. “The only running I did was the running that came up in our programming.”

According to Lee, River North CrossFit has been attracting more runners. Their results? “They’re setting personal records.”

In Inside the Box, veteran journalist and marathoner T.J. Murphy goes all in to expose the gritty, high-intensity sport of CrossFit®. From staggering newcomer to evangelist, Murphy finds out how it feels, why it’s so popular, and whether CrossFit can fix his broken body.