Rich Wachsman is one of CrossFit Barrington’s endurance athletes. Before starting at CrossFit Barrington, Rich was an avid runner and cyclist completing many triathlons, marathons and Ironman. Here, Rich answers some questions about how CrossFit has improved his overall training.

What is/was your fitness accomplishment/goal?

My original goal was to add some strength workouts to my overall fitness schedule.

Who or what motivates you?

A lot of self-motivation to look and feel as good as I can. I’ve always had a belief that if you feel good about yourself and are physically fit than everything (work, home, relationships etc.) else falls into place.

What special training have you added or subtracted?

Instead of a couple days of CrossFit I not do 5-6 day/week. I do less aerobic (running, biking) workouts now per week.

What obstacles did you anticipate?

None so far. When I first started CrossFit, the coaches said it would help with my running/biking times. I didn’t believe them at first but low and behold my running times are faster than they have been in 10+ years.

Has CrossFit reduced your overall training time?

I am spending less time training than I did a few years ago and seeing faster times.  See progress below:

Pre CrossFit / During CrossFit Running Times

  • 1 Mile Time: 6:20 in 2010 to 5:50 in 2012
  • 5 K Time: 23:02 in 2009 to 21:03 in in 2012
Any additional times you recall? These times can be from any of your sports.

Twin Lakes Sprint Triathlon: 1:27:32 in 2010 to 1:25:54 in 2012. I was already in decent shape coming into CrossFit (I was coming off my Ironman in 2010) and felt like I was in the best shape of my post-college life.

Other than feeling stronger, how else has CF improved your Endurance sport performance?

I used to run a lot more than I do today. I now only run 1-2 per week so there is far less pounding on my knees and ankles.

Has CrossFit reduced or increased your recovery and/or injuries? If so, why?

CrossFit has reduced the wear and tear that I had been putting on my knees and ankles from all the running I was doing. I think the Mobility Exercises and the Stretching we do at the end of each workout has been huge. The mobility exercises are helping with muscle recovery and the stretching has made me more flexible than I was before. I had a lot of nagging injuries because I wasn’t stretching enough. CrossFit incorporates that into the workouts.

What is your advice to other endurance athletes?

I added CrossFit into my training to build a strength component to my workouts. I’ve always read about the importance of having a strength routine as part of the regular endurance training that you go through. I am now seeing how that strength is paying off in my runs, biking and swimming. I still think there is a need to do a longer run or longer bike each week but there is no doubt that the cardio aspects built into the strength training that CrossFit provides is caring over into other areas of my training.

What are your current sport specific goals? How do you feel CF will help you achieve these goals?

I’m doing a few triathlons this summer. My goal in doing a lot of these races is just to try and beat a time from a previous year. Over the last couple of years I’ve been able to do that because of the many reasons already mentioned above (less injuries, stronger, less time working out etc.)

Can you provide a timeline of your typical training week since you’ve used the CF methodology and X amount of hours outside the gym consist of running, swimming, biking? How does this differ from your old routine?
  • CrossFit – 5 days a week (1 hour each session)
  • Swimming – two days per week (1 hour each session)
  • Running – two days per week (3-5 miles per run…I will start taking one of the runs and making it longer s the spring and summer draw near)
  • Riding – weather permitting…two days per week (1 short ride…1 hour, and then 1 longer ride once the weather is warmer…3-5 hours)
Have you made any nutrition/supplement changes in the past 18 months?

I’ve changed this area quite a bit since doing CrossFit and think it has helped out tremendously. Although I didn’t need CrossFit to change my diet, just being around all the people that are trying to change their eating habits has made me look at the things I am putting in my body and changing those habits. I don’t necessarily follow Paleo to a “T” but take elements of it that work for me. I rarely eat any processed foods. Grains, vegetables, nuts and meats are the staples to my diet. Once again, you don’t need CrossFit to change your diet but it sure does help when your trainers and workout mates are constantly talking about the foods that they are eating.

I’ve also started taking recovery drinks after workouts. This helps in speeding up muscle recovery. Since I sometimes do multiple workouts a day, I feel that I don’t wear down as fast as I used to in the past.

Can you name 3 people you admire?

Lawrence Berend (my grandfather)
Logan Pause (Friend)
Charlie Delong (high school soccer coach.

Favorite Quote to live by?

If its’ wild to your own heart, protect it. Preserve it. Love it. And fight for it, and dedicate yourself to it, whether it’s a mountain range, your wife your husband or even (god forbid) your job. It doesn’t matter if its wild to anyone else; if it’s what makes your heart sing, if it’s what makes your days soar like a hawk in the summertime, then focus on it. Because for sure, it’s wild, and if it’s wild it’ll mean your still free. No matter where you are.”- Rick Bass 1987 Wild to the Heart


– November: Long Grove Turkey Trot 5K (age group winner)

– November: Ride ‘n Tie – 10-mile run/ride (age group winner)

– September: Tough Mudder

– August: Hotter n Hell 100 mile bike ride in Wichita Falls, TX

– July: Barrington Run for the Arts 5K (2nd place in age group)

– June: Twin Lakes Sprint Triathlon (8th place in age group)


– June: Horribly Hilly, Blue Mounds, WI, 100-mile bike ride

– June: Twin Lakes Sprint Triathlon (7th place in age group)


– September: Wisconsin Ironman

– July: Crystal Lake 2 mile Swim

– June: Twin Lakes Sprint Triathlon (7th place in age group)

Scroll to Top