Here we are. Five weeks have flown by. The last week of the 2015 Open season is here.
These past five weeks have actually been a great deal of fun – unless you ventured onto any CrossFit forum on Facebook. In that case, it has been five weeks of drudgery. Days of Whine & Roses!
This weekend will see some major shifting of positions on the leaderboard. Yes, I know some people claim they ignore the leaderboard.
The fact of the matter is, I pay $20 expressly for the leaderboard. It’s cheap entertainment. I spend more than that supporting my barista for a week.
By the third week, I had come to the wise conclusion that I am a Scaled Athlete. However, Open 15.5 has me reconsidering.
“A man’s got to know his limitations.” – Dirty Harry – Magnum Force
Last year there was no Scaled Option, and 14.5 was very similar to this one. A descending ladder of Thrusters and Over-the-Bar Burpees, with no time cap. This year, substitute Rowing for Calories instead of Burpees. Either way, for me it’s a Metcon suckfest.
With that said, I survived last year, at the Masters 60+ weight. This year, I can opt to grind through this WOD with the same weight, or I can opt for scaled. At the time of this writing, I am leaning towards Rx. With that said, here is how I hope to survive 15.5.
I have just spent the month of March participating in a friendly challenge with a few friends to see how many meters we can row in 30 days. My friend Ron, who initiated the challenge set a target of 50K meters. I know I am only in the gym 2-3 days a week, and a quick moment with the calculator suggested that with my limited access to a C2 Erg, 30K meters was a much more realistic goal for me. I was able to do it in 21 days, and I’ve still put in at least a 2K row on each of my subsequent visits to the gym.
In a 2K row, I pace myself at 20-22 Strokes per minutes. It’s not typically a sprint for me, until the final 500m. My typical 500m time is 2:00-2:15. If I reference the chart I’ve posted above, I should expect to spend 6:00-6:30 on the rower. Of course I know I will be trashed after 27 Thrusters, so when I return to the erg for my second round, the odds of me maintaining the same pace is diminished. So I’ll expect that my rowing time will more likely be near the 8 minute mark for the entire WOD.
Last year, 14.5 had a descending ladder that totaled 84 reps. This year, 15.5 is only 72 reps. That is a plus, but rowing will also be smoking the shoulders, so the cumulative effect of these movements will be much different than Burpees were last year.
Last year, I naively thought I’d split the sets of thrusters in half. After the first set, I has grateful if I could do them in sets of five, and often defaulted to sets of three. This year, I go into the Open with a disadvantage in that I am not a diehard CrossFitter anymore, so I am “metcon challenged”. But I have been doing more lifting, since my primary focus is on Olympic lifting. So I am more efficient with squatting under load.
- First thing is Have Fun
- Pace yourself – The first two rounds are two-thirds of the WOD. Do not gas yourself, early in the game.
- Break up Thrusters – If you are not among the elite, many smaller sets will save your shoulders for the long haul
- If there is sufficient gas in the tank, sprint the last two rounds.
The nice thing about the rep scheme of the ladder is that after the first two rounds, mentally you know that you are out of the woods. You are in the home stretch. That will help you push through to the end.
“Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face.” – Mike Tyson
What are your plans for getting through 15.5? If you’ve already done it, how did reality jive with your preconceived notions about how the WOD would go for you?
In a few days, I’ll share how my reality may differ from this fairy tale blog post.