Monday, March 3, 2014

CrossFit Open 14.1

After weeks and weeks of "training", it was finally performance time.  The first workout of the 2014 CrossFit Open (a.k.a 14.1) was

10 minutes as many reps as possible (10 AMRAP) of
30 double unders
15 75# power snatches

In preparation for the workout, I had a session with John about pacing and snatch positioning.  This session unfortunately showed me how frail my double unders are.  I was really anxious about everything, and it messed up my timing; so I could barely get them going.  Messing up the doubles just compounded the problem by adding frustration.

I had a few issues with cycling the snatches.  The first, was that I wasn't hitting the correct snatching positions and this was making me really inefficient.  We mostly worked on keeping the bar in close.  The other issue was that I was cycling way too fast.  The problem with going to fast is that I burn out right away.  Fortunately, the weight is so light that my mobility and shoulder issues don't matter that much.

The "game plan" for pacing was to shoot for 6 rounds.  I'd break up the snatches with 5-10 count rests: 15,  9/6,  9/6,  6/5/4,  6/5/4,  6/5/4.  I would go unbroken for the double unders each round.  Additionally, the actual snatches need to paced by hitting positions on the way up and down as well as a slight pause at the top.

On the day of the workout, I was a little anxious but mostly excited.  I got really warm and did my normal mobility prep.  I fired off a few sets of double unders and snatches, then watched the first heat.

My actual performance didn't really go that much different than my practice session the day before.  I repeatedly failed on the double unders.  I did pretty well with keeping my snatch positions and sticking to my rep scheme though.  After a few rounds my shoulders were smoked, and it was really difficult to turn the rope fast enough on the double unders.  I didn't have any grip or forearm issues like others mentioned.

In the end, I got 5 rounds or 225 reps.  That's a respectable performance, but not even close to the 6 rounds I was shooting for.  Angela was kind enough to video it for me.  After reviewing the video, I learned a lot.

The first thing I learned was that I tried to do double unders WAY too fast.  Apparently, I always do them that fast, which is ridiculous.  That pace only works when I'm completely rested, and that is never the case in a workout.

The second thing I saw was that I was still racing through the snatches.  I was kind of hitting the positions, but they looked flaily and inefficient with no bounce off the hips on the way up and no pause at the top.

Because of all the inefficiencies, I thought I should redo the workout.  I figured, if I could slow down the double unders to a maintainable pace, break up the snatches into 5s to force a slower pace, and bounce off the hips more to save my shoulders, I could really improve my performance.

Unfortunately, it didn't pan out.  I spent a while testing out a slower paced double under, but it never clicked.  Also, the snatches seemed really heavy (not recovered enough).  In the end, I decided to just accept my first score.  I don't know how I stack up against the rest of the guys, but I suspect I'm not in the top 10 :)

My performance is pretty frustrating, because one of my best skills is double unders.  This was a chance for me to put myself in the a good position, but I couldn't make it happen.  A lot of it was mental.  I need to get more experience in competition situations.

For the rest of the Open, I'm going to continue the way I have been, but I plan to try part of it right away on Thursday.  I could do a bit better with getting enough sleep for the days leading into the workout as well.  Thanks for all the cheers ya'll.  I had a fun time and look forward to the upcoming weeks.

1 comment:

  1. I am sure there is a Cross Fit sort of cheer or something but since I don't know it I will just tell you that I am amazed at your dedication. What you did was amazing and you have come a long way from where you were not that long ago. Take pride in what you have done so far and just keep setting your goals. You are very dedicated and it will come in time. I know it! Way to go!