Last night, a lot of witnessed the last workout for 2017 in what has become a very fun, intriguing, and semi-competitive matchup between Rory McKernan and Adrian Bozman in the CrossFit Games Open workouts.
Personally, I was rooting for Ro as a fellow tall guy but I just love watching two regular, pretty fit dudes throw down head to head. CrossFit has done a great job in hyping this matchup and making it really fun to watch. I actually find myself more interested in this than the Games athletes competing but nonetheless…
So, if you watched the Dottirs complete 17.5 in like 2 minutes, then you probably have a skewed view of what this will really look like when you do it. So I wanted to break down Ro and Boz’s performance to help you with your attempt(s). *By the way, this workout does lend itself to doing it more than once… Just give yourself about 36-48 hours to re-do for optimal results.
PACING PACING PACING!!!!
Let’s take a look at Boz’s times each round. Please note that he never dropped the barbell once he picked it up, made a few errors on the double unders, but no real mistakes other than his pacing.
- Round 1: 36.6 seconds (FASTEST)
- Round 2: 47.4 seconds
- Round 3: 52.7 seconds
- Round 4: 58.6 seconds
- Round 5: 1:18.1
- Round 6: 1:06.0
- Round 7: 1:20.0
- Round 8: 1:31.0
- Round 9: 1:32.6 (SLOWEST)
- Round 10: 1:28.2
- FINAL TIME: 11:32.8
- Average time per round: 1:09.28
As you can see, his round times increased each round except for the last round. His best round was almost a full minute faster than his slowest round.
Let’s take a look at Ro’s times each round. Please note that he dropped the barbell in rounds 6-9.
- Round 1: 33.9 seconds (FASTEST)
- Round 2: 48.5 seconds
- Round 3: 59 seconds
- Round 4: 1:01.1
- Round 5: 1:00
- Round 6: 1:31.1 (Dropped barbell once)
- Round 7: 1:29.1 (Dropped barbell once)
- Round 8: 2:03 (SLOWEST) (Dropped barbell once)
- Round 9: 1:45.6 (Dropped barbell once)
- Round 10: 1:24.8
- FINAL TIME: 12:36.9
- Average time per round: 1:15.7
Ro’s best round was 90 seconds faster than his worst round. This is not a good sign when each round averaged 1 minute and 15 seconds.
Now I am not here to say Ro and Boz are dumb for going out fast and then hitting the wall, but they most likely fell into the trap we all fall into when we attempt workouts at light weight for a bunch of reps. At the beginning, the workout feels extremely easy and the pace is pretty fast. All the adrenaline is flowing and it is frankly very hard to slow down.
So what do we learn here?
Watching the Dottirs, we can easily see that they kept the same pace the entire workout plus/minus just a few seconds here and there. Yes they are Games athletes and their pace was INSANE but we can learn from that and finish around the same pace as we started.
Watching Ro and Boz, their best/worst round had way too much of a difference in time and that is an indication of not pacing properly.
Had they kept a consistent 1 minute even per round from the beginning, they would most likely ended up right at 10 minutes or even less. One way to they (or you) may be able to attack this is by breaking up the thrusters right away in 2 sets and then breaking the double unders into 20 and 15 with 3-5 seconds in between each break to keep that heart rate down.
It may feel really slow at the beginning but this workout IS NOT a Fran pace. It is a Double or Triple Fran pace, therefore you need to go around 80% effort the entire time. Only you know your limits but I recommend taking the first few rounds at a pace where you feel you can go for 20 minutes straight, but then speeding up if you need to.
36 seconds for round 1 is basically a 95% effort and this effort is not sustainable by “regular” people like me and you for 10 rounds.
- Take it easy from the beginning as most people will not finish this under 10 minutes. This looked like a sprint but it is not. THIS IS A PACING WORKOUT!
- Know your 80% pace and break up sooner rather than later. All of those long breaks we watched Ro and Boz take can be avoided if we pace correctly from the beginning.
- Pretend this is an EMOM or time yourself at certain points and have someone keep you paced correctly.
- No one gets any points for being the fastest in the first 3 rounds. It is the athlete who paces appropriately from the beginning and finishes strong who will prevail.
- Keep the heart rate at a sustainable BPM until around Round 8 or 9 and then drop the hammer!
- Have fun, don’t get caught up if you mess up the double unders. Stay focused and remember what Katrin looked like on the final double unders as she maintained her composure.
I hope you enjoyed the 2017 CrossFit Games Open and congratulations for giving it your best!
Christopher Galvan, Founder