CrossFit Games Recap pt. 2 – Camp Pendleton
I said before that I would break down the workouts as I saw them as a competitor and also a coach.
The CrossFit Games this year, established itself as the world most legitimate test of fitness. Never before have we seen CrossFitters, training purely CrossFit, go the distances of Event 1 at Camp Pendleton. You would never be able to legitimately call yourself the worlds fittest without a true test of what I am going to call endurance. Many people when they see this event will dismiss it as a test of aerobic capacity or something along those lines. I would wager, most haven’t done anything like what we experienced in the ‘Triathalon’.
Triathalon encompasses a variety of events including swimming, biking, and running grouped under one name. There are varying distances of triathalons the most common or recognized being the Olympic (1.5km swim, 40km bike, and 10km run) and the full or ‘Ironman’ (3.8km swim, 180km bike, and 42km run).
What we did at the CrossFit Games would appear to pale in comparison to these more classical triathalons. We kicked things off with a 500m run the soft sand into 700m swim in the open ocean, with the assistance of fins. Jumping on our bikes we turned the tables a little, only traveling 8km on our bikes. This particular bike circuit however was on a single speed mountain bike with rough terrain. Capping the event off was an 11km hill ‘run’. I’m skeptical to even call this a run because it was really, anything but. Right off the bikes we were faced with a 30 minute straight up climb. This was no regular uphill climb. This was the kind of cramping, sweating, groaning climb that left competitors on their backs, or zig zagging across the trail. It only got worse when you reached the top and were treated to the first downhill of the course. A steep, rocky, slippery section followed by an equally impressive second uphill. The mental defeat of climbing one hill only to descend and reascend was tough to swallow. I recalled being excited for the run portion of this event as California is some of the most beautiful country one would ever want to see. All overshadowed by the pain and cramping caused by this horrendous uphill climb.
Once the climb was over it was arguably the hardest part of the run. For those that don’t know, downhill running is one of the most damaging things you can do to the muscles and structures in your body. Myself, packing what now seemed like an unnecessary 215lbs of body weight took extra damage on these pounding downhills.
Above I called this not a test of aerobic training but a test of endurance. This was a big surprise for all competitors as 99% train in the style of classic CrossFit. Nobody was expecting this kind of duration of event, and few had gone even close to that distance in one, continuous effort. Coming back down the other side of Microwave Mountain as it had come to be known, my aerobic engine was firing on all cylinders. I easily cruised through the flats and downhills. For the first time n my life I felt like a runner. Even making ground on other competitors. Though, with any kind of uphill came the same cramping that I’d developed such a distaste for earlier in the run. Even with less than 1000m to go there were people stopping, cradling cramped muscles. The truest test of mental fortitude I’ve ever embarked on. Event 1 at Camp Pendleton delivered, silencing the naysayers that, “CrossFitters can’t go long”.
Special notes, first place finisher Chad McKay is listed at 6’0″ and weighs 225lbs. Returning champ and newly crowned 2012 champ Rich Froning finished 12th on this event.
I went a little longer than I hoped so the O-Course will be covered in the next installment. I really hope I can keep this to 4 or 5 parts but st this point it looks doubtful.
Bench Press 3RM
Drop to 60% of above and do 4 sets of 10
Prowler Sprints x 5 sets
Rest as needed between efforts
100-130lbs use empty prowler
20 minutes, for quality: 10 reps per side, adductor dip 10 reps per side, T-hip rotation 10 reps alternating, 90/90 hip swivels *no hands! 10