Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Self Doubt & Pushing Through

On Friday, summer hit in Denton with a vengeance.  It was 95 degrees, but even worse than that, about 80% humidity.  You couldn't walk across the gym with breaking a sweat.

Then I did the scheduled CTM workout for the day.  It was called "Quattro".

According to coach, the intention was to build the engine.  And that was easy to tell by looking at the workout itself.

"Quattro" is:

15 Assault Bike Calories
18 Wall ball shots (20# to a 10' target)
15 Kettlebell Swings (53#)
12 Burpees

This workout is way worse than it looks on paper (and it looks pretty bad). Luckily, I had a friend stay and do the workout with me so that I wouldn't have to do it alone.  Her being there definitely made me work a little harder.  Thanks Ally!

So I started the workout and the first round felt great!  I finished the first round in 4 minutes flat. What I didn't know then, was that I went out too fast and that this was about to HURT.

The following three rounds took me 6-6 1/2 minutes per round.  That is a big failure of pacing on my part.  Maybe if I took 5 minutes to do the first round, I could have maintained that pace throughout.

But my pace is not what I wanted to talk about today.  I really wanted to talk about what happened when I got on the Assault Bike at the beginning of the third round.

As I was deep in the pain cave, I had something happen to me that I have never had happen before.  I questioned whether or not I really wanted to keep doing this.  Not just whether or not I wanted to continue with the workout, because I knew I could keep going.

No, I was questioning whether or not I wanted to continue to train for my CrossFit Games goal, or if I wanted to just "throw my hands up" and declare that I was not fit enough to get there.

I know deep down that there are *years* of pain coming if I want to continue with my quest of making the Games in 2020.  But this workout hurt so bad that I was questioning whether or not that was a goal I was really willing to chase.

Well, I am still here.  And I finished "Quattro" in 21 minutes and 19 seconds.

I guess I am "pot committed" now.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Having a "Helen" Good Time

On May 16th, CompTrain Masters (CTM) programmed Helen.  For anyone who doesn't know, Helen is:

3 Rounds for Time of:
     Run 400m
     21 Kettlebell swings @ 53#
     12 Pull-up

So on that day, I did Helen RX for the very first time.

The results?


Since it is the first time I had ever done Helen RX, that was a PR.  I'll take it.

Then, one week later, on May 23rd, Helen was programmed at CFD.  I was feeling froggy that day, so I decided to do Helen again, even though I had a different metcon programmed that day (which I did two hours later).  The one kicker? The time cap was 13 minutes.  So I would have to PR the workout by almost 2 minutes just to beat the time cap.  The results?


So what changed in a week?  I didn't get that much fitter in 7 days.

1. I pushed a little harder on the run.  Running in a WOD hurts, but it doesn't hurt that much more to go just a little bit faster.

2. I committed to only taking one break on the KB swings.  I set it down every time after 11, took 5 deep breaths, and then got back on it and did the remaining 10.

If the CTM programming has done anything for me, it has taught me to #sufferbetter.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Training Volume (New Program Pt.2)

As I said in a previous post, I have refocused on my training for the coming year.  As part of that refocusing, I signed up for online coaching.

After much deliberation, I choose the CompTrain Masters (CTM) program.

Now, I firmly believe that the programming does not make the competitor.  No programming can in and of itself get an athlete to the next level.  The athlete still has to put the work in.

I choose this program because I feel that my personal attitude and workout philosophy align the most closely with Ben Bergeron (from CrossFit New England) and the way he coaches.

Interestingly, here is an example of my training volume pre-CTM. over the past year going into the 2017 Open.

Not bad, but not great either.  Here is an example of my training volume the first month on CTM.

 There is certainly a difference.  But it is not just volume for volume's sake.  Every movement has a purpose.  And, moreover, every purpose is spelled out in the programming.

Overall, I feel less beat up now, than I did when following the pre-CTM programming shown above.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again, but I am very excited about my training throughout the year heading into the 2018 Open.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Track your food!

I have determined that the biggest factor holding back my performance is my body weight.

At my current weight (250#), it is like I am working out (and living) with a 50# weight vest on.

It makes everything harder.

I NEED to change my body composition.  Not only to improve my workout performance, but also for my general health.

To that end, I am making some changes to my diet and am going to start tracking everything I eat.

I will be posting regular updates here in order to help keep myself accountable.

Stay tuned.

Friday, May 12, 2017

New Program

I am SUPER excited about the upcoming year, and am refocusing my training to reflect this.

I started the CompTrain Masters program March 30th. The first week was a deload week being the first week "post open".

More updates to come.

Reflections on the 2017 Open

Another year has passed.  The Open is over.  Overall, I felt like this year’s Open was much worse than last year.

Here are my thoughts on each workout:

17.1:  I honestly feel I put out every bit of effort I could on this workout.  Being week one that should not be a surprise.  I didn’t finish, but I did MY best, and that is all I can ask.

17.2:  Again, I feel like I left it all out on the floor on this workout.  I would have liked to get a couple of more reps, as I didn’t quite finish the walking lunge section right before the Bar Muscle-ups (which I wasn’t going to be able to do anyway).

17.3:  Here is where my Open started to go downhill.  I put a huge focus on pull-ups in the past year because they were such a weakness of mine.  Now my pull-ups have gotten a LOT better, but that did not translate to my C2B pull-ups as much as I would have liked.  I set the goal to at least get some snatches in at 135#, but that did not happen.  The pull-ups were just too slow.

17.4:  This one was disappointing because I didn’t improve on my performance from last year. Technically, I did improve, but by only one rep.  For the second year in a row, I didn’t finish the row. That was really aggravating.

17.5:  This was probably the most disappointing workout of them all.  Another weakness came up here.  My double-unders have come a long way in the past 6 months, but they are nowhere near where I need or want them to be.  I had 40 minutes, but couldn’t finish this workout.

I felt like this Open did not go well.  But feelings can be deceiving.  According to the numbers, I made huge strides forward compared to previous years.

In the 2014 Open, I finished in the 0.8th percentile

In the 2015 Open, I finished in the 9.3rd percentile.

In the 2016 Open, I finished in the 24.6th percentile.

In the 2017 Open, I finished in the 48.4th percentile.

That is a trend that must continue if I am to meet my goal of making the Games in 2020.  But I don’t want to get ahead of myself.

I have to focus on THIS YEAR and let 2020 take care of itself.

My goal for the 2018 Open is to finish in the top 75th Percentile.

Grunt Work (New Program Pt. 3)

I would like to take a little time to talk about CTM (CompTrain Masters) programming and training cycles. The first 8 week training cycle ...