The 3 recent CrossFit HQ WODs have followed a distinct theme.  Hang Power Snatches-Squats-L-Sits, 3x800m Run, Heavy Clean & Jerks and Bar Muscle Ups, these 3 workouts might look very different on paper but the running theme uniting all 3 is high-output effort followed by a recovery period.

The movements are different, the energy systems are different and the time intervals differ but all 3 test your ability to recover from a taxing effort.

Yesterday’s 3x800m Run was not about testing your 800m speed.  Instead it was a test of your ability to recover in 2 minutes and repeat.  In a perfect world, with perfect pacing, you would want your run time to be the same each round.  To encourage this we awarded RX only to athletes who successfully maintained a negative split through all 3 rounds.

Another approach could have been to score the WOD on the difference between your fastest and slowest rounds with the smallest spread winning.  But for future reference, capturing your 3 round average will prove much more useful.

My times were 3:50, 3:48 and 3:37.  I did maintain the desired negative split but the 13 second difference between rounds 1 and 3 indicates I started off too slowly.  If the numbers were reversed with 3:37 in round 1 and 3:50 in round 3 it would indicate I started out too quickly and need to pace myself better.  In either case, my average time comes out to 3:45 indicating that given 2 minutes recovery I should be able to consistently hold a 3:45 per 800m pace.  Next time I will try to start at that pace and then maintain it in subsequent rounds.

Yesterday’s WOD should not be confused with your 4x800m average or your 1x800m time since the former allowed us to rest as needed between efforts and the latter was testing your all-out, one-time effort.  Though those workouts may look similar since they both feature an 800m run, they are in fact, dramatically different as neither was testing your recovery.  As such, your 800m run times in those workouts should have been much faster than the pace you held yesterday.

It is fascinating to me that workouts that look so similar on paper can be so disparate in practice while  workouts that appear completely unrelated can, in fact, be quite similar.  As you attack today’s heavy clean & jerks, remember to stop and recover between sets.  Same with your bar muscle ups.  My strategy was to hold a pace of 3 reps at a time resting between each set of 3 which worked out to an average of 1.8 reps/minute.  What pace will get you through?