CrossFit: What to do when the wheels fall off

CrossFit is a combination of physical and mental fitness.  Sometimes it’s hard to know what the failure point actually is.  Yesterday I set my workout for: a twelve minute time limit of 75 wall balls at 20# with a 7-8 ft target, 50 double unders, and as many pull-ups as possible with the remaining time.  The idea was 10 wallballs every minute on the minute, and 5 extra, then rope then pull-ups.

I didn’t feel right going in.  I decided to do a 500m row to warm up; time was not bad (1:53) but not as good as I hoped, and I was really tired afterwards.  But I thought what the heck let’s get going and I’ll pick up steam as I go.

Well, no fire, and no steam.  I got through 3 sets of 10 wall balls.  I was resting 40 seconds between sets, and it still wasn’t enough. After the 3rd set I was out of energy and disappointed. So I put everything back and went home.  That’s the first time I’ve ever quite a workout except for injuries.  I promised myself I would be back the next day.

So today I went back and did the workout — with one difference.  I used a 16# ball.  I don’t doubt I can do the 20# because I’ve done it before, but scaling down was the right thing to do in this situation.  And no warm up — just do the WOD and see what happens.

I hit the target 10 times EMOTM like clockwork, form was correct, and lots of time to spare (it takes me about 20 seconds to do 10 throws.)  Double-unders were complete at the 10 minute mark.  I took the remaining time to complete 15 pull-ups.  Total time: 12 minutes.

I gave myself quite a bit of rest time as part of the WOD, but also because I want to work up to 150 wall balls for this workout.  I think it’s within reach — but even if I use a 16# wall ball for 150 throws it would be a good workout.

So, what to do when the wheels fall off? Scale back and figure out where the problem is.  For me, it was probably a blood-sugar problem, or dehydration, or just simply being too tired.  But in any case, onward.


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