Tuesday, May 11, 2010

European Regional WOD 1 and 2

The first 2 events at this year’s Regional were really a single event with a split scoring system. WOD 1 was a 2.2 km run around the Eleiko Center, after which WOD 2 commenced immediately with AMRAP 70 kg ground to overheads. The clock started when the run began and didn’t stop until it hit 15 minutes, meaning the faster runners would score points for placement based on their 2.2 km time, but also have more time to lift the weight upon arriving. That is, if they had any breath/strength left.

The fact that this event had no set recovery time made it an absolute bear physically and mentally. My heat featured two very strong runners, which wound up working to my advantage since they pushed the pace hard from the start. Turned out we were running just over a 5 minute mile pace the entire time. Eeker for a guy nursing bad ankles... Coming around the final turn I was sitting in 3rd position and considered making a push to overtake 2nd, but as I did he turned on the jets and began doing the same to the guy in 1st. As they exploded the last 400 meters I instead maintained my pace and finished 10 seconds behind their photo finish at 7:07--the 3rd best time of the heat and the day. Sveinbjorn came in at 7:08 a few heats later.

Entering the Eleiko Center after this was not fun. I wasn’t quite hypoglycemic, but my head was far from clear. Knowing that I had just under 8 minutes of max effort remaining was not comforting either. My first few repetitions went okay and I think I made it to 10 within 90 seconds or so. My strategy was to do a single repetition, take a breath, then do it again, and try to find a rhythm I could maintain ad nosium. It was a decent plan that I kept up until the mid-20’s. Then my ass and hamstrings started to light up big time. I don't remember getting this feeling during Olympic lifts ever so I'm assuming it had something to do with the pre-fatigue of the run. I was still completely out of breath and getting more and more mentally defeated with each repetition. I literally could not wait to be finished. I know the feeling well, but it never gets comfortable. Asking the question, “Why am I doing this?” is the first indicator that you’re there.

The crowd was ablaze and honestly carried me the last 3-4 minutes. I'd love to say I finished strong, but that just wasn't the case and it wound up costing me a few points when all was said and done. I struggled the last few minutes with total exhaustion where others like Sven, Richard Vanmeerbeek, and Mikko Aronpaa picked it up down the stretch. I was dizzy and blurred, and I couldn’t control my breathing so my technique got rougher and rougher as I went along. Luckily, I still wound up finishing 39 repetitions when we hit 15 minutes, good enough for first in my heat and 3rd overall behind Sven and Mikko (41, 40).

Kudos to Mads for programming an absolute beast of a WOD right out of the gates. This thing set the tone and tested everyone’s toughness more than any other event in my opinion. It was maximum effort the whole way, no possibility of strategizing around any element. Raw, difficult, perfect.

So after 2 events I was in second place with 6 total points, 1 back of Sveinbjorn of Iceland and 1 ahead of Mikko from Finland. This meant that the 3rd event of the day was going to be vitally important to set myself up to have a chance of winning it on day 2.

Thanks to my buddy Mike from RAF Mildenhall, I’m going to have access to video footage of this and other events from the weekend. I will do my best to edit them quickly into a series of videos showing everyone exactly what it was like to do these WODs. Depending on the UK’s mail services, you can probably expect those to be done later this week.


  1. Big fan of yours from Canada Blair.

    Congrats on the win and ofcourse, on qualifying. Was rooting for you the whole way through! Can't wait to see you tear it up at the Games brother.

    That first WOD sounds like a monster, I'll definitely give it a whirl sometime.
    Did you clean and jerk every rep from the get go or interchange Olympic lifts or variations thereof ( clean then push press). Just curious as to your choice of strategy.

    Goodluck and congrats again,


  2. there might have been a few push presses in there at the beginning, but they turned to push jerks pretty quick. never split jerked though.

  3. Blair, that is beastly. Congratulations on your success!

    5min mile and change + 70kg OHAH... sheesh.

    You are my role model!

  4. Hey dude! great going in sweeden. Few guys from the box i goto headed over. You should hit up Crossfit N.Ireland!

  5. Blair I'm lucky to live in Christchurch, New Zealand... Unfortunately not Christchurch, England - otherwise I'd buy you a beer and pick your brains!

    Can I fire you an email about training ideas instead?

  6. yeah man, no worries. wish i was in new zealand

  7. Thank you Blair

    P.S I'm sure It's right in front of me, but what's your email address? ;-)