I am not Annie Thorisdottir. And chances are, you probably aren’t either, which means that going into 13.2, you are not expecting to get 13 rounds + change… and you are probably wondering what the heck you should be hoping to get. Because this WOD is deceptively simple, and you, the smart CrossFit gal that you are, know that you are going to need a plan. Well lucky for you, I did 13.2 at 5:30 this morning, so if you are gearing up to do it tonight or this weekend, let me tell you what you, the Regular CrossFit Girl, should expect from your experience.
If you don’t have time to absorb this entire post, here are the cliff notes: Don’t get no-repped, don’t stop moving, don’t get no-repped, don’t stop moving. Pretty straightforward, right? For more details, read on…
Let’s lay down a few quick stats. I am 5’3, 120 lbs, and my push jerk max is 95 lbs. I am not a super fit person cardio-wise–my fastest mile time ever is 9 minutes–and this is my first Open, and actually my first ever “competition” (in the sense that the Open is really a competition for us folks). So, needless to say, this has been quite the learning experience for me so far.
Going into 13.2, I knew that I was going to need to try to link all of my shoulder-to-overhead (aka “overheads”) so that I wasn’t spending time re-cleaning the bar. I also knew that the box jumps were going to be a pacing nightmare, especially for someone like me who typically prefers to jump up and step off. The deadlifts I was not so worried about, but I learned a few things about them in the process, too.
The first thing you will notice when you start 13.2 is that 75 pounds gets heavy really fast. However, the biggest thing that I was not ready for in the early part of this WOD was that flying through the deadlifts in an attempt to make up time ended up just blowing out my legs for the box jumps. Turns out that when you speed through deadlifts, your hamstrings are going to know about it, and then they are going to start bitching and moaning, just in time for you to need to get through 15 box jumps.
So, my advice for the first round is this: Until you settle into a pace, go just a little slower on the deadlifts than you think you need to, because any time you make up in speedy deadlifts has the potential to be lost in the box jumps if you blow your legs out too early.
Depending on how strong and mighty you are, you may not have to deal with failing on the overhead at all during this WOD, and you may be able to stick to push jerks the whole time. I, however, had to switch to split jerks for the last 2 reps in my 2nd round, and dropped my third overhead attempt in the 3rd round, and then had one failed attempt in each subsequent round as well. This is where the game gets mental. Don’t let yourself get caught up in the, “Oh my gosh that felt so heavy, how am I going to pick this back up, what if I fail at the next attempt, my shoulders are so tired…” because that is what was going through my head, and let me tell you that it did not serve me at all. Turn off your brain, take 2 deep breaths, and pick the bar back up.
If you are lucky enough to be able to move quickly through the overheads, then this WOD is going to feel like 10 minutes of box jumps with occasional breaks for weightlifting. It seems like the deadlifts have just been put in this WOD to slow you down, but you should be able to link all of them. If you do have to rest a little, I always find it much easier to rest at the top with the weight in your hands because your lungs can actually expand in that position. I will say this, though–don’t let yourself get no-repped by not standing all the way up or not touching the bar all the way back down on your deadlift. Every rep is EXTREMELY important in this WOD, and a single no-rep, whether it be on the overhead, deadlift, or box jump, is going to make a big difference.
Onto the box jumps. Whether you are jumping on and off, jumping on and stepping off (like me), or stepping on and off, you just need to keep moving. This is where you are going to lose a lot of time if you let yourself take too much rest. I tried to break it into sets of 5, and on the 5th and 10th rep I would stop on the top of the box, take one deep breath and wipe the sweat out of my eyes, then keep moving. Toward the end of the WOD I also realized that you can use this time to do a few arm swings while you’re jumping to loosen your shoulders back up for the overheads. Whatever you do, pay attention to your form, because there is a huge difference between 15 box jumps and 16 box jumps. You do not want to get no-repped.
In the end, I came out with 128 reps (4 full rounds + 5 overhead + 3 deadlifts). That’s a little more than 1 rep every 5 seconds for 10 minutes. This is a far cry from the 210 I had estimated I would get before I knew anything about how to do the WOD, but I am really happy with that score and feel like it’s an accurate representation of my abilities. That 10 minutes does feel like a lifetime, but when you start to slow down, just remind yourself that it’s only 10 minutes and you can endure the pain for a little longer.
I hope this helps for you folks who still have 13.2 to do this weekend. What did I miss? What are your tips for 13.2?