Strategy for Games WODs Row1 and Row2

It was interesting that they announced a half-marathon row as one of the opening events for the Reebok CrossFit Games.  It will be a challenge for many as it’s rare to see a CrossFitter log more than 5K during a session, and most of that would be interval work.

Anybody want to weigh in on strategy?  Here’s my take.

1.  Intervals will not work.  For a long rowing piece, a steady unbroken pace will beat lots of fast intervals every time.

2.  Both the 2K checkpoint and the total time count, so you have to achieve a balance of early speed with the ability to sustain it.

3.  Most top CrossFitters are in the 6:35-7:00 range on an all-out 2K.

Here’s what I would do if I were competing (which I’m not).  I’d shoot for a 1:45 split / 7:00 2K – that would be doable, and would put you in the top group of men, although probably not at THE top.  Then I would shoot for a 1:52-1:53 pace for the balance of the piece – steady and unbroken. 

That strategy would yield a time in the range of 78-79 minutes for a half-marathon.  Figuring that most people have a psychological target of 84 minutes / 2:00 pace, that would give a strong result in the total time category.  These times are, of course, for men, based on personal experience.

I was not going to really tune in to the Games, but now I will.  I will snicker at the grimaces and “interesting” technique as these athletes struggle to complete what would be a relatively routine winter workout for most competitive rowers.  We’ll see who’s been doing their CrossFit Endurance WODs!

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