CrossFit Strategy for Jackie WOD

My box, CrossFit Ignite, did the Jackie benchmark WOD yesterday:

1000m row

50 thrusters @ 45lbs

20 pull ups

Honestly, I was coming off of a race on Sunday and hadn’t been doing much CrossFit for the past month, focusing on on-water rowing due to the late start after the long winter.  I wasn’t sure what to expect.  I haven’t done a thruster or pull up in a long time, and I haven’t sat on a static  C2 in a while either.

The first thing I noticed was that I felt really strong, smooth, and connected on the C2.  Single sculling does wonders for indoor rowing, if not the other way around.  I felt I could easily nail the 1000m row, so here’s my strategy:

  • 1000m row:  go at 90%, hold the rating at about a 28, try to finish in the 3:20s but well within control.  No sprint, don’t build up lactate.  Don’t think strong.  Think long, smooth, connected, consistent.  I rowed this mostly eyes-closed, counting 100 strokes, visualizing the feel of boat run on smooth water.
  • Thrusters:  low, consistent cadence, pause briefly at the rack position after each rep to regroup, don’t put the bar down, ever.
  • Pull ups:  Get 5 unbroken and then see what happens.

This worked to land me an 8:07.  The row came in at 3:26 at about 28 spm, but my HR was far from max and I was controlled enough that I was able to go right into the thrusters and maintain a mostly unbroken pace.  The pullups were 6 unbroken and then sets of 2-3 with a couple seconds in between to finish it out.  I fell like this strategy could yield a sub-7:30 time if I were more in practice on thrusters and pullups.  The only limiting factor really was lactate buildup in my shoulders from the thrusters, which caused me to pause in the hang position several times.  I did notice that other CrossFitters did not pace themselves on the row, and that resulted in a lot of pauses during the thrusters.  Read the Pace Makes Race article in the CrossFit Journal (I am not a fan of Emily Beers after her ridiculous Winter Olympics article, but the rowing advice from Harvard is sound)!  Jackie is not a 1000m row, it is an 8+ minute race!

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