Burpee Mile (Lessons Learned and Implemented)

I last completed the Burpee Mile this past April in a time of 2:22:44. I learned many valuable lessons and, as the title of the blog implies, I implemented these lessons.

I set a goal to complete in 2:15:00, thinking that it would be realistic to shave 7 minutes off of my time.

It was about 32 degrees at the start. I wore Nike Metcon shoes, compression socks, lululemon shorts, CrossFit Surmount tee, Nike zipped jacked (with side panes unzipped0, a skull cap, and batting gloves. At no point did I take off any clothing, even though I began sweating just 100 meters into the workout. Why?

Because my hands were numb and ached from start to finish. This truly was the only challenging aspect of today’s workout.

I paced myself and continuously reminded myself that the tortoise beat the hare. I did make one mistake, however, but had remedied the break in form 100 or so meters into the workout. I had been mistakenly standing to full extension and opening hips before completing broad jump instead of using the jump to the hands (after chest and thighs to the floor) as the start of the jump.

I also discovered that swinging my arm widely (and perhaps wildly) when jumping was a good way to keep my shoulders from aching. Whilst I may have expended much needed energy whilst doing so, I think the reward outweighed the cost.

Jaclyn, Wayne, and Janet volunteered to assist today, and their help was much appreciated. I relied upon them to hand me energy gels, water, and to also keep track of my time.

Again, pacing was critical. Unlike the last time I completed the burpee mile, I didn’t go all out at the start and in fact had only completed 10 burpee + broad jumps before resting. For about 3/4 of the mile I briefly rested after completing a mere 5 reps. For the last 400m I completed 7 reps before resting — until the finishing sprint, that is. And this strategy paid off in that I didn’t feel winded until the final finishing sprint. I also ensured that I chatted with volunteers and, when passing in either direction, the others athletes (Kelli, Susie, Mike, and Liara). I knew that if I could carry on a conversation that I wouldn’t go anaerobic.

Splits:
1/4 mile = 30:30 (est.)
1/2 mile = 1:01:43
3/4 mile = 1:33:06
Finish = 2:03:00

Those are some pretty even splits, and my last quarter mile was the fastest interval. My new goal is a sub 2-hour burpee mile. Doable? I think/feel so.

There were three types of runners on the trail today:

  1. Those that were visibly annoyed by our presence. Uhm, the trail isn’t just for runners and bikers.
  2. Those that looked upon us with disbelief. I think that some runners were trying to figure out what the hell we we were doing.
  3. Those that encouraged us! Yay! Quite a few runners congratulated us on our performance.

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Pace Yo’selves!

THU JANUARY 28, 2016 | POWER BALL & YOU CHOOSE!

Yup, I rested on Wednesday. And it was good. It. Was. Good. I completed the 2nd Resolution Challenge at 8:45 and then attended the 9:30 session.
Metcon (AMRAP – Rounds and Reps)

13-min AMRAP
– 10 Power Cleans (135)
– 20 Wall Balls (20 & 10)
– 30 Double Unders

Whilst challenging, the workout wasn’t nearly as horrible as I thought it was going to be. I should know better than to listen to the opinions of others. Ha! In retrospect, it would’ve been nice to have someone there to encourage me, you know, to pick up the wall ball, put my hands on the bar, etc., as I often rested longer than I needed to.

I only missed one power clean, and that was the second to the last rep. Dammit. I did drop each and every power clean from the top but generally worked at a steady pace. I completed 1st round of wall ball shots in reps of 10, 2nd round in reps of 11 & 9, 3rd round in reps of 12 & 8, and 4th round in reps of 7, 5, 5, & 3. I completed all rounds of double under in unbroken reps. I missed the 6th rep of the 2nd round and didn’t count the first 5 reps.

Score = 4 rounds + 4 reps

Not bad for a middle-aged, short, and light man, right?

Metcon (No Measure)

EMOM for 24 minutes
1 muscle-up + 2 handstand pushups

As a challenge, I completed strict muscle-up. I began each rep with full turnout and recording a few reps to ensure that this was indeed the case. I completed 6″ negative HSPUs for the first 14 rounds. Just because. That’s 24 muscle-ups and 48 HSPUs.

FRI JANUARY 29, 2016 | YOU MIGHT AS WELL JUMP!

Rest 5 minutes between rounds
Metcon (AMRAP – Rounds and Reps)
10-min AMRAP
2 wall crawls
5 S2O (115)
10 box jumps (24)
15 deadlifts
20 air squats
Metcon (AMRAP – Rounds and Reps)
10-min AMRAP
2 wall crawls
5 power snatches (95)
10 box jumps (24)
15 deadlifts
20 air squats
Metcon (AMRAP – Rounds and Reps)

10-min AMRAP
2 wall crawls
5 G2O (135)
10 box jumps (24)
15 deadlifts
20 air squats

Wow, this was fun! Wall crawls were easy, as they should be. Yup, I ensured that both nose and chest touched the wall. (Uhm, not just nose. I’ll leave it at that.) Box jumps presented little challenge, although I did miss a few reps in that I landed too close to the edge and didn’t fully extend my hips. Nope, I didn’t count the missed reps. Deadlifts were more challenging than expected, and it may have been because Jaclyn and Laurie said that the 2nd round of deadlifts was harder than the 1st. I blame Laurie and not Jaclyn. Whilst not challenging, I nonetheless took my time with air squats, completing all sets in unbroken reps.

Now about the lifts… I completed 1st round of shoulder to overhead as push presses and remaining rounds as power jerk, often slightly splitting the jerk. I completed all rounds in unbroken reps. I completed 2 rounds of power snatches as singles, and as I used the competition plates the barbell bounced around quite a bit. As I approached the barbell for the 3rd round I thought, “Don’t be a weakling. Complete in unbroken reps.” And that’s what I did. I completed the last round in reps of 4 and then a single.

Whilst resting before the last round I began to be plagued by self-doubt. Was I too tired to be able to clean and jerk 135 pounds? After completing 2 wall crawls I approached the bar and explosively cleaned — and push pressed — the first rep. And the weight felt lighter than 115 pounds. I immediately challenged myself to complete all remaining reps as push presses, and that’s what I did. Coach Marni noticed as well!

Scores:
S2O = 4 rounds + 4 reps
PS = 3 + 41
G2O = 3

That’s 22 S2O, 20 PS, 15 G2Om, 110 box jumps, 165 deadlifts, & 209 air squats

It had gotten warm in the box so I opened the garage door before the start of the 2nd round. Luke enjoyed laying in the sun!

Twenty-four Minutes

SUN JANUARY 24, 2016 | 24

Metcon (3 Rounds for reps)

3 rounds for reps; rest 3 minutes between rounds
On an 8-minute running clock, perform 1 minute each of:
— Squats
— Pushups
— Box jumps (24)
— Power snatches (75)
— Inverted burpees
— Wall ball shots (20 & 10)
— Burpees
— Double-unders

What a “fun” workout. (Notice both the quotes and absence of exclamation point.) Due to winter storm Jonas, the box was closed Friday and Saturday. The roads were also bad this morning, so the 9:30 session was cancelled and BBC and CCF were held at 10:30 and 11, respectively. I enjoyed (yes, enjoyed) coaching CFK last week and enjoyed assisting Coach Nick today. I know, right?

As I kept a running count, I can only recall the number of air squats I completed: 56, 58, & 59. I tried to complete 60 reps the last round but, well, couldn’t. Dammit. That’s still just about an air squat per second. My station was near the front of the box (just like I like it) and the first round I intentionally turned my back to the other 15+ athletes so as to not let anyone determine my pace. I did, however, face the other athletes the last two round so that I could look at the clock. And that’s how I knew I was completing about a rep a second.

I still have a little bit of pain in my right shoulder, but this didn’t impede my performance for pushups. I did notice that I placed my right arm slightly above shoulder level, i.e., higher than left hand.

Box jumps went very well, and I rebounded off of each and every rep. I didn’t extend on a few reps. No rep!

Power snatches were particularly challenging given the placement of activity in the workout. I probably completed no more than a dozen any of the three rounds.

Uhm, inverted burpees were challenging after power snatches. I got my feet to the wall just as the one-minute interval ended all three rounds.

Wall ball shots. Gah! I completed no more than seven but no less than 5 unbroken reps  any round.

I usually like burpees. Usually. After completing 150 reps yesterday I didn’t much care for burpee todays.

Double unders went very well today. During one of the rounds I was the only person jumping rope. I was disconcerting. And the silence was almost deafening.

Now onto the rounds…

I completed 235 reps the first round. Whilst completing double unders the second round I said to myself, “Two hundred twenty-five reps and you’ll tie your score.” I completed 225 reps with seven seconds remaining and then said to myself, “Two thirty-five, not 225! Dentist appointment plus 10!” I quickly completed another 10 reps and matched my score. I was pleased that I was able to complete an additional two reps the last round.

Uhm, yeah, so whilst completing inverted burpees the very first round I thought, “I don’t know if I’m going to be able to do two more rounds of this. Holy shit.”

Score = 235+235+237 = 707

MON JANUARY 25, 2016 | GHD

Deadlift (5×5 @ 75% of 1RM)

I deadlifted 295# five times for five sets. That got heavy fast. Deadlifting is most definitely one of my stronger lifts. I focused on breathing and, of course, speed and explosiveness. I recorded a set in slow motion to ensure flat back, neutral neck, and path of the bar. Check, check, and check.

Metcon (Time)

2-4-6-8-10-8-6-4-2 burpee box jump overs + alternating leg jumping lunges (45/33)

Complete 2 burpee box jumps overs and then 2 PER LEG jumping lunges. Continue this same rep scheme.

That’s a lotta legs, ladies and gentlemen, and after Sunday’s workout I was kind of feeling somewhat tired.

I only completed the rounds of 2 (on the way up) & 4 (on the way up and down) alternating leg jumping lunges in unbroken reps. I often completed a single rep at a time, i.e., lunge on both legs. Burpee box jump overs were a welcome relief. I had completed all 10 burpee box jumps overs and 2 lunges when Coach Deborah informed us that we were at the halfway mark. I quickly set a goal to completed in fewer than 10 minutes.

Time = 9:44

TUE JANUARY 26, 2016 | FROM THE FLOOR, PART 2

Power Jerk (EMOM 15 minutes)

Complete power clean + 3 unbroken (receive bar as dip for next rep) reps; work up to heaviest set

I just wasn’t feeling it today. Too many clusters last week, perhaps? I began 16 95# and was only to successfully complete a round of PC + 3 unbroken PJs at 140#, failing the last rep at 145#.

Metcon (Time)

5 RFT
20 pull-ups
16 ring dips

Rx+ = L-sit pull-ups & strict ring dips

Yup, I completed Rx+. I don’t know that I’ve ever completed 100 strict L-sit pull-ups. I began by completing 5 unbroken and for the remainder of the metcon was only able to at the most complete 3 unbroken reps, completing most of the reps as singles.

Strict ring dips were quite easy in comparison, and I completed the first round in unbroken reps and rounds 2, 3, & 4 in reps of 10 & 6. I was tiring at the end (and wanted to ensure that I completed well within the 20-minute time cap) and completed in 6, 3, 3, 2, 1, & 1 reps.

During one of the rounds I exclaimed, “Holy mother of Jessica Waldstein!” Ha!

That was tough.

Time = 17:33

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That’s more than I weigh!

Wednesday may very well become my new rest day! Yup, I rested Wednesday and completed the 2016 Lurong Living Resolution Challenge baseline workout Thursday morning just prior to attending the 9:30 session.

THUR JANUARY 21, 2016 | R16 BASELINE

R16 (3 Rounds for reps)
1 MIN AMRAP:
Complete as many reps of possible during the following sequence:
3 Minute Max Calorie Row
1 Minute Mandatory Rest
3 Minute Max REPS Cluster
1 Minute Mandatory Rest
3 Minute Max Calorie Row

Men | 155 (Rx+), 95 (Rx), 55 G2O

I expected this to be tough and my expectations were met. I honestly wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to complete 155# clusters, as 157# is my 1RM. I warmed up to 135, the weight I completed for The Seven, and, well, also set up a barbell with 25# plates, i.e., 95#. I told myself that I could take the minute rest between rowing and clustering to decide if I was going to complete workout Rx+ or Rx.

I wore Nike Frees whilst rowing Romaleos whilst clustering and it took almost the full minute of mandatory rest to change shoes.

I rowed 53 calories the first round of rowing, making sure that strokes/minute didn’t exceed 24. I next approached the barbell loaded with 55# plates and completed 3 clusters.

I fell on my ass the third attempt. At least I was trying to pull myself under the bar! I completed 3 more clusters and failed at two more attempts. Dammit. And dammit. Just 5 reps in 3 minutes.

I rowed 53 calories the second round of rowing and didn’t even attempt a finishing sprint.

Total = 111 reps

ONE ARM AT A TIME

Metcon (Time)

5 RFT
> 20 (10/arm) alternating arm (1-armed) KB swings (53)
> 1-minute plank hold
> 10 (5/arm) KB snatches
> Rest 1 minute

‘Twas a full house at the 9:30 session, as lots of folks wanted to get in a workout today in case the box was closed Friday due to Jonas. As in Nick Jonas.

I warmed up with a 44# KB and mistakenly (read on) had both the 53# and the 44# KB by my side.

My goal was to at least complete 20 KB swings unbroken as well as hold 1-minute plank without pausing to rest. I did so.

I completed the first 10 KB snatches, completing all 5 reps first with right and then with left arm. That wasn’t a very smart thing to do.

I completed 2 KB snatches on my right and then just 1 with left arm, failing the second attempt. I thought, “You just completed heavy clusters. Take it easy. Swallow your pride and pick up the 44-pound kettle bell.” And that’s what I did, completing 5 reps with both arms and not counting the 3 good reps.

Whilst holding third plank I thought, “Really, Paul? You can’t complete 53-pound kettle bell snatches? Take your time, swallow your pride, and complete one rep at a time. Be sure to alternate arms.” Coach, coach thyself.

To make up for reps that I didn’t complete using 53# KB I completed 7 reps the third and fourth rounds and 6 the final round. Completing 7 KB swings was a lot harder than completing 5.

Time = 16:40

SAT JANUARY 223, 2016 | DO YOU WANT TO BUILD A SNOWDEN?

The box was closed Friday due to inclement weather and unsafe driving conditions. I rested. And it was good.

Luke and I went for a very long walk yesterday evening and this morning. He’s feeling snowbound and so am I. I wore my Yaktraxs, as the roads and sidewalks are quite slippery.

Run 5k, beginning with 10 burpees and then completing 10 burpees every 2:30 minutes on the clock (i.e., 2:30, 5:00, 7:30, etc.). 

Uhm, yeah, so I received many strange looks from the few passersby in the neighborhood, particularly whilst completing burpees. Ha! Burpees usually took around 25 seconds to complete. I often had to adjust Yaktrax before running; thus, I usually ran in 2-minute intervals.

It’s been quite some time since I’ve run 5k! I still love running and perhaps always will.

Time = 36:16
Burpees = 150

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MU

MON JANUARY 18, 2016 | OH, OHS!

I worked out with the 6 am athletes and the session was led by Coach Nick. This was a doozy.

Overhead Squat (5×5 @ 75% of 1RM)

Steve Dodge was stationed to my immediate left. His overhead squats are beautiful. There, I said it. I completed 5 sets @ 105# and recorded all sets. I have to remind myself to get my ass to my heels just to ensure that I squat below parallel. OHS did feel good today. Yay!

Whilst reviewing recording of third set I noticed that Steve Dodge had watched each and every rep. I said, “Steve, why were you looking at me so closely?” “I wanted to make sure you were squatting below parallel,” he replied. “Did I?” I asked. He replied, “Yes.”

Metcon (AMRAP – Rounds and Reps)
10-min AMRAP
5 cleans (@ 75% of OHS 1RM)
10 floor presses
50 double unders

Yup, 105# for cleans and floor presses. Uhm, 105 is about 70% of bodyweight. This was a gasser! I completed all sets of 5 cleans and 10 floor presses as well as the first 3 rounds of 50 double unders in unbroken reps. I completed fourth round of double unders in 2 sets and last round in 3 sets. Respectable nonetheless. I had completed 5 rounds with just about 10 seconds remaining and managed to get in 3 last cleans.

Score = 5 rounds + 3 reps

TUE JANUARY 19, 2016 | FROM THE FLOOR

Coach Deborah was sick, so I covered her 2 sessions; thus, I coached all 7 sessions.  I worked out solo at 1 pm. I no longer like working out by myself. Dammit.

Push Press (EMOM 15 minutes)
Complete power clean + 3 unbroken (receive bar as dip for next rep) reps; work up to heaviest set

I completed first round @ 95# and worked up to 150# (14th round). I failed the last set at 155#. Given that 155# is 3RM, I was pleased!

Metcon (15 Rounds for time)
EMOM 15 minutes
1 strict knees to elbows
1 strict toes to bar
1 strict pull-up
1 strict chest to bar pull-up

1 strict muscle-up

For an added challenge I completed a muscle-up at the end of each round. That. Was. Tough. I completed the first 2 rounds in 17 seconds and rounds 3 through 10 in 16 seconds. I began to tire and completed rounds 11 and 12 in 17 and 18 seconds, respectively. I really had to fight for the muscle-up in round 13 and it took me 25 seconds to complete the round. Dammit. And then I failed and had to redo muscle-up during round 15. Dammit, dammit. It took me 45 seconds to complete the round. So that I wouldn’t have another failed attempt, I rested before completed very last muscle-up and completed the round in 42 seconds.

I did complete all 15 rounds of K2E, T2B, pull-ups, and C2B pull-up without dropping from the bar. And all reps were strict.

Time = 5:09

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Not Human Or Inhuman?

SAT JANUARY 16, 2016 | PARTNER RELAY

Metcon (Time)
With a partner
Run 800m
100 air squats
100 sit-ups
100 wall ball shots
50 pull-ups
50 pushups
100 back extensions
100 lunges
Run 800m

Both partners must run as well as complete air squats, sit-ups, back extensions, and lunges together. Partners complete 100 wall ball shots taking turns and using same target. Partners each complete 25 pull-ups and pushups.

Dianne hates, hates, hates partner WODs. She attended the 9:45 session and I immediately let her know that I’d be her partner. Ha! This didn’t turn out very well.

We began with an 800m run and she and I led the charge. We completed 1o0 air squats, often in reps of 10 or 15, with Dianne deciding when we needed rest. We completed 100 sit-ups whilst facing each other and pat-a-caking after each rep, completing in sets of 10 and (with my urging) a couple of sets of 15. We began completing wall ball shots (16# & 9′) and made it through rep 17 when Dianne let me know she felt like she was going to throw up. She eventually did so.

I completed the remainder of the workout solo, finishing wall ball shots in no less than 10 reps at a time, both pull-ups and pushups in sets of 15 & 10 reps, back extensions beginning with a set of 47 reps (I just couldn’t will myself to make it to 50), and lunges with 4 sets of 25 reps. I then thought, “If this is truly a level playing field, you’ll need to complete Dianne’s pull-ups and pushups.” I did so, once again in sets of 15 & 10 reps. I finished with another easy 800m run.

Time = 33:49

‘Twas the fastest time of the day, but I did not record in Wodify.

I overhead Dianne talking to Jeff and some others and saying, “He goes so fast.” “I was going at your pace, Dianne. And it was slooooow.” Ha!

As I was leaving Dianne looked at me and said, “You’re not human.” “Are you calling me inhuman?” I asked.

SUN JANUARY 17, 2016 | ONE MINUTE AT A TIME

Metcon (16 Rounds for reps)
AMRAP
Work 1 minute; rest 1 minute (rest 3 minutes between before beginning 2nd go around of activities) 
Complete 2 times
-Press (65/55% of bodyweight)
-Overhead squat
-Push press
-Front squat
-Power jerk
-Back squat
-Ground to overhead (snatch or C&J)
-Sumo deadlift high pull

“Randy” and “Rankel”

FRI JANUARY 15, 2016 | RANDY AND RANKEL

Randy (Time)
For Time:
75 Power Snatches, 75#

In honor of Randy Simmons, 51, a 27 year LAPD veteran and SWAT team member who was killed February 6 in the line of duty.
To learn more about Randy click here
 
Metcon (AMRAP – Rounds and Reps)
Partner Rankel
20-min AMRAP
6 deadlifts (225/168)
7 burpee pull-ups
10 KB swings (53/35)
200m run

Partners take turns beginning rounds and then take turns completing activities. For example, partner A completes deadlifts, partner B completes burpee pull-ups, partner A completes KB swings, and then partner B runs and the completes deadlifts.

I attended the 11:45 session, as I coached all of the morning sessions. I had eaten very little and felt rushed; thus, when I felt a slight tweak in my right shoulder I decided to not complete “Randy” and to perhaps attempt later in the day. And that’s what I did. Read on!

I had intended to completed “Rankel” solo and go for a PR, but as there was an even number of athletes and as Coach James was in need of a partner, well, I partnered with him. And we crushed it. We worked very well together. We were evenly matched for speed of completing 10 unbroken KB swings (snatching and pressing), he was faster with deadlifts, I was faster with burpee pull-ups, and we were pretty well matched for running as well. I completed all rounds of 6 deadlifts in unbroken — and not dropped from the top — reps. Yay! I of course completed burpee pull-ups and KB swings in unbroken reps, as did James. We completed 10 rounds + 15 reps. I thus completed 30 deadlifts, 42 burpee pull-ups, 50 KB swings, and ran 1K. We posted the highest partner score of the day.

I took a very long afternoon nap and then attended the 5:15 session. I warmed up and my shoulder felt much, much better. I set a goal to complete “Randy” in 6 minutes, as my PR was 6:09. Uhm, I can only go so fast when snatching half of my bodyweight over my head. I began by completing 15 unbroken reps and completed 5 to 10 reps at a time. I focused on speed and explosiveness, and constantly reminded myself to raise my hips and shoulders at the the same time. I finished in 5:59. Yes, that’s just one second less than goal, but I achieved my goal as well as a new PR. I’ll take it!

Fernando, Mike, Brian, Wayne, and Binny also attended the session, but no one wanted to partner with me. Ha! I was feeling quite tired and knew that I wasn’t going to achieve a PR. I took it easy. There, I said it. I nonetheless completed all rounds of activities (including deadlifts, albeit dropping from the top) in unbroken reps. I didn’t push myself whilst running, and it felt quite good to not do so. I completed 6 rounds + 13 reps; 42 deadlifts, 49 burpee pull-ups, 60 KB swings, and ran 1200m.

Totals for the day: 72 deadlifts, 91 burpee pull-ups, 110 KB swings, a little more than a mile and a quarter. run