Adventures with Jacob!

Hey guys! This blog post is going to be changing things up a bit. I try to write about subjects that I think will help you all with your overall well-being or maximize your experience with CrossFit. Recently I was inspired to train for a half Iron Man and several people expressed that it would be interesting to read about my experience as my training changes for that race. So this will be a little weird for me because as I set out to write about myself, I have a difficult time shaking the thought that nobody cares. But hey, I figure even if only one person finds it interesting, why not? Even if that one person is my mom.

First off, I wanted to give you some context for my fitness background so you know where I’m starting out in this exciting new adventure. I played a looooooooooot of basketball through high school and early into college. Anybody who has played competitive basketball knows that really nothing can prepare you for the shape you have to be in. You have to be able to sprint, change directions, jump, bump, push, and do it all for several minutes straight at times and over the course of 30-40 minutes of gameplay. So during basketball I was in pretty good shape but it was nothing like the long distances I’ll be encountering in triathlon. I also played tennis but I was not nearly good enough to have points that lasted a long time. Therefore, tennis never required a great deal of fitness. I was in good enough shape to run a sub 20 min 5k during college and I could do 5 mile runs fairly consistently. But, again, nowhere near a half marathon.

That brings us to the last 6 years of CrossFit! Over these last 6 years I’ve definitely developed more strength and power than I’ve ever had in my life. I feel good about my overall fitness. A pyramid can only be as tall as the base is wide, right? However, triathlons don’t test overall fitness. CrossFit is typically done within an hour class so the time domain of the workouts is limited to anywhere from a few minutes to about 45 minutes. Any workout at the 45 minute end of the spectrum is undoubtedly testing your stamina and endurance. A decent time for a sprint triathlon (the shortest distance offered) is still around an hour. So even the shortest triathlons will probably take longer than the longest CrossFit wod’s on a normal day. And the half Iron-Man will probably take me around 5 or 6 hours! So hopefully that puts into perspective the new ground I’m breaking here. But that is what excites me about it!

Now, on to my current training. Everything I’ve read about training for a specific event tells me that the further away the event is, the more general your training should be. And the closer you get to the event, the more specific to that event your training should get. So in my case, I’m in luck because CrossFit is built around improving GPP, or General Physical Preparedness. This doesn’t necessarily mean I can exclusively do CrossFit and expect to jump into a half Iron-Man. But it does mean that I should be more physically ready to handle the training for such an event than a person who hasn’t built up their general fitness. As I get closer to the race I will likely increase my swimming, biking, and running, and I will also do 2 or all 3 of them in the same day at times.

So my current plan is to continue doing CrossFit at least twice per week. I will try to swim once per week and bike twice per week. Running is a no-go for now, as I sprained my ankle pretty badly in a Spartan Race. The swim doesn’t worry me too much as I know I can at least breaststroke and stay alive. But the biggest challenge so far has been the discomfort of sitting on the bike. The most time I’ve spent on a ride is about 90 min. Hopefully adjusting the fit of the bike and wearing biking shorts will improve the length of time I can stay on. Also, I want to give a shout-out to Pete and Kevin. They’ve lent me every piece of equipment necessary for biking and this whole thing wouldn’t be possible without them.

So that’s it for the first installment. The rest of the posts will (hopefully) be shorter as they will just be updates without all the background info. I’ll most likely be writing about how the training is going in general and any new/exciting experiences I might have.

Ok, bye. *awkwardly walks away*

author: Jacob Watts


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