Tag Archives: open 14.4

Pain is Good! No, Really!


“Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.” – Haruki Murakami, ‘What I Talk About When I Talk About Running’

Running alone, it's you, the road, and your thoughts. Are they good companions?

Running alone, it’s you, the road, and your thoughts. Are they good companions?

Today, I decided to share with you one of my favorite (and most useful) quotes of all time. This is a great mental tool to keep in your head to pull out when you are in the middle of a grueling training session! Pain is going to happen, so when it does, what will your reaction be? Complaining? Suffering? Quitting? I hope not…read on!

Obviously, pain and suffering are two seperate ideas. Actually, maybe its not so obvious. One is more physical and the other more mental/emotional. Too often though the phrase “pain and suffering” is used in everyday conversations and in  multiple contexts, leading most people to view it as one whole and overwhelming concept. However, if we maintain the clarity of mind to seperate the two into their individual elements we will find them much easier to deal with and even use to our advantage. In fact, we do not even need to suffer at all!

In my mind, physical pain is the manifestion of discomfort in the body due to some outside stimulus (We’ll focus on the pain/discomfort from our training). If you push yourself beyond a certain threshold you are certain to experience this. It is going to happen whether you want it to or not; theres no way to control it. What you can control however is how you react to it. This leads me to the latter of the two ideas: suffering.

Suffering is a state of mind that we create in response to some negative/painful event or stimulus. It is our perception of this event and as such, something completely seperate from it. Quite unlike pain, suffering is something that we create ourselves, and it follows, something we have control over. We choose whether or not to suffer, to let the pain get the better of us, overwhelm us, and ultimately prevent us from achieving our goals. Therefore, suffering is unaccpetable. It serves no purpose and needs to be avoided. Easier said than done it many cases, but we must strengthen our minds as well as our bodies! We have the opportunity to do this every time we begin a training session, by not allowing ourselves to fall into the trap of suffering.

There is always a place and time for pain, there is never for suffering. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying to train until you’re injured. There is a distinct difference between the pain of exertion and the pain of injury. You need to have the ability to distnguish between them to identify and respect that difference. If you are injured, or are about to be, you need to stop, period. However, if you are experiencing pain from exertion its a good thing. Its an indicator that you are reaching the limits of your body are are pushing past them. Place your body in this cycle of exertion to recovery to adaptation in order to come back just that small fraction stronger eveytime. Progress.

In other words, use the pain. Suffering doesn’t exist.




Warm-up: .5M jog, dynamic warm-up including lunges, karaoke, backwards run, world’s greatest, and inch worms.

Running: Ran approximately 3.5M of hilly trail at 90%, time was about 32:00.



14.4 and Pool Time!


“You can’t wait for inspiration, you have to go after it with a club.” – Jack London

...or axe!

…or axe!


CF OPEN 14.4

Warm-up: Stretching with PVC, 2:00 rowing at an easy pace, 5 toe-to-bars, 8 wall balls @ 20lbs, worked up to a 135lbs clean.

14.4 WOD: 14:00 AMRAP of:

  • 60 Calorie Row
  • 50 Toe-to-bars
  • 40 Wall balls @ 40lbs
  • 30 Cleans @ 135lbs
  • 20 Muscle-ups

Completed: 168 reps! That’s 18 reps of cleans which was over my goal of 160 reps by 8!

My nerves were getting to me all morning! Why? I don’t know. In my build-ups to the previous Open workouts this year didn’t involve nearly as much anxiety,but this one was different. The only cause I can see for this was the fact that in 14.1, 14.2, and 14.3 I possessed a pretty good idea going in on how I was going to perform and what the outcome would be. In 14.4 however, even though I had my strategy in place, I had no idea where to set my goal. I felt lost without a target to shoot for so I hastily set a point at completing 10 cleans so 160 was  my number to go for. As it turns out I was almost spot on! Completing 168 reps I again barely surpassed my goal, but nonetheless exceeded by initial expectations. This makes me want to set a higher goal for 14.5 and really grit my teeth and go for it!

My strategy for 14.4 revolved around pacing. After hearing from numerous people about how they had ran out of steam a fraction of the way through the WOD I knew I need to take this one a little slower. On the other hand, I was not planning on reaching the muscle-ups so I could afford to push myself more in an effort to maximize my clean count. I’m kind of ashamed to say that 135lbs is about 80%-85% of my 1RM. Couple that with the fact that I would have already completed 150 reps prior to my first clean made me a little apprehensive about how to pace them. Starting with the row I decided to set a pace of 1200-1300 calories/hr and see how that felt. I gripped the handle as lightly as possible to save forearm and started off. In actuality my pace stayed steady around 1100-1200 and I was off the rower just over 3:00 in. For the toes-to-bar I set my pace at 5 then break. This worked great and I was able to maintain it through around 35 reps. Then I finished it off with sets of 4 and 3, completing the toes-to-bar portion in just over two minutes! The wall ball pace was set at 8 then rest. Again, this worked well and I completed around 30 reps before my pace broke and I finished up with sets of 4 to 5. Finally, with about 3:30 remaining on the clock, I came to the dreaded cleans. I really didn’t have a strategy here other than to complete a rep, drop the weight from the finish position, recover until I could do another, then go again. For the first few reps I rested a solid 10 seconds between attempts. This turned out to be my biggest error in 14.4 strategy. With motivation from my box-mates I pushed through the cleans taking less and less rest as I progressed. If I had maintained this pace from the start of the cleans I most likely would have made it to the muscle-ups!




Strength: ME Floor Press

  • Completed: 75lbs x 10, 95lbs x 8, 115lbs x 6, 135lbs x 4, 165lbs x 3, 175lbs x 2, 185lbs x 1, 190lbs x 1. *New PR!

Conditioning WOD: Completed 14.4. That’s enough conditioning for the day!


Warm-up: 500m row, 50yd free, 100yd free, 100yd kick, 150yd kick.

Swimming (Short Interval): 4-6 x 2:00 TT, resting 5:00 until form/pace dissipates or six rounds are completed.

  • Completed 4 iterations of the WOD with distances of approximately 208yds, 207yds, 206yds, and 205yds respectively. Consistent, no?