Southern Tour Ultra Relay Info

Hello All-

We’ve been very excited about the response to the Southern Tour Ultra Relay.  As such we’re adding a 3x week program onto sugarwod that will serve as specific run prep for those of you that want to make training for this event a priority (and of course, if you’re just jumping on board for the fun of it, and not interested in specialized training, no problem).
Nick M. has been doing a fair amount of run training as he plans to run 50K solo, and has done a decent amount of distance work in his pre-CrossFit military life.  He was kind enough to set up and share his program.
This program depends on accurately  judging your running intensity at any given time.  This is referred to as your Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE) .  There are tons of RPE interpretations, but we’ve developed one all our own!!  Here’s a CrossFit Specific RPE Gauge.
1- I’m awake but not even moving.
2- I’m walking slowly, with my toddler or elderly relative.
3- I’m moving with focus and determination, but this is not hard.
4- I am aware of the beginnings of distress.
5- This reminds me of my old health club days in BodyAttack or on the eliptical.
6- I am distressed and questioning my life choices.  I want this to end sooner vs later.
7- This is Bullsh*t. I hate wallballs.  This is the first of 3 rounds?!?! I should’ve scaled more.
8- I am in extreme discomfort. But  I CAN sustain my pace for a short while longer.  I appear very distressed to any and all observers.  I hate CrossFit.
9- I must stop immediately and lie down on the floor for a short while.  I am not sure what 2+2 equals.  After I recover I could continue if I must.
10- All of 9, plus nausea and flashing lights, real or imagined.  I am done for the day.  I cannot continue.  I may never come back.
Nick Has suggested and EVEN simpler RPE based on how long you can speak.
9/10- Single word-“Shit/FML/Help”
7/8 – 5-7 word sentence 
6/7 – 2-3 sentence abilty
5/6 – Moderate conversation 
4  – Ability to run and drink beer at the same time
There are 3 workouts each week(On SugarWOD they are penciled in for Wed, Fri and Sunday), each has a different focus.
Day 1 – VO2 Max day.  Here your intensities are highest.  For simplicities sake you have two options:  1) do the Wednesday CrossFit Workout.  It is most often a short burst, high intensity interval scheme that will dovetail beautifully with your running, and quite possibly give your legs a break while still challenging your lungs.  2) Keep the work/rest ratio’s from the CrossFit wod, but run instead of the action we’re doing.  So if we are rowing for 2 minutes, then resting for 4 minutes x 5 rounds,  you could run for 2 and rest for 4, if that suits you better. Your RPE’s at the end of each interval should be solid 9’s.  PAINFUL and unsustainable.
Day 2- Lactate Threshold Training.  Here you will operate for longer periods at medium-high intensities.  You will accumulate a given amount of total mileage, within which will be a progressivley increasing dose of harder work.  For example, the first week’s lactate day looks like this:  1/2 mile Warmup RPE 3/4.  1/2 Mile Tempo/Lactate pace RPE 7 maybe 8 at the end.  Uncomfortable but sustainaable.  1/2 Mile Recovery RPE 3/4 1/2 Mile Tempo/Lactate pace RPE 7 maybe 8 at the end. 1 Mile Recovery RPE 3/4 maybe up to a 5 at the end again.  TOTAL MILEAGE:  3. the following week, the total mileage stays the same, but there’s 1 more tempo run thrown in.
Day 3- Long Slow DIstance.  The name of the game on LSD day is Mileage and volume.  Set a pace you can sustain and don’t stop.  RPE remains a constant 5.
DAY 3 LSD will be a group run with a announced venue and start time, if you like running with a group.  The other 2 days will be as you see fit.
I’m looking forward to seeing your progress over the next 9 or 10 weeks.  Please grab an instructor for further info.
Happy Trails!

Scaling: What, When, Why and How

To it’s detriment, CrossFit is very jargony, and one of the most common “CrossFit-esque” words you’re likely to hear early and often is “scale”.
“Did you scale or go Prescribed?”
“What’s the scale for a muscle up?”
“I shouldn’t have scaled as much!” etc etc.
Let’s define and demystify.
What is Scaling?  Scale in essence translates to modify, to change usually in the direction of easier, but always toward getting the appropriate response from the day’s workout.
I’ll elaborate:
CrossFit workouts are commonly quantified in some way shape or form.  Obviously, we don’t say that  “HELEN is “Run for a while, then do some Kettlebell swings, and then do a few pullups, maybe like a couple of times total?”, but rather HELEN is:
3 Rounds for time
400 m run, 21 Kettlebell Swings @ 53/35lbs, 12 Pullups.”
Everything is precisely defined.  The exact distance, weight and repetitions must be achieved and in doing so as written than and only then you have done the workout HELEN as Prescribed (shorthand HELEN rx’d).
But often you’ll find that adhering to the workout “as prescribed” will be
1)Impossible–Perhaps you don’t have pullups yet.
2) Detrimental–You could run 400 m if you had to, but your plantar inflammation would leave you crippled the next day or …
3) Inappropriate–Doing so would give you something other than the appropriate physical response.  If any of the above apply to you,  you should be scaling (changing/modifying) the workout.
In short, if any of the above applies to you on a given workout you should change, modify, adjust  ie SCALE. Which segues to Why scale?  We’d scale so that your time at the gym is advancing your fitness safely and incrementally, while not leaving you too fatigued and/or sore to come back the next day.
How/When should I scale?  The answer here is to consult the instructor and collectively come up with a plan.  They are going to be able to define the goal of the workout.  You are going to be aware of your limitations and circumstances.  So, continuing with HELEN as a reference point:  you might say  “Hey Whitney, I can’t run my knee is bothering me”  we might sub something that serves the same effect as running 400 m and takes about the same time.  Row/Ski/Bike 500/500/1000 m for instance.  These are all repetitive, relatively low skill, high turnover movements that will achieve the same end as a vigorous 400 m run.  If one of those can be done pain free, they’d be a much better choice than a stunted and slow run and the workout effect would largely be the same.
Another scenario “Joel,  I struggle with 5 pullups fresh.  I could do the 12 pullups per round, but it’ll take me probably 20-25 minutes to do this workout.   What should I do?”  Here’s an instance where the effect of the workout is altered by adhering to the prescribed standard.  This athlete will take so long to do her pullups that she will largely be recovered at the start of every run, and this is NOT what we want out of HELEN.  Among other things we want to see the athletes run while fatigues and we are looking for times in the 10-15 minute range.  This athlete CAN do the workout prescribed, but SHOULDN’T.  In this instance we’d reduce the load (perhaps we’d add band assistance or do jumping pullups) or possible change the movement to something with a similar effect  ( a horizontal pull like a supine row).
Doing the workout’s Rxd is often a good goal, but slavish devotion to Rxd no matter what is likely setting your fitness back a step or two and exposig you to injury.  Please continue to think long term about the toll we put on the body.  We can always go for Rxd down the road.