You’re mid-“Fran.” You’re finishing your set of 15 thrusters and the pullup bar is waiting for you. So what do you do? Drop your bar and walk over to your water bottle, grab a sip, wipe the sweat from your face, chalk up your hands, and then size up the pullup bar? Or do you ditch the bar and get on the pullup bar knowing that you’ve only got 33 total reps left and the big rest is coming. Forget the terrible feeling in your stomach – you’re setting a personal record today.
In many WODs, a sip of water here and there is totally appropriate. Think “Murph,” or some other 20minute chipper-style WOD. These are designed to be done at a medium to medium-high intensity and take significant time to complete; hence they need to be paced out and can allow for a sip or a break. WODs like “Fran” and the like are meant to be executed at a high intensity throughout, and take a short time to complete. We feel pretty confident saying that you will not dehydrate during the 5 to 10 minutes it takes to complete any of these couplets. Often though, we see athletes stopping mid-WOD to grab a sip and rest. Sometimes, sure, this is appropriate. Are you sick, pregnant, injured, or the like? Then yes, you may need to pace yourself more than usual. But if not, then be honest with yourself about why you’re reaching for your water bottle again or chalking up for the fourth time in 15 pullups. It probably isn’t thirst. It’s being uncomfortable with being uncomfortable.
Let’s be clear – we’re not saying not to stay hydrated, but don’t use your water bottle as a crutch. Try this trick… BEFORE the clock starts, drink a cup of water. Then put your water bottle away from you and out of reach. Mid-WOD when you start to think how nice a little H20 would feel on your tongue, use that to motivate you to finish faster. The water is the reward. Finish and it’s yours.
Train smart, but train hard. Remember that intensity is what brings results. Increase your pain tolerance. Try getting more comfortable with being uncomfortable.