Time to close out this year’s Open with a bang and finish strong. Every single week has been a physical and mental challenge, and 15.5 is no different, with a descending ladder of rowing for calories and thrusters. (Anyone remember 2011 when this baby lasted for SIX weeks?? Anyone?) For anyone keeping track, there have been thrusters in every final Open workout for the past five years…
Here’s your who’s who of the last Roundtable of the 2015 CrossFit Open:
- Page 1: Steph Gaudreau, Shane Farmer
- Page 2: Jeremy Jones, Chris Michelmore
- Page 3: Cody Burkhart, Wes Piatt
- Page 4: Diane Fu
Here we go! 15.5 is going to be an all-out metcon assault. This brutal couplet of rowing and thrusters is going to burn some major glycogen.
Even though there’s no time cap, you’re going to have to hustle for a competitive score. That means no time for hanging around! If you feel like you’ll need something to sip on, consider water with an electrolyte replacement or something like coconut water with a pinch of salt and some glucose-rich pineapple juice mixed in.
So, let’s talk about fueling before. This workout will definitely demand glycogen, so being sure you’re properly topped up before the workout is important.
The day before you attempt the workout, pay attention to your post-workout refuel, getting enough protein and carbohydrate to kickstart recovery. A good ratio to play around with is 2:1 (carb:protein). If you’re taking down 30 grams of lean protein, double it and have about 60 grams of starchy carbohydrate.
If you’re topped up from the day before, and you’re attempting this workout around mid-day or in the evening, you may want to toss in some carbs at breakfast or lunch, respectively, but don’t go crazy and think you need to carb-load.
Make sure you’re adequately rehydrated, too.
So, do you need to do a pre-workout? Totally depends. If it’s been 3-6 hours since you last ate and you’re feeling hungry—or what I describe as “hollow”—you may want to eat some protein and fat about 30-60 minutes beforehand. This might be a protein shake with a bit of coconut milk, a hardboiled egg, or at the least, 5 to 10 grams BCAAs.
What about post-workout? If you’re going long, this one’s pretty demanding. You’re definitely going to want to refuel with protein and carbs in that 2:1 ratio I mentioned above. Think of things like a recovery protein shake that has carbs added into it; a protein shake with something starchy on the side; or a serving of lean protein like chicken or tuna with potatoes, white rice, etc. Don’t skimp out on the post-workout carbs here.
If you need something extra for rehydration, opt for your favorite electrolyte replacement or something like coconut water with a couple pinches of salt. For a little bit of a glucose boost, add some pineapple juice.
You’re definitely going to be gassed and sweaty after this one. Relax for a few minutes and let your body come down out of that sympathetic state where you’re making sweat angels on the floor before trying to shove down a post-workout shake or meal.
Ideally, try to eat your post-workout within 15-30 minutes of completing 15.5, so if that means bringing it to the gym with you, plan ahead. Eat your next full meal as normal, potentially adding a bit more carbohydrate than normal, especially if you went particularly hard.
Steph is the author of the newly released, award-winning The Performance Paleo Cookbook and The Paleo Athlete. She’s the nutritionist and recipe writer behind StupidEasyPaleo.com. Steph qualified for the 2014 American Open in Olympic weightlifting, competed at CrossFit Regionals in 2013, and used to race mountain bikes and Xterra.