Jason Khalipa at the Rogue vs. Again Faster Tahoe Throwdown

2010 CrossFit Games Finals

Khalipa Hits the Track and Pool

An Inside Look Into Jason's Games Prep

With his win in the 2008 CrossFit Games, Jason Khalipa became famous in the CrossFit community for his impressive strength and fast times on CrossFit workouts. His collapse during 2009's 7-kilometer trail run, though, left him in 72nd place after the first event. In the rest of the competition, Jason climbed his way up to 5th place overall for 2009.

In his preparation for 2010, Jason wanted to make sure he would be ready for any demand the Games organizers could throw at him. Running, predictably, was at the top of his list. But Jason also had another activity in mind for his 2010 Games prep. Swimming had not yet appeared in the Games, but with CrossFit's directive to be ready for the unknown and unknowable, swimming was definitely within the realm of possibility.

Jason contacted a swim coach in Palo Alto, Calif., and went through a three-hour session on swim technique. With that session in mind, Jason began to practice swimming once a week. He didn't expect the Games to feature a long swim by itself, but rather a combination of shorter swims and more traditional CrossFit movements such as kettlebell swings. When Jason started swimming, his technique was so so inefficient that swimming 100 meters would wind him. Jason wanted to be able to swim 100 meters quickly and efficiently and still have enough wind and energy afterward to swing a kettlebell or lift a barbell. He trained by swimming 100 meters quickly, then resting by treading water for a bit, and repeating this circuit for up to half an hour.

This training made Jason a stronger and more efficient swimmer, but he also felt it transferred well to his other training. The breath control swimming requires helped him in CrossFit's met-cons. He learned that by practicing similar breath control during circuits, he could stave off fatigue longer. The lower-impact workout that swimming provided was also good for active recovery from the heavy weights and high repetitions of his other CrossFit training. The 2010 Games did not feature a swimming event, but Jason will be swimming again in preparation for 2011.

Jason also made improving his running a priority in 2010. He had been training a lot of hill runs in preparation for Aromas, but when he heard that the Games would be in the Home Depot Center, he knew he had to prepare for track running. Similar to his theory about swimming, Jason did not expect a long run by itself but rather middle-distance running combined with other elements. His running workouts included distances of 5,000 meters and down. Mile repeats were a key part of his training, and the hard work paid off. Jason hit a lifetime PR of 5:59 in the mile, 40 seconds faster than his previous record.

The second event in 2010, which included a total of 2,400 meters of running, left Jason thankful for the prep work he'd put in. He finished "Hell-In" in 18:58, putting him in 13th place for that event. For a longer workout that punished his size, Jason was pleased with the result.

Despite his consistent work on his weak points, Jason ended up finishing 16th in 2010. He chalks up this performance to a few mental errors he made and some events that didn't go his way, but he'll be back and stronger than ever next year.

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2 comments on this entry

1. jake wrote...

i need to do the same training. i swim to survive, not be efficient. when i swim now, it feels like my first CF wod. This is a glaring weakness of mine that will be exposed if I don't improve it. i hope a swim wod comes up at the games and khalipa tears it up.

2. Luke Mullen wrote...

I have written previously that Crossfit 2011 Games could easily (?) have something similar to an "Odyssey Custom Made PORTABLE Pool", 80ft x 130ft, 60in deep, costing ~ $40K. It might fit in the parking lot of HDC or in one of the stadiums.

There are photos of Odyssey Custom Portable Pools here ... http://www.quickpools4less.com/customportablepools.htm ... it might fit in the HDC parking lot.

Brainstorming an Event X1 that is either a straight metabolic single event (swim AMRAP) or a multiple modality event along the lines of:
For time or AMRAP
(a) KBS, thrusters (weighted movement)
(b) swim pool-length
(c) Air Squats (gymnastics movement)
(d) swim back pool-length
(e) repeat X rounds

Finish entire thing with event X2: Throw a standard USCG life ring as far as possible over dry land or as close to a dry-land target as possible (first contact with ground counts, rolling does not).

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