Posted on January 12, 2015
So first off let me say how disappointed I am and I know I speak for Whitney and Megan that we will not be around to cheer on our Orange Crush as you all take to the competition floor to show everyone what you are made of. We will be cheering loudly and stalking Facebook for updates from Miami. Some of you are no strangers to competition, but for some of you this is your first time. I thought I would put together a few thoughts that as a “seasoned” athlete (not old Joseph) you might find of benefit.
1. First and most importantly, you will be nervous. You may feel you are VERY nervous, even more than you might have anticipated. This is normal! And guess what, everyone out there is nervous as well. It is what you do with that nervous energy that is important. It is this lovely little adrenaline system in our body that also allows us to rise to the task and be 5 lbs stronger and 10 seconds faster. These nerves never go away, I still experience them with every event and even on a daily basis before I train. Try to breath, relax and harness this into a healthy energy and go out there and do the best that you can do.That is truly all that you can ask of yourself. And that is what will define your success, not your position on the leader board.
2. Nutrition. Do NOT, let me repeat, do NOT experiment with anything new this week. That goes for supplements, pre wod, post wod, or even regular diet. That means even if you think all of the cool kids and strong kids eat at Chipotle (and the truth is they do not) and you think you should also eat at Chipotle, this is not the week to try something new. Eat clean and give your body what it is used to, especially on the day of competition. Make sure you have some food and shakes for recovery and nutrition but again, something your body is accustomed to. I am the type that has a hard time eating real food on long days with multiple events and rely on bars and shakes for my caloric needs. Each of you will be different, but you will need some nutrition. A plain source of protein and fruit are good go to items as well. I would avoid eating within the 30-45 minute window before you are to compete. Keep yourself hydrated though. This is very important.
3. Gear. By now all of the workouts except perhaps the finals are released so you know for the most part what things you will need. Always, always, always have your jumprope and if possible a back up jumprope. Take your lifting shoes, wrist wraps, knee sleeves, tape, and maybe even a little bag of chalk. You know what you will need and pack your equipment the day before confirming you have all of your gear. A little word on what to wear. So do not under any circumstances try out a brand new sports bra, Booty shorts, or guys compression shorts or shorts that you have not previously worked out in. Believe it or not an ill fitting pair of booty shorts or compression shorts can have a significant negative effect on performance. T-shirts are a different story, but no one wants to be manipulating ill fitting garments when they are supposed to be picking up a barbell. Wear something you are comfortable in!!
4. WOD preparation and tapering. So again, by now you know the majority of your wods and movements that are going to be expected of you. Last minute skill sessions should be centered on the movements you are most uncomfortable with. This is where you should illicit help from coaches and others that are more experienced for tips. As far as doing all of the WODS before the weekend, if you did not do this this past weekend, I would shy away from performing them in their entirety at this stage. I would however do an abbreviated version of them so that you know what the combination of movements will feel like which can help you strategize on where to push. For example, if its a 21-15-9 rep scheme perhaps do 15-9-6 or if it is a 10 min amrap, do 5-6 minutes. This week is not the week to go all out, but you also want to know what some of it will feel like. I would typically take a day off before you compete with the day right before doing some light activity. for example, if you compete Saturday, take Thursday off, but do some light rowing and skill work on Friday, but nothing too strenuous.
5. Warm Up. In a day with multiple events and lots going on around you it is easy to get stuck watching others workout and neglect to get a proper warm up. The first one of the day is the most important. You want your body ready for action and you do not want the WOD to be the first time you heart rate spikes that day. By now you all know what we routinely do to get you ready for class. DO this! It is what your body is used to and it is a signal that you are getting ready to ask it for some work. After you are warm, then work through some of the skills expected of you in that event and allow yourself to cool off lightly before you start.
6. General advice. Remember to have fun! That is the main reason we do these competitions because unless you are Rich Froning, Jr or Camille we certainly aren’t getting paid. We are out there to push ourselves and we all have goals we would like to achieve. But do not lose sight of the fact that this does not define who you are. It is a tool to allow you to grow as an athlete and as a person. Embrace it for just that. Try to relax and enjoy the camaraderie of the other athletes as you warm up and prepare and as you are corralled waiting for your events. You are all in it together and some of the best friendships are formed in those settings. Encourage your fellow athletes because it is not you against them, it is you against that workout. And that is what this community is all about. While having others working next to you pushes you to go faster, they are not responsible for your result...you are. And along the way we most often learn things about ourselves, most often that we are stronger and faster than we thought:)
Good Luck, Coach Tracy