The Conquest is coming. It’s less than two weeks away at this point! I bet some of you are starting to get a little bit nervous, aren’t you? That’s good! It’s totally natural to feel those butterflies (and I read some study about how that actually gives you a competitive edge, but I’m too lazy to look that up to cite it). Whether you’re a veteran competitor, or this is your very first competition, I just wanted to outline a few key concepts about the days/week leading up to the big days. Plus, we’ll hear from some vets about their top tips for getting through competition! Have Fun!
DO NOT WORRY ABOUT YOUR PERFORMANCE IN YOUR FIRST FEW COMPETITIONS. It’s that simple. Too many people go into a competition completely freaked out about how they’re going to perform or how they’re going to look on the competition floor. A little nervous excitement is fine, but plan on your first few competitions being nothing but a learning experience. This should be all about having fun, hanging out with your fellow athletes, and learning a few things along the way.
““Relax! You’re just working on your fitness.” - Anna Longdon
“I'm the most competitive person in the gym ... Ok, maybe not so much, but my biggest and only advice (other than don't get hurt) is HAVE FUN!” - Samantha Peskuski
“PREP the night before so you are not rushing and panicking in the a.m. (and say forget your socks…!) And remember to smile… This ain’t the Games!” - Carly Newlands
From the day you registered for your event, you should have been eating cleaner to help your body reach an optimal nutritional state. Unfortunately, one cannot benefit from improved nutrition overnight, nor can anyone undo weeks of bad eating overnight or even a few days. Whatever you’ve been eating... it’s ok to keep eating it. The night before your competition is the wrong time to experiment with a new eating plan. If you have been eating bread without any ill effects, keep eating bread. If you have been low carb, high protein and high fat, keep doing that. Your body is acclimated to your nutrition. Keep it in the friendly bowel zone. And definitely eat a solid breakfast the day of!
“TUMS help with ‘stomach’ nerves…breathing helps with nerves as well.. ..do not forget to breath. EAT enough…… or the last wod will suck!” - Carly Newlands
Even though your training volume and intensity are lower this week, your hydration level should remain the same. Drink water. Plenty of water. Avoid sports drinks, coffee and alcohol - this really isn’t the week to get tanked. Spare the beer for post competition celebration and fun.
“Envision your success, see your competition as weaker than yourself. Go in with a positive clear mind for winning and having fun. Winning could be just enjoying the competition with a bunch of friends.” - Brad Tausan
One week out from competition, your training is really done. You should have spent weeks and perhaps months accumulating the volume, gaining the strength, and developing the skills required to compete. Sometimes, this isn’t predictable due to the nature of certain events when WODs aren’t released until a few days or a couple weeks ahead. Whether you have or haven’t done the physical preparation, the truth is you won’t be any more fit this week than you were last week. Your fitness is what it is, time to let your body heal. Cut back the volume the week of, keep the weights light, do your mobility, and heal!
“Have a game-plan for each workout; especially the teams. You need to minimize the amount of transitions. Play to each person’s strengths/weaknesses.” - Jonathan Longdon
“Don’t underestimate yourself… you’re better than you think!” - Anna Longdon
Warm-Up / Cool-Down
I’ve never seen someone warm-up too much. Give yourself 30-40 minutes before your heat to start warming up. You should break a sweat, and then start focusing on the movements for the upcoming WOD. Space will be tight and warm-up equipment will be sparse at most competitions, so do as much as you can with bodyweight and a small space, and make the most of your time on a barbell. Continue to move until you have to be in the staging area for your heat. Even if you’ve already completed reps at the weight you plan to use in the WOD. Take a breather, and then complete a few more reps. Continue this cycle until it’s go time.
Make sure you are cooling down after each workout. You don’t want to go from 100mph to 0mph instantly. This will leave your body feeling wrecked for your next WOD and for the next few days. A proper cool-down after each WOD is huge for performing well throughout the day. There are several different strategies for cooling down properly depending on the type/duration of WOD, but let’s not over complicate things for now. After each WOD row 1000 meters at a slow/easy pace, and the foam roll and stretch for 10 minutes. This will help pump lactic acid out of your system and will keep your muscles from knotting-up before your next WOD.
“It’s all about recovery. Those who can recover the fastest are ready to go, and go longer.” - Issac Sisneros
For all you first-time competitors, I hope this helps out. To all the veteran athletes, maybe you can relate to some of these things. Either way... Go out there, push hard, give your fellow competitors a high-five, and let's have fun!
Join us Saturday and Sunday, this June 13th and 14th at 8:00a for what should be a great weekend full of fitness and friendly faces.