Recovery during Competition

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Recovering Between WODs at a Competition

People spend months of weeks preparing for a competition and believe all they have to do is show up and work out to win. This may work for some people, but for most of us, what happens between workouts is what makes the biggest difference. The following tips are assuming your competition is on a Saturday


Before the competition

Depending on your conditioning, and the level of the competition, you might want to start doing two met-cons a day. If you are not sure how far out you should start, or how many you should do, as your coach. Two days before the competition, STOP TRAINING. You need to be well rested and preferably not sore before the competition. 

Nutrition for optimum post-workout recovery

The biggest question I seem to have gotten from you guys is along the lines of what meals and snacks you should bring to keep you fueled throughout the day. Immediately after each WOD I recommend you down a protein shake and eat a piece of fruit. Bananas are great for the extra potassium which will prevent cramping, and I can recommend the Isagenix brand of protein, its not "paleo", but its about as high quality as you are going to get; those shakes helped fuel me through Regionals and I felt adequately recovered throughout the day. Making your shakes in coconut water such as Vita Coco is also a great option; the taste may be a little harsh at first but it will help you refuel and recover quickly while helping you stay hydrated. The extra potassium from the coconut water is also great for preventing cramps. In between WODs and especially during the scheduled breaks, it is important that you eat a meal of some kind to keep your nutrient levels high. I would NOT eat a large meal here, you really only want enough food to refuel you without making you full. For this purpose I find a small chicken breast, some sweet potato, and a small package of mixed nuts and berries does the trick. The key is not to eat until you’re full or your digestive system will kick into overload and drain some of your energy. Not to mention, exercising on a full stomach just isn’t fun to begin with. This is also not the time to be trying new foods. The last thing you want is gas or bloating during a heated workout. 

What else can I do to recover?

Aside from proper nutrition, there are a few other things you should be focusing on in order to recover as much as possible between WODs. Make sure you stretch immediately after finishing your events. Make a protein shake, grab a foam roller or lacrosse ball, and get in some mobility while you are consuming your post-WOD nutrition. Stretching after a workout is crucial in order to keep your muscles functioning during the later events, and post-workout mobility is more important than any mobility work you can do beforehand. If you don’t stretch after your events, you may find your muscles locking up on you and becoming extremely tight going into later events. This will certainly blunt your performance where you need it most.

In short, eat a nutritious breakfast and consume plenty of food BEFORE showing up at the competition on Saturday; the meals you consume throughout the competition should be small and straightforward. Bring some nutrient-rich snacks and stockpile on protein and bananas for your post-WOD nutrition and to help you refuel between events. 

As fun as it is to watch what is going on with the other competitors, it is taxing on yourself. Try and relax a little and listen to some relaxing music while sitting by yourself. As much as I love to cheer everyone one, I often find myself sneaking off to listen to my relaxing music and catching some sleep wherever I have my equipment stashed. 

Speaking of equipment, make sure you bring everything you need. Wrist wraps, chalk, foam roller, bands?

Coach Everett

Crossfit Bytown