Preparing for Competition
Some of us have experience with competition, wether it be Crossfit or another sport. If you do compete this should be the highlight of your athletic experience. Every day you are training to get ready for the competition. The issue many of us have is that we really have no idea what to do to properly prepare ourselves before and during competition.
This is assuming that your competition is on Saturday. You are not going to get any stronger or faster the week leading up to a competition. At this point you are going to try to give your body some rest so you are mentally and physically hungry for the competition.
Monday - Last regular training session.
Tuesday - Just cardio, i.e. 100 calories on the rower
Wednesday - Just skill, i.e. empty bar work
Thursday - If you get tissue work (massage, chiro, yoga) today is the day
Friday - NOTHING, don't step foot in the gym. Prepare your equipment for the weekend.
Saturday - Game day
Sunday - Some active recovery, like a nice 5k run to reduce your DOMS
You don't want to be running around looking for something the day of competition. What everyone will bring varies depending on the competition and the competitor. Here are some basics.
- Lots of food & water
- Change of clothes
- Music and headphones
- Crossfit Gear (knee wraps, gloves, skipping rope, oly shoes, belt etc)
- Mobility gear (foam roller, bands, LAX balls)
- A print out of your registration forms, the workouts, and head schedules
- Weather dependant gear (sunscreen, rain jacket, etc)
- First aid kit (they should have one, but don't count on it)
Day of Competition
Your biggest enemy on the day of competition is your nerves. You should be as relaxed as possible. This includes making sure you have everything you need by packing up Friday. Have a list of what you need depending on your sport.
Once you get to the venue, the first thing to do is to find your home base. This is where you will setup your gear and spend most of your time. Get comfortable here. Have your food, your mobility gear, and somewhere where you can lay down and rest a bit.
You have a plan, stick to it. Don't let the nerves make you doubt yourself. If you can, have a coach or supporter with you. That means you can shut off your brain and let them make the decisions for you. This also means that you don't have to watch the other athletes compete, you can go to your home base and rest while your coach will watch and strategize for you.
Don't change your eating! The last thing you want on competition day is to have stomach discomfort. Bring lots of your regular food and drink, and depending on how much time you have between events try to eat lightly. Protein is not that important the day of, you are not training today, your are testing. It is more important to recover, this means you need carbs. Bring lots of fast absorbing carbs to take after each event to restore your muscle glycogen. This is not the time to experiment with new foods.
Stay calm. Your workout time might get pushed back, you might get no-repped. Don't let it get to you. Stay relaxed, negative emotions will not help you. Some people like listening to music to keep themselves calm. For most people this is not the time to listen to amped up music, but instead listen to some relaxing music as you go over you plan of attack in your head.
Hopefully you walk away with a good feeling. Remember, even coming in last place is better that did not enter. Wether you place well or poorly you should walk away with a lesson. Perhaps a weakness you must train, perhaps new training ideas or partners.
Most importantly, Have fun!