This is the time of year lots of local CrossFit comps are starting to pop up. You have been asked by your mates from the box to join their team for a “fun” comp and now the workouts are starting to come out and the date is getting a little closer you’re starting to freak out. What if I forget how to do double unders, what if I can’t do all the movements, what if I am the weakest person on the team? You start to freak out and tell yourself all of the reasons you shouldn't be doing this and try to talk yourself out of it…
I want to reassure you that you aren't the first person to feel like this and reassure you that half of the others competing are probably feeling the same way as you. Remind yourself of the reason you agreed to doing this with your mates and reward yourself for having the guts to put your hand up to do it in the first place. Lastly there are 2 ways this can go... you can either freak out and talk yourself out of it and always be too scared of competing or you can step up to the plate and honour the commitment you made to your gym mates and challenge yourself by doing something a little outside of your comfort zone!
Read below for a few simple tips to help you manage the nerves as the big day approaches…
1. Make sure you pack everything the night before:
Lifting shoes, knee sleeves, belt, tape (lots of it), foam roller, gloves, skipping rope and any other items which you will need during the WOD.
Extras which should also be in your kit bag are a couple of spare pairs of socks, 2 spare t-shirts and 2 spare pairs of shorts, a jumper and or track pants (you never know what the weather will be like)
I definitely make sure I pack all of this myself too. There is nothing worse than rocking up and having to buy the crap they sell out of the canteen that day. Unless this is what you normally eat have everything pre packed in a chiller bag with maybe an extra meal or 2 for a teammate who will forget. Apples, bananas, orange juice a couple of protein shakes and maybe a bag of mixed lollies for everyone to share.
2. Don’t change your normal routine
This is not the time to try a new movement. Comp day is not the day to wear in your new knee sleeves or wraps. This should have all been done weeks ago. Just because you see another competitor doing butterfly kipping pull ups faster than you don’t go changing your kipping style to try and get faster than them. Chances are you will not be good at them because you haven’t practised and it will lead to a worse performance than in your training and disappointment in your performance.
As for your pre workout rituals keep it the same too. Start at least 20 minutes before your heat time and follow a similar warm up to what you would do in class and don’t get distracted by what others are doing or how much they are lifting. Your performance in the warm up area isn’t what counts it’s out on the floor so make sure your body is primed and ready to go!
3. DO NOT drastically change your diet the night before or on the day
Unless that's what you'd normally eat before a Saturday morning WOD I would not go eating that big bowl of pasta on Friday night and carb load the night before. Stick to what you know before a comp day. The time for experimentation is every other training day of the year if need be. This also goes for what you eat on the day of. If you normally eat 3 meals eat 3 meals. Figure out when your heats are and time your meals around them so you don’t see what you had for lunch on the floor when competing.
4. DO NOT ignore your recovery
Chances are you do not normally do 3 to 4 workouts a day during the week let alone do it 2 days in a row. So recovery is going to play an important part of you being able to maintain some intensity during all of your workouts over the weekend. After each workout some things you can do to ensure you will be ready for the next wod include going for a light jog for 5 mins or an easy 750m to 1km row with your team mates at conversation pace and talk about your performance and have a laugh. Have a 10 to 15 minute stretch and or rollout/mobility session together and start eating or drinking so you are refuelled and rehydrated for the next workout.
One thing to try and avoid is running around the vendor tents trying to find the best bargain or trying to catch up with everyone you know who has come to watch. Once you have finished your last heat for the day go and do this stuff but until then stay focused doing everything you can to perform the best you can.
5. Don't be a dick!
Remember this is not the CrossFit games so you are not competing for the title of fittest on earth! Be prepared to be no repped, to have teammates make mistakes, to get a little flustered and make a mistake yourself. This can all happen despite the best of plans and intentions. Everyone is trying to do their best even the judges and are all probably just as nervous if not more nervous than you.
Be supportive of everyone out there from cheering on your team mates to introducing yourself to the judge and thanking them at the end of each workout. You are going out there to do your best and enjoy this experience with your teammates so don’t lose sight of that!