By now most people will have given 17.1 a crack, and found it pretty tough. As far as an Opens 20min grinder couplet goes, it wasn't too bad. In the past Dave has always had burpees, thrusters, row combinations etc for this WOD, so the snatch is a bit nicer.
I did it as soon as it came out, so about 1pm Friday (and went 18:20). I was getting a cold so I wanted to get it done in case that got bad. But I usually do the WODs at least twice. A lot of people don't, but here is why I do:
So to do better the 2nd time here is what I do:
Of course you have to weigh up whether you have been able to recover enough to give it a good go. In the past, there have only been two wods that I haven't gone better in when I repeated them. So the fact that the second time I know my pacing etc etc seems to outweigh the fact that I'm still a little fatigued.
Don't forget, if you're the type of person who gets stressed about the leaderboard, get hold of some strategies to reduce that stress and start to develop them now! This can really wreck the fun of competition, and can be totally avoided. Check out my post on stress and if that doesnt work research the web - there's a ton of good stuff out there.
I hope 17.1 goes well for you. Focus on effort, not outcome. And if you give it another go, your goal is to beat yourself! That doesnt sound too hard, does it??
Soooo... 17.1 comes out in 4 days and most of us will be doing it within the week. What can you do in one week to improve your performance?
Let's make some assumptions before I suggest some guidelines:
The good (and bad) thing about crossfit is that we don't know what the freek Castro is going to announce... or do we? We do know that it is generally pretty basic crossfit stuff. We shouldn't see rope climbs, sled pushes, dead ball etc. So let's prepare for that. We will see box jumps, push press, deadlifts, burpees etc
We also know that it's going to go for 5 weeks, and if you're like me you'll do the wods at least twice. So we need to keep up our training for that whole period as one of the main principles of training is:
USE IT OR LOSE IT!
How long you take to lose something (e.g. fitness, strength etc) will depend on how 'fit' you are at the moment. I try to get everything done weekly - so every basic crossfit movement gets done at least once a week.
If we look back at the recovery post, we see that some fitness components take longer to recover from than others. Recall muscular endurance will stimulate a physiological change in your muscles - the wod breaks it down, then the body rebuilds it. This is not something you want going on in your body going into a comp.
Which means, DON"T do any high reps muscular sets that leave you sore. Examples are sets of 50 or higher (again this will depend on your state of 'fitness') of HSPU, chinups, deadlifts, pushups - really anything that leaves you with DOMS. This is vital to a good preparation! The muscles should be in a healthy and recovered state.
I would still do small sets to maintain that movement. So a WOD like 5 RFT of 3 HSPU, 5 DL, 5 CTB. 5 pushups is a nice little WOD that shouldn't hurt you, but will be enough to let the body know you still need those specific muscles!
High intensity cardio, for example 4x500 row at 100% on 5:00 is also having the same muscular effect on the heart. So don't be doing any of those types of WODs. Sure, you can get breathless and get the HR to max, but keep it short - again, just enough to let the body know it still needs the muscle (the heart). I would hit these little lung burners maybe twice or three times in the week prior (the same as my normal week) but keep them short - maybe 2mins in length.
A good way to do this is to throw a finisher at the end of your WOD. A 500m row max for example. The way I like to do it is to finish off my normal WOD's very intensely - so save a little in the tank. For example, my last minute of my 12 min AMRAP, I'll put on the burners and give it everything I have - which will always leave me breathless. Exactly what you want.
The other components such as Power and Strength you don't need to change too much. The only thing I would do is reduce the sets/reps, and don't go for any PB's. PB's can leave you neurally drained, especially something heavy like a Deadlift which uses a lot of muscle (and nerves). Things like snatches and MU should be fine. As long as it doesn't turn into a muscular WOD. So if your MU's leaves your muscles sore, back off on the reps. You only need to stimulate the system - not wreck it.
Some other things to consider:
And lastly, one guideline all good coaches go by.....
IF IN DOUBT.......REST
Have a great week training and stay focused AND calm! And know that whatever Castro announces, you'll have empathy from 300 000 other people!
With the Opens less than two weeks away, and as I have been asked to write something on 'how do you stay relaxed for a competition', I thought I would tackle that issue today.
Staying calm and focused is your biggest ally at a competition. For one thing, you won't be able to carry out your wod plan if you're too stressed. Secondly, stressing uses a lot of energy and releases a lot of stress hormones. Which is great if it's seconds before the WOD (when you need to be stressed), but at any other time it's just eating into your recovery.
Let's break it up a little on a time line...
Week/Days out from the competition: I know people who literally stress themselves out of a competition days and even weeks before it starts. They can't stop thinking about it, talking about it, planning/strategising it, doing it! By the time they get close to the competition they're over it! The body has been through that WOD soooo many times, it just doesn't want to keep doing it.
My number one tip here is DON'T! Don't talk about it, don't think about it!
Try this - lie down and measure your HR, then think about your competition/WOD and redo your HR. I guarantee those stress hormones have pushed you into a training zone!
How do you stop thinking about it? My best strategy is when you do find yourself thinking of the competition, replace it with something else. Something that doesn't get your heart racing. For example, I think about a computer game I'm playing at the moment. Or you could think about your favourite movie, or bring back memories from your last holiday... The thing is, YOU NEED TO REPLACE IT. You can't just stop thinking about it, as it will (very quickly) creep back into your thoughts. The mind needs to be distracted!
When I used to take swimmers away for big meets, we would go to the movies, do day trips, play games etc - anything to distract them from their swims. And if you have someone who keeps mentioning the competition (as the parents of the swimmers always did!) let them know that you don't want to talk about it. Be nice, but be form!
The only exception here would be to allow yourself a specific time of the day to actually think about the comp. A good time is when you're training. Talk about it, plan it (don't keep doing it though), break it down - whatever you want. But when you walk out the gym you leave it all behind!
The Day of the Competition: You still don't want to be thinking or stressing about the competition or WOD. Some strategies here are:
Right before the WOD and during the WOD: If you've done all of the above you should know you're ready! At this stage all you're thinking about is your first rep. Elite, successful athletes get into the 'zone' - which just means they are in the 'now'. They aren't thinking about 5 mins ago (cause they didn't have time to pee), or two minutes ahead (can you even lift that frikking weight?). Your entire focus is on the next few seconds. And should always be. It's all about the best, most efficient, rep you can do!
If you do find yourself starting to get too excited/stressed then try these:
If you are the type to get too stressed out, then there is a lot you can do. It's just another skill to work on - like a muscle up. You need to work out what strategy is good for you, develop it, and rehearse it until it becomes part of your routine.
It's worth putting time and effort into. Like I said, staying focused and calm is your single best ally in a competition. Just watch those who are successful!
I don't feel pressure in a negative way. I like pressure.
I feel excitement and calm at the same time.
No pressure, no diamonds. I want pressure:
pressure creates drama, creates emotion.
It's been a busy week at the shed., and unfortunately I've missed my mid-week blog. I hope everyone's training is going well in the lead-up to the Opens. Seems like we will need some 22.5kg DB's hey. If anyone close has any spares - let me know!
Last post covered the fitness components Cardio/aerobic and muscular endurance. They're the big ones for most of us in terms of recovery. below are a few more that you will have to consider from time to time:
The real art/science now comes in planning your weekly cycle so that you get the right amount of recovery for each type of fatigue. Muscular endurance that promotes a lot of muscle damage will need the most rest. However, it doesn't mean you take the days off in between. You could easily work different muscle groups. Or do strength/power/skill work (which is neural stress) - best also to use different muscle groups. So if I have been doing a big set if CTB i wont do rope climbs the next few days - they both work the lats/teres major. But I could definitely train my legs with some squats.
I would also make sure you're not doing too many of the very high intensity HR WODs mentioned last week. The one where you are left lying on the floor with your heart racing, struggling to get a breath in. Limit these to two or three sessions a week - allow the heart to recover! Or you will pay for it.
So as you can see, it's quite easy to train every day! As long as you don't get bored or frustrated or sick of it. Assuming you're not, then cycle through those types of sessions. Generally, I take a day off once every two months. I have way too much to work on to take a day off - a recovery day means I'm doing something that doesnt stress the thing that needs recovering - does that make sense?
But I hear you say how tired you feel if you train every day. Well then, I would reply you're not cycling through your fitness components efficiently. That is, you're hitting the same one too soon.
For example, you do Fran on Monday, then on Tuesday you do 4x400m run max on 3:00, then on Wednesday you do Fight Gone Bad. Well all of those stress your heart in a BIG way. Your muscles feel fine. But if you did another of those max HR WODs then you're risking burnout in that area.
I also hear people saying they get injured if they dont have rest days. Again, you're probably working the same muscle group/fitness components too often. Use your warm-up to listen to your body - does one hamstring feel tighter than the other? Well then don't do any posterior chain stuff until you fix it up (i.e. trigger).
Your shoulder is niggly - well don't do anything that makes it worse! Sounds easy but how many people will push through a wod just because it is up on the whiteboard? If your shoulder is niggly do some rear squats...
And check your resting heart. If it is up for a few days then back off! If you're feeling terrible then back off or rest. Listen to your body - it will let you know. Never do something you shouldn't just because it was in the plan or on the whiteboard. be flexible.
I very rarely program anything for myself. I couldn't tell you what I'm doing tomorrow until I start to warm-up. I see what feels good, what feels bad and then work around that. This is a little trickier if you're at the shed, however if any of my clients want to do something besides the WOD I always accommodate them.
So my best tips on recovery:
Do this and you may be able to increase your training - and get to that next level.
“Every time you stay out late; every time you sleep in;
every time you miss a training session;
every time you don’t give 100%…
you make it that much easier for another athlete to beat you.”
Dion Walmsley, Head Coach at CrossFit Kanga, Richlands