Well it's been a busy last five days. My poor wife has had to shift houses (almost solo) while I have been chipping away at the Masters Qualifying WODs with Cherise.
And with the leaderboard dust finally settling, it looks like I've come in equal 21st - one point away from the Top 20. There may be some more shifting as validation isnt for another 12 hours and then video's will need to be assessed. However, no matter what happens, these leaderboards are proof of two things:
1) You become a good CrossFitter by strengthening your weaknesses - not by strengthening your strengths (which is what we tend to do).
2) In competitions, every rep and every second counts!
Point number 1 I will go over in detail in my next series of blogs, as this is what your program (as an athlete) should be based on. This is different to the original CrossFit programming methodology of randomness, which I think works brilliantly for the general population and beginner athletes. But not if you want to keep improving as a CrossFit athlete.
Point number 2 is what I personally think about during each and every WOD, especially online WODS where you don't know what your competitor is doing. For throwdown type comps, as long as you stay ahead of the other athletes, you're going to do pretty well. However for an online comp, every WOD is a make or break situation.
For example, we (Cherise and myself) stuffed up videoing WOD 1 - that horrible chipper that started with 100 Db snatches. We did it straight after the WODs were announced, and we didn't put in the perpendicular burpee line! Which meant we had to do it again.
My sister did it the next day (I wasnt so brave) and had the same score but a better tie-breaker. I did it 2 days after and got a better tie-breaker and one more MU. However.... if I had gotten two more muscle ups I would be off to Madison. If you had told me that before the WOD, I still don't believe I could have done it!
Why do I believe that? Because I only think of two things when I'm actually competing. The number one thing is process. I'm always thinking..."How can I do what I am doing easier, or how can I do it faster without working harder. For example, this WOD started with the 100 snatches. I know from the first time I did it I get about 20 a minute in with no breaks. So as I'm doing them I try to subtly change the way I snatch. I use my back more and I use my legs less. This hurts my back more but makes me less puffed and saves my legs. Which means I go into the row with a tighter back (so what?) but less puffed and better legs.
Similarly with the burpees, I changed my technique to a jump up, small step and jump over the bar (I stepped up last time) and then a very small jump back and a fall onto my chest. This was faster and saved my shoulders slightly for the MU.
So my process is slightly different. Remember, THE PROCESS IS 'THE HOW'. My best tip for you to be more efficient is to always be thinking of the how.
How can you do a particular movement better? How can you make it faster, or less puffy, or less stressful on a certain body part? Always be assessing as you are moving. Dont focus on the crowd, or the music, or the other athletes. Be focussed on you.
The second thing I am always thinking about (for online WODs) is THAT EVERY SECOND COUNTS. Don't walk to the next movement if you can jog. Don't rest for 12 seconds if you only need to rest for 10. Don't chalk up or have a drink if you don't need to. You HAVE to constantly be aware of your seconds.
Watch the top athletes. With the number of reps they get you would think they would be in fast forward. But they still look to be moving silky smooth - almost gracefully. They are calm, they may rest often, but they get through those reps faster than anyone else. And it's because they don't waste seconds. And it may only be one or two seconds a round or movement change, but over 10 rounds or 20 movement changes that adds up.
So my challenge to you now is, 1) do your movements better and 2) think in terms of seconds when you're competing.
That way, when you miss out on going to Madison by 1 point over 9 WOD;s you wont have any regrets. And while the outcome definitely sucks, you'll know that for every WOD, you gave it your best. And in the end, that's all we can ever do.
Dion Walmsley, Head Coach at CrossFit Kanga, Richlands