This is a great time of year to start putting together a training program for yourself. For most of us, the Opens or Qualifiers are what we strive for every year. So with only 10 months until they come around again, it's definitely time to start planning.
I'm assuming that most athletes are training at an affiliate, so what you can do in regards to your 'own thing' may be limited. However, even if you can make small changes, over 10 months, you could be a totally new athlete! Small changes done every day = a NEW YOU for 18.1
Here's what I would do first:
1) Put together a list of your OUTCOME GOALS. Your first goals need to be Big and Bold! For example, making the Qualifiers next year. Or doing all Opens Rx. They also need to be realistic. So making the Qualifiers when you came 3573 in your age group might be a 3 year plan, not something for 2018. They also need to be specific. So saying 'I want to do better in the Opens next year' means that if you go up one place then you should be happy! So it should be 'How much better do you want to be? Do you want to make the Top 100 in your region? Do you want to make the top 20 percentile? Have a specific and measurable goal.
You can also have other outcome goals here. E.g. Deadlift 180kg by July 1st., Do 10 RMU unbroken by Xmas, lose 10kg of fat in 6 months.
2) Once you have your Big and Bold goals, work out what you need to do to achieve them. I would suggest talking to your coach about this. Some things you may need to discuss:
- What are your current strengths and weaknesses? What wods did you do really well in and really bad in? What movements held you back?
- How many times do you need to train to achieve your goals? Again, be realistic. Don't have ambitious goals if you can't back them up!
- Do you need to improve your lifestyle factors such as sleep, nutrition, stressors (e.g. work). How will you do this?
- What other competition skills do you need to develop? For example, were you physically prepared but then crashed out due to nerves? Did you train too hard the week before the Opens started? Did you carry an injury into the Opens? All these factors need to be accounted for early on.
3) Put together a list of PROCESS GOALS. This list is what is going to get you to your Big and Bold goals! Your process goals are not 'WHAT' you want to achieve (you already have those), but are more the 'how,' of your training. For example, some of your process goals may be:
- Do a 12 week block of strength training. Three sessions a week you will do strength training prior to your WOD
- Twice a week you will do a ROMWOD or trigger/mobilise for 30mins. This can be done in the evening, or weekends etc.
- Stay back 10 mins after each training session and work one weakness. E.g. go through muscle up drills.
- Refine your diet: Get a DEXA, then record your eating for 7 days. Plan your macros out and stick to that for 6 weeks. Reassess with another DEXA.
- Record your sleep and get an average of 7- 8 hours every night.
- Practise some strategies to reduce your nerves. E.g. block breathing. awareness strategies
Notice that all these goals are 100% doable. There are no outcomes. So if you do manage to do a 12 week strength block, you're very likely to improve your strength and lift your 180kg deadlift. If you do get a DEXA and then follow a sensible nutritional plan, you will very likely lose 10kg in 6 months.
SO YOUR PROCESS GOALS GET YOU TO YOUR OUTCOME GOALS. Your outcome goals provide the big picture motivation to keep YOU going with your process goals.
For example, one of my process goals may be to do my Wendler strength program for 12 week. My outcome goal is to do a PB in King Kong at the end of those 12 weeks. Every day i do my Wendler. Sometimes I do well in it, sometimes I don't. However over 12 weeks I should see some improvement. That King Kong goal keeps me focused! Your 'King Kong' may be a competition, it may be a bet with someone, it may be an event (lose 10kg for your wedding). Once you have established that outcome goal, then it is your process goals that will get you there.
Your coach is likely to be your best resource when planning your process goals out. Talk to them and work out how you are going to achieve your outcome goals. What is it that need to do every day? If you have a good list of process goals, then your training plan will be built on a strong foundation.
Next post I'll give some tips to how create your 10 month plan (based on those goals) and how to develop those weaknesses. Because in CrossFit, it's your weaknesses that define your results, not your strengths.
Dion Walmsley, Head Coach at CrossFit Kanga, Richlands