Competition… to some that word gives goose bumps. To others, maybe additional trips to the bathroom. Whether you fall in to one category or the other (and maybe both), there are many things that you think about prior to that day. Am I ready? What if I come in last? What will the other athletes be like? What to eat? When should I arrive? The list goes on and on. Trust me. And no matter how many answers you come up with for your questions, they just keep coming…and coming… and coming. That’s the part of competing that ALL athletes have in common. If you’ve done this for years or it’s your first, it usually never goes away.
This post is meant to help the many of you that will be competing in your first on January 19th. Let me start by saying that I’m someone that gets nervous (and has goose bumps) before a daily WOD, so you can imagine what I’m feeling like before a competition. It’s more due to the fact that I don’t want to fail, I want to do my best, and I most importantly want to PR (always!). I use this to fuel the fire and as soon as I hear, “3..2..1..GO!” it all goes away and it’s just me versus the workout. I could care less if there is even music playing because honestly I’m not sure if I can hear it (I know this would drive Megan B and Shannon P crazy). I treat every daily workout like a competition and that’s what helps me most of all during an actual one. It’s just another day in the gym. Maybe not my own gym, but it’s somebody else’s… fortunately for you, this will be held in YOUR gym.
After I convinced myself there simply was no more I could do to be ready for the competition and I had to go in with the skills I had obtained up to that point, I made sure everything else was in place to be as ready as I could on event day – rest, nutrition, what I would wear, strategy in workouts, time I would arrive, etc. If the workouts are pre-released, do them. I suggest doing them all… on one day if you can. See how your body feels after doing each WOD and before the next. Also, do them individually on other days as “dry runs” to see what your body is feeling, where you could make up time, how to transition, set up your equipment, etc. The more prepared you are for the workout, the less nervous you’ll be about doing it. Before competition day you should have performed each workout at least once and played them over in your mind a couple times so ensure no mistakes. Stick with your game plan. Don’t worry about what the person next to you is doing. That’s their game plan. Practice eating/drinking what you’ll bring on competition day. Last thing you want to find out is how your body reacts to certain things day of. WOD in the gear that you will wear at the competition.
Remember, your coaches are here to help. We don’t just write the workout on the board, bring you through a warm-up, and yell at you when you don’t get your hips below your knees. It was just a few months ago when I was in your shoes.