The Week Before Competition

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by Taryn Haggerstone

After Regionals I made the decision to dial way back on Crossfit & focus on Olympic Weightlifting. However, I still coach/work with a number of Crossfit athletes and with more and more of them entering the Competition scene I wanted to put something together (i.e. lessons I’ve learned) in the hopes it will help them prepare as best as possible/avoid the same mistakes

Eat, Sleep & Repeat

First & foremost off, make sure you’re getting enough food and sleep. Surviving a WOD (or two) on shitty food and lack of sleep is one thing; buta 3 day competition with multiple WODs each day is a totally different situation and its especially important that you’re taking care of yourself.

Rest & Recover.

The final days/week before a competition is not the time to be busting your ass in the gym in an attempt to…

  • improve your met-con or
  • master a new skill.

…because in all honesty, one  week isn’t really enough time for either of these things. Work on your technique/efficiency and keep moving so you don’t feel “stiff” the day of, but save your energy for the competition.

Also, if you have any callouses, rough patches or minor tears on you hands take care of them now, otherwise its going to be an uncomfortable 3 days.

Sally's Hand

Movement Standards

It’s sometimes tempting to become lenient with movement standards and give ourselves a rep even though

  • the wall ball wasn’t quite over the line
  • our chin didn’t get over the bar or
  • we failed to hit depth on a thruster

and to be honest I think this is something we’re all guilty of at one point or another (yep, even coaches).

When I’m teaching I do my best to let people know whether they’re meeting movement standards. Unfortunately my eyes can’t be on everyone and its up to you to be honest with yourself (and me), because in competition there will be a judge right beside you calling “no-rep” if the required depth/height isn’t met

Ideally this type of thing that gets sorted out long before a competition; however if for any reason you are unsure get a coach or friend to watch your reps a couple reps when they’re good. As shitty as it may be to realize a week out that not all your reps are good, it would be worse to find out from your judge on the competition floor.

Keep Stress Levels in Check

Inverted U

It may not seem like it but being is nervous actually a good thing because it mean you’re doing something you care about; and its hard to “get uncomfortable” dig deep and fight for those last reps you don’t care.

That being said, try not to let your pre-competition nerves get the best of you &  if that little voice in the back of your head whispering things like…

  • what have I signed myself up for?
  • why am I doing this
  • what if I come dead last

…just tell it to shut it and remind yourself why you did sign up.

e.g. to push your limits, challenge yourself, become a better athlete.

There is no shame in “failing” or “losing” that’s how we get better and coming in last and learning something is better than not trying at all.

And finally…

Remember to have fun & try not to take it too seriously, after all its only a competition.

Coach Thor, Lexi and I at the 2013 Winter Challenge (previously the Taranis Titan Challenge)

Coach Thor, Lexi and I at the 2013 Winter Challenge (previously the Taranis Titan Challenge)

Visit Taryn Haggerstone’s blog Go Hard Get Strong for more of her thoughts on training. Follow her on Twitter at @TarynHaggerston and Instagram at @tarynemilyh.

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