The Open, Part 5: Preparation: How to Fulfill Your Athletic Potential – By Coach Fedde

As coaches, we’ve had our share of workouts where we’ve bombed and workouts where we’ve felt unstoppable. In the Open, we want you to feel unstoppable. So, here are some tips on how you might prepare for Open workouts each week.

Food, drink, and sleep

The Open can be a place where you push yourself a little harder than usual. To be sure you have plenty of fuel in the tank before workouts and a quick recovery after – you’ll want to pay attention to nutrition, hydration, and sleep throughout the open.

🍉🍳 Eat balanced meals with real, whole food (food that you make – or could make if forced to) throughout the week. Aim to have a little something in your stomach before the workout. Have a little something to eat after the workout (with a main focus on carbs and protein for quick digestion).

Listen to your body, eat in your own way, and use foods you know, trust, and enjoy.

💦 Drink plenty of water. If you aren’t hydrated, it will effect your performance and your recovery. Hydration is different for everyone, but a rough goal might be about 80 oz of water per day.

❌🍺 Alcohol will dehydrate you. Skip the alcohol and stick with water (or sparkling water if you’re feeling fancy).

😴 Get plenty of sleep and rest. Aim for 8 hours of sleep – especially Wednesday and Thursday nights.

🧘 Taper your workouts leading up to Open workouts. If you workout on Wednesday and Thursday, be intentional about moderating your intensity those days. At home or as a cool down, get some quality time in with a lacrosse ball and your favorite mobility exercises.

Assess

Each Thursday night at 7 p.m., CrossFit will release an Open workout with an explanation. You can watch the announcements with friends at Sabertooth or at your convenience online at Games.CrossFit.com.

While slightly different compared to last year, the workout announcements will be performed live and you’ll be able to watch athletes perform the workouts. We will keep an ear to the ground on who comes out with good post-workout commentary and strategy – stay tuned.

Once you feel you have a good understanding of the workout, start thinking about what you’re realistically capable of. Think about the movement, weight, equipment, and time-frames involved – how does it relate to other workouts you’ve done? How are you feeling? Are you sore or tired from other workouts? Are you feeling fresh and ready to go?

From that, figure out if it’s a workout that you want to do Scaled or Rx.

Once you know which version you’ll do, start to set some rough expectations for how the workout might feel for you. What sort of pace will you set for yourself? Is there built-in rest, or will you have to find it?

Once you have a good mental picture of how you think the workout is going to go down, test parts of it out in your warmup.

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Warm up

A good warm-up is important for performing your best. We will provide a suggested warm-up but you may choose to do alternate or additional movements that suit you best.

It’s a great time to try out a strategically shortened version of the workout or certain movements involved before it’s go-time. This will not only get your joints and muscles moving so you can perform the movements at your highest level, but will also give you an idea of what to expect.

You might focus on practicing a movement you’re less comfortable with. You might focus on a couple of key transitions between different movements or pieces of equipment.

Do…

  • stuff that will get your heart rate up and make you a little sweaty. If you’re still comfortable wearing your hoodie and your sweatpants, you’re probably not warm.
  • movements that are in the workout (or are similar to movements in the workout)
  • your favorite warm-up movements.
  • dynamic stretches (opposed to static ones that you hold for extended periods of time).

If space on the gym floor is tight for warm-ups and cool-downs, we can spread out into the upstairs studio.

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Solidify your game plan

You have a good idea of what the workout is like on paper and in real life. Coaches will give thorough briefings on the workouts as well as tips and suggestions for how to approach the workout.

The last step is to solidify your game plan in your mind. Talk it through out-loud, or quietly in your head a few times so that when you hear “GO” you’re already gone.

This also a good time to prep for any mental battles. That is, prepare for the moment in the workout when a sliver of negativity sneaks into your thoughts. Aim to keep those slivers small and squelch them early by challenging them.

Have mantra ready, go back to an intention that you set. It can be as simple as “BREATHE” or “YOU ARE STRONG.” One of my favorites is from The Help, “you is kind, you is smart, you is important.” It really has nothing to do with wallballs and bear crawls, but it can crowd out my negative thoughts in an instant.

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3…2…1…GO!

This is it – you’ve prepped for this moment. You may have some butterflies in your stomach… you might not. You have a solid plan, you’re warm, you know what you need to do. Go for it!

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