Greetings fitness folks,
Well it is Open time again. Here are 10 things to consider going into this time of year.
1- Be Smart- Unless you are planning on qualifying for regionals or making some money by winning an open event, risking injury for a few extra reps in an open workout is not worth it.
2- Increase Hydration- By drinking lots of water you can ensure that your muscles and joints are going to be lubricated for the intense work to come. Being properly hydrated will also improve your recovery.
3- Reduce Volume- Depending on how seriously you plan on taking the open, and how much of a "dose" these open workouts give you, it is wise to take it easy throughout the week. If the goal is smashing on Friday, you can have a push on monday or tuesday. Wednesday focus on blood-flow, and recovery. Thursday, light blood flow (round the world, oly flow), and depending on the event, some energy- system specific preparation.
4- Reduce Lifestyle Stress- If you are worried about your finish in the Open and you have spent the last year or two of training with The Open in mind, it will be a stressful 5 weeks for you due to performance anxiety as well as the stress of the workouts themselves. Over-stress will influence your performance and recovery. With this in mind, it is a good idea to try and reduce your lifestyle stress (at least that which you can control) during these 5 weeks as much as possible. Make sure you have some time set out throughout the day/week to relax, breathe slowly, and tap into your parasympathetic nervous system. Granted, it is easier said than done, but ensure relationships are not stressful, work, etc.
5- Increase Rest- This ties into reducing lifestyle stress. The Open is a stressful 5 weeks, so make sure you are resting more than usual. You want to be getting in at least 8 hours of quality sleep. And, if possible, try not to wake up in the middle of the night to watch the wod announcement. Uninterrupted sleep is key.
6- Increase Recovery Efforts- If you are pushing your body to its limits, you will feel the effects of it, especially if you hop in your car right after the metcon, and drive home to sit on the couch. If you are reducing your volume during the open ( which you should), it is a great idea to use the extra time you have for mobility and recovery efforts.
7- Compare- It is hard not to check the leaderboard and compare. Maybe find some adversary in your region or country, and maybe even let your placing determine your value in life for the next 5 weeks (I've been there). Don't fall into this trap. The most important opponent you have during the Open is yourself last year. Even this is a hard comparison to make since the workouts and who you are compared against changes each year. Five workouts chosen by one person on arbitrary dates in the year DOES NOT DEFINE YOUR FITNESS. The open is but one of many possible metrics to measure your fitness.
8- Don't be that guy/girl- Depending on how strict the judging is at the gym, some people may be tempted to add a couple reps, or skip a couple reps to improve their score or placing. Or even not fully extend hips, or count a wall ball rep which was below the line. Honest mistakes happen, especially in the heat of the moment, but don't cheat. It's an old line, but you are truly only cheating yourself. If you get a certain score on a workout this year but cheated, it might take a year of training to get the same score next year for reals.
9- Be positive!- The Open can be a lot of different things to a lot of different people. But, most people do find it intimidating, as it is potentially a more competitive environment than many people may have encountered. So, if you are a fire breather, try to to keep your flames to yourself, and your high-five or cheer might mean a lot to a first-timer. Be positive, cheer loud, support your friends and fellow 46er's. Remember this event is about community and fun for 98% of those taking part.
*If you care about your score and need to "Get in the zone" to do your best. That is totally fine. Find some time to do the workout by yourself during open gym time. Then go cheer on the rest of the crew at night. ;)
10- Have Fun!- Unless fame, money, or big money sponsorships are on the line, the open shouldn't be taken too seriously. Have fun, cheer on your friends, and enjoy the community of great people you are surrounded with.
Here are the next two weeks of programming,
Crossfit 46 Coaching Staff,