The Post Competition Blues…
By Paul Dyck
This post may be a little overdue as I have heard this from people who have competed in past events and felt like they didn’t know what to do and where to go after a competition.
I have seen this happen to athletes in Triathlon, Marathons, Adventure Races, and CrossFit events. You put so much time, effort, and energy into your training and your main focus are on this event. Sometimes it’s for a whole year sometimes the goal is years away and once you get there and it’s over you say “Now What?”
This is a normal occurrence that happens to some athletes post competition and I have some suggestions to help with how to recover and refocus.
This is the most important part in my mind. Take time to absorb, celebrate, and evaluate your event and performance. Always look at the positives first and write it down!
-Ask yourself did you had fun?
-Did you enjoy the experience?
-What was the best part about the event?
-What did you learn about yourself?
-What movements or aspects are you particularly proud of?
-What surprised you about yourself during the competition?
Once you’ve come up with an awesome stuff that you’re proud of then look at some of the things you’d like to improve on.-What were you weakest at?
-How was your lead up to the event? Did you get enough sleep? Did you taper well? Were you sore or under-recovered going into the event?
-What were you weakest at?
-Did you forget anything (equipment, nutrition, recovery tools, your “A” game)?
-What movements could you get better at to maintain maximum efficiency during competition.
-What do you think was lacking to be able to perform better (strength, cardio, speed, mobility (to allow you to hit required positions better), precision in your lifts?
If your goal is to get better then these are the things you need to think about and assess. During or after a competition I hear people talk about all the negatives and what they could have done better and how things could have been different if…
Make sure your self evaluation and expectations are realistic. If you are mad because you missed a lift that you only hit once before five months ago when the planets were all in line you probably shouldn’t expect to hit it in competition with stress, fatigue, and adrenaline all around, Sometimes that’s a good thing and someimes that’s a bad thing.
Some suggestions I have about looking forward and avoiding the blues…
1. Take some rest!
Taking a few days off will help you to recover from the mental and physical fatigue of the event. Thinking about how you should have been able to do something then trying to do it the next day or a couple days later is a great way to get injured. The body needs time to recover from the stress of competition. I know runners who have been mad at half or full marathon times or times so the very next day they go and pound out an interval workout as punishment like an “I’ll show you” type attitude then end up injured and cant run for 6+ months. CrossFitter’s are no different. They’ll head back into the gym and try to hit that lift they missed in competition. Even this year some of our members came to class the very next day to take part and couldn’t even get out of their cars normally or walk properly. I told them they could row 5 or 10k and that’s it. The 10k was kind of a joke but they did it (note to self, don’t give options)
CrossFitter’s are no different. They’ll head back into the gym and try to hit that lift they missed in competition. Even this year some of our members came to class the very next day to take part and couldn’t even get out of their cars normally or walk properly. I told them they could row 5 or 10k and that’s it. The 10k was kind of a joke but they did it (note to self, don’t give options)
I love a two day CrossFit competition because it I typically take a week off from anything in the gym and do something different. Get out on the bike, swim, walk some trails at Birds Hill Park. This will allow your body and mind some time to recover and refocus.
CrossFit athletes do not to have much of an off season so taking 3-5 days off post competition isn’t a bad thing. Hammering out a tough workout a day or two after competition will leave you feeling like S*#@. Your brain might be pumped and ready but once you get into it your body won’t be as responsive.
2. Set some goals!
This could be another event, this could be mastering some skills, this could be putting a major focus on your Oly lifts and mobility. Figure out where you would like to be and know what you need to do to get there. If you’re willing to put in the work then there’s no reason why you can’t get there. Make sure those goals are SMART Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time Oriented. Also make sure they are well balanced and in line with the rest of your life.
3. Remember how far you’ve come.
This is an important one. I’m always wanting more from myself and from all of the members here at Starke. It’s always good to remember how far you’ve come in the past month, six months, year, three years, etc…
I honestly think that there will never be a day where I say “Yeah I’m good with where I’m at. I can stop now.” Occasionally I do look back and say “This is F*#@ing awesome let’s see what else I can do. ”
Stay hungry my friends… 😉