22218 Training vs Competing
Four 3:00 rounds of
15 Med Ball Cleans
Row Max Calories
Wait isn't this CrossFit? Is there a difference between competing and training? Yes and No. But for the purpose of this blog post and the next 5 weeks, certainly yes, there is a difference. It may not be what you think. It comes down to your mindset for a workout or gym session. Traditionally you would think, "ok I'm just training so I'm going to be conservative and save my 100% for when I'm competing." In CrossFit, and probably most sports, that couldn't be further from the truth. We have what is commonly referred to as a "Red Line." The red line refers to your maximal effort, or your 100%. The red line is really defined by your capacity to maintain that effort. It is short, very short, and if it isn't very short, it isn't truly your red line. Also, if you've truly reached your red line, not only is it short lived, but it takes a long time to recover from initially during your workout and after as well.
In training, it is most beneficial to touch that red line and have a good idea of where it is. We have great physical and mental adaptations from going to that "pain cave" or "dark place" as the red line is also described. We always want to be moving that red line further and further. Our bodies and work capacities change, but we also glean knowledge that is really really helpful to competition.
The opposite is true in competition. We need to have a good idea of where our maximal output is so that we can work towards it, but not fully to it. At least until the very end of the competition. I love watching true CrossFit competition like the Open, Regionals, and the Games. The top athletes are always composed and try to move flawlessly. Make no mistake, their capacity is extremely high, but they never really make it all the way there until the end of an event if they have to. They don't look like spazzes, they move like Swiss Watches. With the Open, I want to you to consider this, you should continually be getting repetitions. Unless there is a really high skilled movement or a load that you struggle with, you need to try moving at a pace you can move consistently . Think about running or rowing. If the workout is 14:00, what pace would you need to run at so that you never have to slow down even a little bit? You aren't locked into that pace for 14:00, but you have an advantage of being able to speed up at the end, when most people are stuck staring at a barbell or burpee because they started at a pace they can't maintain. When you already know your capacity, because you've gone there in training, starting out slower than everybody isn't quite as scary. It's actually pretty cool to be maybe a full round behind someone only to slowly catch them and then even pull ahead by a full round because you still have something in the tank!
In the Open, wise competitors begin VERY conservatively and foolish ones try to win in the first round. A commonly discussed rule is 80/80. Live at 80% effort for 80% of the workout. At the beginning of the WOD it should look like you're following the 50/80 rule. 50% effort quickly begins to feel like 80% effort especially in an Open WOD. Slow is Smooth and Smooth is Fast!
This wisdom in competing doesn't come without it's own pitfalls though. Seasoned CrossFitters often compete (80/80) too often when they should actually be training (100%). They fail to find their Red Line as often as they should. Beginners go to the pain cave often because it's all they know. To be honest, we don't do things like Fran or Karen or Cindy as often as we should because I'm a wuss and know what they feel like. Fran is the last thing I want to do.
For the benefit of your body and recovery for the next 5 weeks, I recommend you adopt a Competition Mindset for every session (80/80). It's easier on your body and good practice. Finding your Red Line on a Thursday or Friday after already training all week, makes recovery for your Open WOD unlikely. If you do these next five weeks right, you should feel as fresh as you do on a Monday for your Open Workout.
Here are your hiOpen final rosters. There is still time to register and we'll put you on a team if you're interested! Very special shout out to Matt's original team and their recruiting efforts! Team Sprinkles will get a week one bonus for peer pressure! I spread the wealth and evened out the team sizes to make for a really fun and fair experience. This roster is the most current so check it out and see where you ended up. Lets say you thought you were going to be on team Sprinkles ("sprinkles are for winners") and you already spent $40 on sprinkle booty shorts for your week one team spirit outfit. Go ahead and rock those sprinkle booty shorts and you'll get the team spirit points for your own card.
Robots- Devin, Ruby, Mark, Suzy, John, Darion, Addyrae, Ashton
Sprinkles- Matt M., Amy, Amy, Kate, Sandy, Rebecca, Tom, Andrew W., Niki
Elegance- MacLarin, Laura S., Jeanelle, Micah, Cody, Kasia, Anthony, Maria
Team USA- Chris, Josh, Brad, Katie, Shawna, Devon, Perry, Darby,
Silent But Deadly- Melissa, Titus, Mike, Misty, Jessica, Shae, Matt J, Stephanie, Janna
Splash Mountain- Justin, Rick, Ben, Jason, Ashton, Collin, Brittney, Kelly
'Roid Rage- KyLee, Rachael, Kim, Lisa, Angie, Yturri, Chelsea, Kylie
Should your name be on the list? Check it out. Let me know.