The 2018 Open is upon us! In the past year, you have no doubt devoted time towards getting stronger, mastering new gymnastics and skills, and building that engine so you can try have a better Open performance than last year, right?
While all the work in the past year IS going to pay off, we wanted to highlight a few under the radar influences of what we call “Gameday performances”. More specifically, we’re talking about optimizing your CrossFit Open workouts. Each and every year we have anomalies and moments of “what is going on” running through our head. The more we pay attention to detail surrounding our Open workout, the more we can help buffer any of those random & silly issues. Some of the most bang for your buck areas to control are:
- Hydration! It may seem simple, but ensuring that you are hydrated can have EXTREME affects on your workout performances. Especially in such a dry climate, athletes can dehydrate anywhere from 2-10% of their body-weight in hydration. If you are a 150 lb athlete and lose just 2% (3 lbs of water= 48 ounces!) thats a lot of hydration and thats on the lower end of a training session. How can you prevent this? Set a routine with hydration a few days out (or all the time if you can). A tall glass of water in the morning, evening, and 1-2 glasses approximately 1-2 hours out from your training session should help quite a bit in maintaining hydration levels.
- Plan your meals! Prior to a hard training session, Open workout, or really anything on the higher end of activity you should have a meal that makes you feel great! If we don’t plan ahead, our meals typically will favor high sodium, dense protein, fats, and fiber (travel meals) which all provide a challenge to the stomach to digest. If your stomach is trying really hard to digest that food, it doesn’t have that extra energy available to provide to you during your workout. Prior to training, athletes should aim to have simple carbohydrates, easily digested protein (powder), and something that makes you feel content (not overly full). Plan these meals out and try to practice with them a few training sessions before hitting one of the Open workouts. On the other side, make sure you have something to put into your system following your Open workout performance. This should be similar to your pre-workout meal; easily digesting carbohydrates & protein. These shakes or meals are best served within 30 minutes or so following your workout. Lastly, you should plan a BIG micro-nutrient dense meal within an hour or 2 following your workout performance. Your body is ready to absorb, repair, and replenish so we want to give it the best chance to do that.
- Sleep & Rest! The work has been put in for the last YEAR or even more. You won’t encourage an optimized performance by focusing energy through the week on more workouts, more intensity, and more volume. The Open is a stressful time of year simply because the workouts can only be planned for to a limited extent. Unknown workouts, typically higher volume, lots of gymnastics, lots of barbell or weight cycling, lots of online interaction, etc…That’s A LOT! Focus any extra energy you have on productive recovery methods & getting extra rest. The more sleep you get the lower chances you have to sustain an injury OR aggravate certain nagging issues your body might have. It’s a time for the body to recharge, heal, and fill it’s energy stores for the following day.
Of course there are other factors that can contribute to your Open performances, but these are SIMPLE and easily implemented even just a few days out from the first Open Workout. If you want to refine these points above a bit further for your individual journey, reach out to Coach Nate (firstname.lastname@example.org) and he’d be happy to help!