Oktoberfest Obliteration is over but the only thing that really means is that competition season has finally begun for the 2012-2013 year. I think I may have bitten off more than I can chew this season but it will be a good test to see how well I can manage a high volume of competition without letting my actual training suffer. It's easy to get caught up in competitions, but if you allow yourself to do that, you may end up sacrificing your training. What I mean is, you end up putting too much into the actual competition so the week before and the week of, you may end up slacking a bit on your actual training to be "fresh" for the competition that weekend. This is all well and good but when you're signed up for as many comps as I am, you have to really prioritize. So far, my competition season looks like this:
October 20th- Oktoberfest Obliteration IV
November 3rd- BCS Games in College Station
November 10th- Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon
December 8th- ACO in Dallas
December 15th- Get Fit or Die Mayan Team Comp.
January 5th- H-Town Throwdown Partner Comp.
January 19th & 20th- Fittest Games in Austin (as long as I get in)
Then the 2013 CrossFit Open should start sometime in February! Whew that is crazy! It looks much crazier when you put them all down on paper like that. So like I was saying, if I don't prioritize then I may end up slacking off in my actual training when most of these competitions are just for fun! I mean all competitions are for fun but there are some that I know I want to be totally fresh for and there's some that I am going to treat like just another day of training.
For anybody that intends to tackle this many competitions along with preparing for the Open, Regionals and beyond, there are definitely a few things that are going to be essential to stay ready and to not become over-trained.
The first one is obviously nutrition. Right now I am about 85% Paleo. I am not perfect nor do I really intend to be for the long run. I am feeling like I am running with about 5-8 extra lbs on me right now and will need to really buckle down if I'm going to get them off but I still believe the majority of my diet is right on. I get plenty of protein (probably too much) mostly from grass-fed or pastured meats that I buy from Yonder Way Farms. I eat veggies regularly and get enough fat. My non-Paleo treats include starbucks drinks, lara bars (paleo but mostly sugar still), and even an occasional cupcake or pancake (I know, there's my extra 5lbs right there). The core of my nutrition is where it needs to be and I am doing well with nutrient timing so I have been recovering from my workouts and competitions well so far.
The second important factor to prevent over-training is sleep. You have to get enough sleep if you intend to stay lean, build muscle, recover from your workouts and most importantly manage stress. Exercise is a physical stress. Your job, family duties, finances, relationships....those are all mental stressors. Here's the catch though, your body can't tell the difference between the two. So if you have a shit ton of mental stress right now, and you are trying to work out 5 days a week and you are running on no sleep, you are going to get overtrained and your performance will suffer. You also probably will be no fun to be around. Make it a priority to get enough sleep. There are definitely nights when that is not going to happen. The trick is taking advantage of the nights when you can get enough sleep. Part of sleep is actually training and routine. Meaning you have to train yourself to go to bed earlier. When you first start to do this, you will end up just laying in bed at first wondering why you are there. But eventually, after many, many nights of laying there, your body will begin to adjust and you will fall asleep. So start tonight. Go to bed 30 minutes earlier.
The third is taking care of your body physically. Whether that means mobility, getting massages, acupuncture or visiting your favorite Airrosti provider, you need to give your body some love (hey nobody said being competitive was cheap).
Lastly I think the key to keeping it all together is proper supplementation. If we want to be high performance athletes, then there's no way around this. You absolutely can't get everything you need from food alone.
So hopefully, with this combination, I'll make it through this competition season ready to take on the Open! Happy WODing!