Training for your competition
Our latest guest blog is written by Alex Clarke from CrossFit Tonbridge.
Where and how do I focus my training?
This is the biggest question I had to ask myself after returning to competitive CrossFit after taking a 3 year break.
After deciding to re-enter myself into competitive CrossFit, I decided to enter the European Championships online qualifiers, with one major change I will now be competing as a Master (over 35). Even though the events and exercises involved would be very similar to the qualifiers I had done previously, I had one main consideration; what was my competition’s level, strengths and weaknesses. Without knowing this a lot of my training could become pointless, for example I could spend hours & hours focusing on getting a 120kg snatch which would have been a reasonable target to hold my own 3 years ago in the open category, however this would be pointless if the other competitors in my new category only snatched 100kg and the time taken building up a 120kg snatch would be better spent working on other areas.
Previously I had always given myself minimum strength levels, wod times and cardio times to achieve ie 135kg clean & jerk, sub 2:30 Fran time and a sub 7 min 2km row. These results would not win me events but were what I felt was the minimum to compete at a high level. If any area was under this then I would concentrate my training efforts on that area until it met the requirements. I had made the standards from looking at the results of other competitions and what other competitors were achieving. The aim was not to win every event but was to place highly on any event given.
Moving into the Masters category I now had to re assess these figures. I had to look at the results and events of other competitions. What I noticed was the Master events were generally lighter but the competitors had good ‘engines’. What this meant for me was I could not rely on being stronger at barbell movements than others (something I was before) as the weights are not heavy enough to slow the other competitors down. This meant I would now have to build my cardio, movement speed and endurance on lighter weights to keep up with the competitors in my new category rather than spending masses of time on strength which was needed for the individual events 3 years ago.
How might this effect you?
In any sport you need to access how you compare to your competitors. There’s no point working masses of cardio if you’re not strong enough or building strength if your stronger than everyone else but haven’t got the skill set to beat them. My advice is to look at your competition and work on any weak areas in comparison to the other athletes. If you can be slightly better than them at every aspect then you will win while if you leave one weakness you leave yourself open for defeat, even if every other area is better than them.
Find out a little bit more about CrossFit Tonbridge here: