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First things first, congratulations on completing your first (or not) Open! It’s not easy putting your fitness to the test and laying it all out there. So congratulations!
After 5 weeks of waking up every Friday morning and either checking Facebook or going to the Games website to check the Open WOD, the stress is finally over. You have been through overhead lunges, chest to bar pull-ups, heavy cleans, power snatches, toes-to-bar and been through to hell and back in the dreaded thruster / burpee over the bar suckfest.
Your body has been under a lot of stress and rightly so, as the Open workouts are never an easy task. Not only is it a physical challenge, but also psychological. You not only put your physical capacities to the test, but you also push your mental barriers every single week.
Now that it is over, we will enjoy the performances of all of the elite in our sport in Regionals and the Games.
What does this mean for 99% of us? Does it mean we get to go back to bed and eat like there’s no tomorrow?
If you answered yes, we will kindly point you in the direction of the closest Zumba class. If you answered no, then you can go enjoy a Zumba class in your active recovery day and get back to work!
It means we have 11 months to work on our so many weaknesses that the Open reveals every year.
11 months is a long time.
Open workouts are great, but don’t forget that these only represent a fraction of the number of workouts that you do throughout the rest of the year.
As mentioned before, we now have a much clearer idea on the weaknesses we need to improve. So what’s next?
1. Establish an honest summary of your CrossFit Open
You know exactly how prepared you were coming into 16.1. It is time for you to have a look back on your performances on each of the Open workouts.
Here are a couple of questions to help you along the way?
– Did you perform as well as you thought?
– Did your workout go according to the plan you established?
– If not, why? What failed?
– Did you establish a strategy?
– If not, why?
– Which physical skill hurt your overall performance?
– How did you feel mentally?
– How was your nutrition, sleep and stress level prior to, and during the Open?
The list could go on and on, but this is a good starting point.
It’s extremely important to reflect on your performances, not only to learn from mistakes but to also improve and build on good points.
You have to make an honest summary on how you did. Don’t sugarcoat it, be honest. It’s the first step towards improvement.
Then you need to analyse it thoroughly. What exactly hindered your performance?
Were you too slow on your lifts? Not strong enough? Not efficient enough in bodyweight movements? Not enough endurance? Or did you feel sluggish?
Also, remember how you felt mentally. Did you psyche yourself out of the workout by fear of under-performing?
Or did you even psyche yourself up too much and blew up mid-way through?
There are so many things to think about, but it all starts with an honest evaluation of yourself.
2. Establish a strategy to make yourself a better all-round athlete
Now that you have precious data about your performance, you need to make a strategy to improve. If strength was your issue, then put a little extra work towards that. If bodyweight movements were your weakness, then spend a little bit more time becoming more efficient. Same goes for all of the other areas.
Just keep in mind that 11 months is plenty of time, but it never hurts to organise it so you don’t find yourself starting a squat cycle 1 week before 17.1.
3. Keep working consistently. Consistency equals success
Don’t be impatient with your goals. Remember that small improvements over a long period of time means greater overall success.
Don’t rush and try taking any shortcuts, as this could result in slower progress or even worse in injury. Focus on one thing at a time, and keep chipping away at it.
Don’t get discouraged as things will become difficult and there will be times when they may seem impossible. But it’s at these times that you need to keep your head down and just keep on working.
The reality is that everyone focuses on the end product, but they never think of all the hard work that goes into it.
Be ready to face some tough times, but don’t forget that you are not alone and that you have a wonderful circle of training partners and coaches to help you along the way.