I am going to try to write this blog post in the 30 minutes that I’ve allowed myself!  As a leading mobile personal trainer in Fulham I have my first CrossFit competition since the 2017 Open coming up in 10 days I wanted to discuss training and injury.  In particular the need to manage training load and potential injury.  Training is progressing well but with a small competition on the horizon it does throw a few new factors into the mix.  Managing regular training versus competition specific training needs thought.   Does regular training need to make way for competition specific training?  Training loads heading into the competition need careful thought too.  Each of us is different and will approach these issues in different ways.


Importance of the competition specific training

In any training programme for a given sport or activity, some events or competitions will be more important than others.  This distinction is made relative to the goals you have set yourself.  If the competition is big or important then fitness training programmes should be modified in the build up to the competition.  Strength and conditioning sessions should reflect the demands of the event.  It is also important to manage the training load (volume and intensity) so that you arrive at competition day fit enough to do your best.

For those competitions that are not seen as important then training doesn’t change that much.  They may be impromptu or simply being used to gauge progress thus far.  Small competitions cause less disruption to your training programme.   Training can continue as normal for the most part with perhaps a little bit of additional rest built in beforehand to ensure the competition is a true reflection of progress.


The demands of the competition

If done properly, competitions should reflect training.  If the demands of the competition differ from the training being performed then it will be of little value.  So choose competitions that will show you how far you have come in your fitness training.  This means that the content of training does not need to vary much from normal.  If competition does provide different movements then be sure to allow enough practice time in training.  There is little value in competing if your skill level is not going to allow you to show how far your fitness has improved.


Competing in Fitness – a personal perspective

I am ten days out from my first competition.  Scale the Heights is a Masters CrossFit competition run from the Reading box.   It’s not considered a highly important one for me.  I simply wanted a basic level competition to gauge training progress thus far.  My training week is so varied anyway that I haven’t needed to change my content much at all.  Also, the competition chosen contain only the basic movements for CrossFit.  In keeping with the importance of the event, competition specific training load will not change much over the next week.  Perhaps an extra rest day next week and less training volume a couple of days out.

What has had to adapt though is the conditioning work that I do.  Workouts that I will be competing in are published ahead of time.  I know what I’ve got to do.  Vital seconds and repetitions can be found by practicing the events beforehand.  Shave a few seconds here in transition and attack a little harder there in a workout can make a big difference in the final standings.  In CrossFit it’s probably foolish to not practice the event.  Experience helps.  Therefore, some conditioning work in the next 10 days will be devoted to practicing elements of the workouts.