Dividing this post into two parts, to give you some insight on what to eat before, during, and after your first competition, and to help prepare you mentally for what’s in store.
First, let’s look at NUTRITION.
Don’t carb-load with a cheat meal in case your stomach doesn’t react to something well. Just eat a normal meal of protein, fat and carbs like sweet potatoes, rice, red meat, chicken with avocado, etc…
At least 2.5hrs prior, get in another normal meal of protein, fat and carbs. This meal is the last time you’ll have fats until the end of the day, so add some bacon to your eggs, sweet potatoes, or if you eat dinner for breakfast like me, then just have another meal of red meat and rice medley.
30min Prior to First WOD
I like to have a carb shake 30min out, to kind of top off the tank. So, I use dextrose here (25g of carbs) but if you don’t have time to buy dextrose and have it arrive before next week, then a mushy banana would work.
Post-WOD and Between WODs
Throw down a shake consisting of 2:1 carbs-to-protein immediately after your workout. Something like a protein shake in coconut water or Gatorade works.
If you have another 2hrs before your next WOD, then you may want to get some solid food down, like another banana or rice and a little chicken, but no fats. Fats will slow down digestion and we need to absorb these proteins and carbs as quickly as possible. If you’re not able to eat; if you’re like me and your sympathetic nervous system is too jacked up after a WOD, then going liquid is fine. Just get in the nutrients. If you’re sticking liquid, and you did your protein and carb shake post-WOD, then you may want to add another pre-WOD shake before each WOD. Also, be careful not to OVER-hydrate between WODs. So, don’t guzzle too much coconut water or Gatorade.
I’m of the belief that you can go full-bore once the comp is over. You basically haven’t had much food all day long and this meal is your first opportunity to add fat back, so go for it. A triple cheeseburger and a shake or four root beers isn’t uncommon for me after a competition. Your next meal can be more inline with your normal protein, fat, carb healthy meal.
Second, let’s look at MENTALITY
No one is going to call your name out when it’s your time to go. Be aware of which heats are going and what time you go. It can be chaotic at a competition, so pay attention. Get there early, look for the other Derby City folks, throw your stuff down together, and familiarize yourself with everything going on around you.
I can’t stress enough the importance of relaxing. Don’t over-hype yourself before or between WODs. Your body is being exposed to an unusual stimulus with this many workouts in one day; so, you want to get it UP as you walk out on the floor for your WOD, then you immediately want to begin to relax afterwards. You may even want to lay down between WODs, by getting off your feet and calming down. When it’s close to your next WOD, warm up again, but keep your adrenaline in check until it’s go-time. Then unleash hell when the WOD starts.
Enjoy the experience. Don’t forget to cheer. Be a supporter of the athletes around you. Don’t get mad if an athlete in a nearby lane bumps you on accident, or takes a spot you had eyed on the pullup rig. It’s tight quarters and everyone’s just trying to move quickly. Also, don’t get mad at a judge if he/she miscounts a rep or two. Just move on and focus on the next rep.
Lastly, you’re likely to perform much differently than you expected in this competition environment. Likely, much better. So, enjoy it, throw out some high fives, and smile.