Many athletes are finding themselves wondering what their next step should be.
Regardless of your placement on the leaderboard, you should be proud. As the first step in a lengthy process to find the fittest men and women on earth, the Open also serves as a great opportunity to compete against yourself and focus on self-improvement.
Let’s face it, the past five weeks have been brutal. Our bodies have gone through stress in many different shapes and forms. From the anticipation before a workout announcement to the actual physical stress of doing the workouts (sometimes more than once in a three-day period), our bodies could use some rest.
Here are two things that every athlete should be focusing on over the next few weeks.
1. Reflect, Reflect, Reflect
It is fairly easy to reflect on the workouts and identify which movements held you back because your scores will indicate where you succeeded and where you struggled. Most experienced coaches can help you improve those areas of your fitness. However, the more difficult piece of reflection which needs to be made is whether or not you did all you could outside of the gym to set yourself up for success. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Was I fully committed to my training throughout the entire year? Or did I procrastinate until just a few weeks prior?
- How was my recovery leading up to, and during, the open?
- Was I sleeping enough?
- Did my eating habits support my training or did they hinder my recovery?
- How did I handle adversity?
- What was my mindset like?
- Was I confident in myself?
Be honest with yourself here. Did your actions align with your goals? If not, make yourself a commitment to change so you are better prepared for the next competition you enter!
2. Rest – Refill Your Water Bucket
Imagine your health and energy is a bucket of water. Everyday, there are things that fill that bucket up with water. These inputs include sleep, proper nutrition, and other recovery methods. At the same time, there are forces that drain water out of the bucket. These outputs include physical stress from working out, poor sleep, inadequate nutrition, and mental stress. These outputs, big or small, can cause a significant loss of water over time. The Open was a five-week, stressful competition that drained our buckets of a large amount of water. In order to refill the bucket, we need to rest. Spend some time outside of the gym and don’t worry about working out for awhile. Your body (and mind) will appreciate it!
A week or two outside of the gym will not have a drastic negative affect on your fitness. In fact, it will only allow your batteries to recharge so you can have a successful off-season! More is not always better.
Better is better.
If you are looking for guidance in how to properly structure your off-season or have any other questions related to training and/or recovery, just send me a message!