Festivus – Competition for the Rest of Us!
-by Nicole Pendill CrossFit RAZE athlete and Festivus competitor
It’s officially Fall, the leaves are changing, pumpkin spice everything has emerged, and quickly closing in on us is the 2017 Festivus Games on October 14th. For a few of us, this isn’t our first rodeo, but for many of our RAZE athletes, this will be a first-time experience in a competition setting. Sure, we know the WODs, and we’ve been practicing, but you can’t really practice certain aspects of a competition day…but there are things we can do to prepare!
What to Expect – General Information
Festivus is a very popular nationwide competition, with thousands of athletes participating in hundreds of boxes. How awesome is it that we get to be one of the hosts?! Naturally, as there are restrictions as to who can host in a certain mile-radius, and when they can host, we are drawing in athletes from quite a distance, not just our own members.
We have 41 teams registered, so 82 athletes competing in heats. But it won’t just be athletes—you know we love to have our family, friends, and non-competing athletes come cheer us on, and then you have to factor in staff. It’s going to be a full house.
Another important thing to be aware of is how the heats will run. You may feel drawn to our volunteers and coaches because you know them better than the sea of people around you. Each division competing will be grouped into heats, and when the volunteers aren’t judging, they will be setting up for the next workouts and heats. So as much as they will want to discuss the awesomeness/craziness of the day and things they’ve seen, they will be working and they will be busy. It is best for those who wish to socialize to do so with their visitors or other competitors.
Bathrooms. 82 competitors will be hydrating themselves all day long, so port-a-potties are going to be on site for athletes and spectators to use at this competition. Yes, you are a RAZE member, but our regular bathroom will not be available for use this day, so be aware that there are going to be outdoor amenities, that way you don’t stand outside the locked gym bathroom waiting for all eternity.
Another thing to remember is there will be a warm-up area available for athletes and it’s encouraged you utilize it! Further down, we will talk warm-up and mobility specifics in more detail, but for now, just know that it will be there.
What to Bring:
If you read nothing else, READ THIS SECTION. You do not want to show up to a competition day unprepared.
One thing people don’t always think about is what they are wearing. Yes, you will show up dressed to work out. Yes, it’s October and it’s cooling off (finally!), but you will be working out in a building with plenty of body heat radiating the place. Don’t dress too warm, but do bring a sweatshirt in case you decide to go outside. Additionally, you are doing four workouts in one day. Think about how much you typically sweat during one workout and how you go home, shower, and change right after. Obviously, you will not be showering between each workout, but you might want to bring an extra outfit or two so you are not sitting in your sweat for hours. A changing area will be available for athletes.
Another thing to remember is food. Duh, working out makes you hungry right? It makes me hangry. If it’s your first time, you might be experiencing a little nervousness that might make you feel like you are not hungry, but you need to fuel up. No, you don’t have to bring breakfast, lunch, and dinner and force yourself to eat it. But it is suggested that you load up a cooler to keep in your car (for space purposes) with water and food that you can periodically chow on. It is not recommended that you try and leave between WODs to grab a quick bite… you will have downtime but there are smarter ways to spend it.
Here’s a few of my favorite foods to take to competitions:
• Granola bars (we have a great recipe in our 6 Week Challenge book!)
• Nuts (almonds, cashews, walnuts, macadamia…variety doesn’t hurt).
• Lunch meat – this works well because it can be kept in your cooler and you can pick up a piece or two here and there as you feel like it
• A small fruit and veggie tray from the store
• Protein power balls (check out my favorite recipe at the end of this blog)
Additional items you may want to think about bringing with you to your competition:
• Small towel
• Extra socks
• Jump rope – Less of a suggestion and more of a requirement, you need this for one of your WODs so don’t forget it
• First aid/band aids, hand care items (in case of any scrapes, bruises, or tears, etc.)
Again, remember that space for storing things will be very minimal so you will likely have to use your vehicle for storage as well. Come prepared, but don’t over pack.
Warm-Up and Mobility
Our beloved coach will have her hands full all day long so it is going to be on YOU to warm yourself up, and you are more than likely going to be doing it outside. Rather than flailing around doing random warm-up movements you sort of remember on the fly from various classes, consider these:
• Standard warm-up – high knees, butt kicks, punt kicks, lunge twists, high skips
• 200m/400m run followed by 3 rounds of 10 air squats, 10 jumping jacks, and 5 burpees (or come up with your own rep scheme, just don’t overdo it)
• Break out your jump rope and do 100 single unders
Mobility is just as important as a warm-up, and you really should be doing mobility on a daily basis. On competition day, mobility before the start is important, but you can use that down time between WODs to do some additional mobility to prepare for the next event. Here’s a few idea based on some of the WODs we will be doing:
• Down Dog at the Wall – https://youtu.be/cWr9xvBHz1o
• Wide Leg Forward Bend with Shoulder Stretch – https://youtu.be/vtNH0sjkxiM
• Wrist Flexion Stretch – https://youtu.be/Rfat8z_tX1I
• Supine Hamstring Stretch – https://youtu.be/8_ONmT2Y_N8
• Reclining Pigeon Pose – https://youtu.be/ft3LyOPdbCw
• “Bretzel” – https://youtu.be/H2gupDUKRbA
• Seated Quad Stretch – https://youtu.be/NBbBfycJJNQ
• Samson Stretch – https://youtu.be/V3-tEdWuTbc
Arrive early. If you are on time, you are late. This will help make parking and check-in a lot quicker and easier for everyone.
Judges have the final say. You may feel like you squatted low enough, but you are not an objective set of eyes during an event, so it is a waste of time for everyone involved to argue.
Do not harass the person inputting scores (she’s incubating her own baseball team so don’t add to her stress). Save yourself the stress and don’t obsess over ranking too much either.
Lastly, remember that you are here to have fun! Don’t stress yourself out over what everyone else is doing, just keep on doing your best!
Protein Power Ball Recipe – No Baking Required!
1/2 cup almond butter (we like Maranatha’s No Sugar or Salt Added Creamy Almond Butter)
1/2 cup protein powder (about 2 scoops—we did this chocolate protein powder but you can get creative here)
1/3 cup coconut flour*, plus 1-2 tablespoons additional as needed
1 1/2 tablespoons honey (or pure maple syrup)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2-4 tablespoons Almond Breeze Unsweetened Vanilla Almondmilk
2 tablespoons chocolate chips (we use Enjoy Life chocolate chips which are soy, dairy, nut, and gluten-free)
In a large bowl, stir together the almond butter, protein powder, 1/3 cup coconut flour, honey, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and 2 tablespoons almondmilk. Stir until the mixture forms a dough that is soft enough to roll into balls, but not overly sticky. Add additional coconut flour or almondmilk as needed to make the mixture more or less dry. Stir in the chocolate chips.
Roll into 12 balls. Enjoy immediately or store in the refrigerator for later.