This week’s question is more is more of a discussion that I have been engaging in with fellow CrossFitters. Several friends have mentioned an interest in competing in sectional competitions. They often ask if I think they are ready and how they should prepare. I have noticed in recent visits to CrossFit affiliates that several athletes have posted the goal of qualifying for Regionals.
My advice is generally the same. If competition is something you think you will enjoy or competition motivates you – then go for it. The key word in this being “you”. To compete is a personal choice, one that only you can make for yourself. We all have different reasons for wanting to compete, I ask you to think about your reasons, and ensure that they are your own.
Being ready is a relative term. Everyone that enters the sectionals is not going to be a CrossFit beast, for example, they don’t all have 3 minute Fran times. Sectionals are an opportunity for local athletes to get together, have a great time, and compete. Ready is a state of mind, and ready has to do with self confidence. My opinion is that if you are injury free and have been training consistently – then you are ready.
I am not saying that everyone that trains 5 days a week should be competing. I have recently come across some guidelines for making a decision that I feel are pretty good. The below guidelines are from the 2010 CrossFit Games SoCal sectional Facebook page:
FEMALE ATHLETES: On the fence about whether to compete? Wondering whether your times for various workouts in the “ballpark”? We compiled a list of crossfit workouts and their times/scores to help you make the decision: Helen – 8:30 – 11:45; Jackie – 7:00 – 10:58; Filthy 50 – 24:00 – 34:00; Fight Gone Bad – 250-350;… Nancy – 13:00 – 17:00. If your times are in those ranges, what are you waiting for… SIGN UP!
In addition, I would say that you should be able to complete all of the benchmark workouts with rx’d weights. If you are not quite there yet, I recommend that you contact your local sectional host and find out if scaling is allowed.
Most importantly, focus on the journey and not the destination. Qualifying for Regionals has many variables outside of your control. Set goals that you can quantify as you progress and that are completely independent of the performance of others. For example – I would like to have a 4 minute Fran, 21 minute 5K and 800lb CrossFit Total by the time Regionals comes around. This will allow you to have a tangible, valid measure of your success that is based on your personal growth.
Regardless, good luck in your pursuit!