I’ve been working out at Four Barrel CrossFit for a little over three years, minus that one time I had a baby and a minor back injury that sidelined me for a couple months. I consider myself to be a totally average CrossFitter, but I love it. I’ve accomplished things that I really never expected to do in my whole entire life. In high school, I could never do a pull up or climb a rope, but now that I am 34 I can do both! CrossFit has made me physically and mentally stronger in other areas of my life, as well. I am much more willing to try new things and I am just more adventurous in general.
Which brings me to today’s topic…I had been thinking about entering a CrossFit competition for a while, but it took me a really long time to finally bite the bullet. To be totally honest with you, I have a bit of a competitive streak that stopped me from entering a competition for fear of coming in dead last against a group of elite female athletes. I am not elite. I am average, remember? Maybe that sounds horrible and like I am a sore loser, but I just know what my ability level is and I prefer to compete against people who are on my level instead of lightyears above it. I’d rather just yell and cheer for those awesome people from the sidelines. 🙂
Last year, Kevin competed in the Festivus Games at CrossFit the Tracks outside of Cincy so when it rolled around again this past October, I knew it would be a good fit. It was totally not intimidating and it is really geared toward first-time competitors. Even so, I entered the Novice (read: beginner) division because I was not yet up to speed on the skills needed for the Intermediate division. The workouts were released prior to the event so I knew what I was getting myself into and I knew I needed a good plan for what to eat before, during and after the workouts. These are the workouts for the upcoming round of the Festivus Games if you want to get an idea of what the workouts are like.
Even though most of the workouts were short, they were INTENSE and I knew I needed to get some easy-to-digest carbs and protein in my pie hole between workouts. I really had my mind set on trying to fuel this competition with real food so I did a little research and put a plan together. I also had a little help from one of my coaches, Derek, who helped me figure out what I would need and when. I guess my plan worked because I placed third in my division! Here is what I came up with:
CrossFit Competition Food Prep
I prepped all of my food the night before (hence the horrible lighting in the above photo) because we were already getting up super-early to make the drive to Cincinnati. I know this looks like a lot of food, but since this was my first competition I had absolutely no idea what I would be hungry for. I wasn’t planning on eating all of it; I just like to have options. This is what I made/packed:
- Grilled chicken breasts with salt and pepper
- Baked sweet potato with honey
- Macadamia nuts
- Apple slices
- Epic Bars
- Lara Bars
- Coconut water
- Peanut Butter Protein Balls (click the link to get the recipe)
With my meal-prep complete, I tried to get as much sleep as possible to get ready for the big day. That 5:00am came pretty early, but I was so excited/nervous that I popped right out of bed.
CrossFit Competition Breakfast
For breakfast, I had a simple meal of two slices of bacon and two eggs. Derek recommended I load up on carbs the night before, so I had a stir-fry with rice, veggies and chicken for dinner and stuck with protein and fat for breakfast. This combo is good because it digests slowly and gives you long-lasting fuel for your workout, but it isn’t so much food that your body will be busy digesting instead of helping you pick up a heavy barbell. I also had coffee, but that was a mistake. Nervous stomach + coffee = desperately searching for a decent looking gas station somewhere on I-71. Way TMI, but hopefully it’ll stop you from making the same mistake I did.
CrossFit Competition Snacks Between Workouts
This particular competition consisted of three workouts, one floater WOD and then the final WOD for the top five athletes. This competition was on the smaller side so I only had about 45 minutes to an hour between workouts. I was expecting to have more time so this made me really happy that I brought so many options. I didn’t want to eat an entire chicken breast and half of a sweet potato only to have it come back up during the next workout. The first workout consisted of rowing, ring rows and thrusters. It lasted a total of about 8 to 10 minutes. After the first workout, I drank a little bit of water and ate two of the Peanut Butter Protein Balls. That was all my stomach could handle and I was mostly focused on getting my arms to stop shaking before I had to head back out there.
WOD 2 was all deadlifts and my legs were really feeling it after! I ate about half a chicken breast and a few bites of sweet potato. I also downed one of my coconut waters, because electrolytes. I have to admit that I only like coconut water if it is ice cold. Warm coconut water tastes like, well, sweat. I drank it anyway, because I knew my body needed it.
WOD 3 was probably the worst six minutes of my life. It was called the “IHop Lose Your Lunch Special” and consisted of 12-10-8-6-4-2 of burpee plate jumps, plate overhead lunges and sit ups. I have never moved so fast in my entire life. My system was in overdrive after that so I had a couple more Peanut Butter Protein Balls and some water and cooled down a bit before the floater WOD, which was max back squats in two minutes.
I was in the first heat so I did have some time to rest while I waited to find out if I made it to the finals. I finished up my chicken breast and sweet potato and drank a little coconut water. When they announced that I had made it to the finals, I really wasn’t sure if I had another workout in me, especially because I had no idea what it would be. Luckily, it was super-short. Just 30 seconds of thrusters followed by 30 seconds ofRussian kettle bell swings and then I was done for good. Whew.
When the whole thing was said and done, I actually felt pretty good. I didn’t eat too much or not enough. I was like the Goldilocks of workout fueling! 😉 I was definitely tired, but I still had enough energy to come home and take Avery swimming and go for a short walk. I really didn’t know if I had given it enough to make it to the podium, so I was really surprised when I placed third in my division! I would have been happy no matter how things turned out because what I was really excited about was getting that first competition out my system. Now, I am already signed up for my second competition in January and I’m not nearly as nervous.
Survivor Post-Workout Meal
Now for the important stuff..the post-competition meal. Here is my number one tips. Eat. All. The. Things. Normally, I would advise you to focus on protein and carbs post-workout, but after a big competition, just eat what sounds good and treat yo’self. The box where the competition was held is conveniently located next door to Chipotle so we headed straight there for a huge burrito bowl with rice, chicken, veggies, salsa, lettuce and guac. Then we went to Starbucks for more coffee before the long drive home. I ate lots more things later in the day and I suggest you do the same. If you are hungry, just eat. And then sleep. And then start searching for your next competition!
Have you ever entered a CrossFit competition?
What did you use to fuel up between workouts?