I want people to do well in their life. So I provide them with a gym where, if they do what I tell them, they will thrive. This will be through adjustments in their training, diet, lifestyle, and attitude. And this all happens through specifically programed workouts, atmosphere, coaching, and all of the other luxuries CrossFit Mean Streets provides, haha.
One of the things that I push to my clients is competing. Entering an actual event where you will be comparing yourself to others, your results will be posted online, and you will have to finish, or quit in front of others, is a tough thing to accomplish. However, I believe that this mirrors actual life. I am not training people to just be good in the gym. I care about the other 23 hours of their day. I know for a fact that people who do well in my gym will do well in the real world. I see it happen, I see the improvements in people’s lives. And to me, we are all competing for jobs, mates, shelter, and food. We have been for millions of years. Practicing in competitions athletically will carry over and enhance your life.
Many people have told me “I will compete when I am ready”,… or “I don’t want to be in last, I need more time”. I feel that this needs to be addressed. Because entering a competition, be it CrossFit, Endurance, or sports in general, one needs more than just to know the sport. There is much more to an event than just performing, and one needs practice at that stuff also.
If you want to eventually win the CrossFit Games you cannot wait till you are beating everyone in the world’s times on paper to start competing. This in theory looks like it is a good strategy but there is a whole strategy to competition. Things occur in competitions that do not occur in your everyday training. You have to pay attention and know these things in order to do well in competitions. I am talking about things like:
How you handle adrenaline
How to refuel when you are at an event
What shoes to wear
Paying attention to judges (I have been majorly punished by having a bad judge, on more than one instance)
How the timing of workouts is going to effect you
How much injury can you risk
How much water to drink
How you are going to spend your free time: mingling/stretching/relaxing/watching/talking pictures or focusing
and there is a bunch more stuff.
I have done three foot races in my life. I want to share with you what I learned with each one. I am not built for running, and my feet and ankles are destroyed from earlier in my life. But I would rather enter a race for long distance training than do it alone in a park. And because I have had a taste of racing, I want to start winning these things. But it isn’t going to happen until I learn all the lessons I need to learn. And I will only learn these lessons by doing the competitions themselves, over and over again.
Race #1 2010 LA Mud Run:
This was about 5 miles. 1st mile was obstacles, then 3 miles of pavement, then back through the obstacles. It was a crappy mud run, and I will never do again. But I placed 1st in age group, 7th overall.
-I was the first to get out of all the obstacles, which means I am really good at difficult obstacles
-Got passed by skinny runners on the 3 mile run, which I am not surprised by
-I wore knee high socks, which made my feet weigh what felt like 10lbs each
-It was hot out, and after the race I had heat cramps in my stomach that lasted all day, I was curdled up on the ground from them.
Major things learned:
-The more difficult the race, the better I will do
-Wear as little clothing as possible, especially if it’s going to get wet
-Do not let heat cramps happen again,… that sucked
Race #2: 2010 Race to the Top of Mt. Baldi
This was an 8 mile race from 6,000ft elevation to 10,000ft elevation. Once done with the race must walk/run back down 4 miles to ski lifts to parking lot. Placed 243rd out of 580 people.
-I wore vibram 5 finger trek sports. Which was my first time wearing them. They were horrible because one toe is to long, resulting in no toe nail after race, also little rocks were getting in them the whole time. Had bloody feet and had to stop twice to empty out rocks.
-I was in Utah the night before race, slept 2 hours then drove 6 to start race at 7am.
-Running uphill was more like walking after the first few miles
-I wore a camelback, which I cashed out.
-Was starving by the time I got to top, and all they had was sugary stuff.
-Started off in front, and got passed up by people who obviously paced themselves better than me.
-Elevation was a problem since I live at 0 and this started above the clouds.
Major things learned:
-Camelback is necessary if race is longer than 5miles.
-Should bring post workout fuel if race ends away from car.
-Vibrams are never to be worn again if race is downhill, and if there are tiny rocks that can get in them
-I noticed all the skinny marathon looking people had a different stride than pose. That might serve them better.
-Noted how reduced sleep + elevation effected me
Race #3: Spartan Race Sprint Dec 2010:
This was 5k worth of running, with a lot of obstacles that were both natural and man made. Mostly hilly. I placed 2nd in the CrossFit Heat, 14th overall out of around 2000 competitors.
-I bought some of those short running shorts with underwear in them
-I wore super short socks with trail running shoes
-Uphills were very tough for me
-Obstacles were not challenging at all for me, but merely a break from running
-Shoes got filled with mud when walking through chest high water
-Got slowed up by people in the previous heat that I was passing up
-I was first in my heat, until my shoe came untied and I had to tie it, getting passed was way more devastating to my moral than I imagined
Major things learned:
-I retied my shoes before race and they still came untied, I need to take precaution so this never happens again.
-Noted mental change between being in first vs. second
-Go in first heat so nobody is in front of me except for people I am racing against
-The running shorts I got are awesome, never again will I run in board shorts.
-I will try swimming across water instead of walking to reduce mud in shoes.
-Short socks and trail shoes are better than previously tried footwear.
-If I want to win one of these things, I might want to try actually practicing,… the uphills and downhills were tough.
So as you can see the experiences of my first three foot races has bought me a lot of knowledge. I have a desire to be competitive at some sort of racing,… triathlon, adventure racing, iron man, mountain biking,… i don’t know. But I do know, that I am not going to wait till I am good at the sport before I start competing, because there is a whole lot to learn beyond the sport. Otherwise I might spend years training before I enter a race just to have my shoes come untied, and cost me places because I never learned to tape my laces (which is what I will do from now on).
When it comes to the sport of CrossFit, it is a much more dynamic competition than a simple race that you must get the hang of. I know there are some people in the gym that want to eventually start competing. They think they need more practice. Well I am telling you that the competition is the practice. Competing in CrossFit competitions will change your training. Doing one competition will be the best thing you will do for your training. It will give you knowledge that I cannot teach you in the gym, it will give your workouts purpose, and it will give you motivation to learn and push through pain, and the desire to win.
So, you will probably not win the first competition you enter, and you may even get close to last. But in the words of one of the biggest gong show hockey players I had the pleasure of playing next to: Pete Mamagoma says: “If you want to be a good fighter, you are going to have to go through a bunch of ass-kickings first”….. which isn’t entirely true,… but I like it.
There are three competitions coming up in the next two months (upper right hand corner of this page there is a list of events). One of which is sold out. The UTC CrossFit Challenge deadline to sign up is Jan 6th. If you are on the fence, sign up to learn (or get your ass kicked).
The CrossFit Mean Streets Team after a hard day at Next Level Invitational. 12-4-10
Partner Challenge (coaches will pair people up)
Score will be total of both partners added together.
Both partners must complete as a team:
-Carry one 53lbs/35lbs Kettle bell and one 45lbs/25lbs plate around block. When both items are back in the gym 100 air squats as a team.
Take time of tasks #1 and #2 add them together, then subtract total from 15:00.
Whatever the remaining time is, the two partners will have that amount of time to AMRAP Wallballs 20#/14#
Score of entire WOD is the amount of wall balls completed as a team.
-Wallballs are only to be thrown one person at a time.
CrossFit Mean Streets