Recovering Between WODs at a Competition
This will be my last post regarding tips and hints for how to succeed in a competition. Tomorrow night’s post will contain the remainder of the WODs for Saturday’s Throwdown along with a finalized version of the heat times and schedule for the day. I have received many questions from those of you competing regarding recovery and repair between WODs. What exactly can you do to prevent early soreness or muscle fatigue from limiting your performance?
Nutrition for optimum post-workout recovery
The biggest question I seem to have gotten from you guys is along the lines of what meals and snacks you should bring to keep you fueled throughout the day. Immediately after each WOD I recommend you down a protein shake and eat a piece of fruit. Bananas are great for the extra potassium which will prevent cramping, and I cannot recommend the Stronger Faster Healthier brand of protein we carry enough; those shakes helped fuel me through Regionals and I felt adequately recovered throughout the day. Making your shakes in coconut water such as Vita Coco is also a great option; the taste may be a little harsh at first but it will help you refuel and recover quickly while helping you stay hydrated. The extra potassium from the coconut water is also great for preventing cramps. In between WODs and especially during the scheduled breaks, it is important that you eat a meal of some kind to keep your nutrient levels high. I would NOT eat a large meal here, you really only want enough food to refuel you without making you full. For this purpose I find a small chicken breast, some sweet potato, and a small package of mixed nuts and berries does the trick. The key is not to eat until you’re full or your digestive system will kick into overload and drain some of your energy. Not to mention, exercising on a full stomach just isn’t fun to begin with.
What else can I do to recover?
Aside from proper nutrition, there are a few other things you should be focusing on in order to recover as much as possible between WODs. Make sure you stretch immediately after finishing your events. Make a protein shake, grab a foam roller or lacrosse ball, and get in some mobility while you are consuming your post-WOD nutrition. Stretching after a workout is crucial in order to keep your muscles functioning during the later events, and post-workout mobility is more important than any mobility work you can do beforehand. If you don’t stretch after your events, you may find your muscles locking up on you and becoming extremely tight going into later events. This will certainly blunt your performance where you need it most.
In short, eat a nutritious breakfast and consume plenty of food BEFORE showing up at the competition on Saturday; the meals you consume throughout the competition should be small and straightforward. Bring some nutrient-rich snacks and stockpile on protein and bananas for your post-WOD nutrition and to help you refuel between events. There will be Vita Coco available to ensure all of you stay hydrated, but make sure you drink plenty of water throughout the day. Stay tuned tomorrow night for the rest of the WODs and the final heat schedule!