Guide to Travel Competitions – Part II
A few weeks back I Asked Pam to write a blog about preparing for a travel competition, here is part II, the third and final installment will be posted within the next week or two….
As meet day approaches and your training winds down, you’ll need to take care of non-training related preparation. For me, this is the hardest part of training, when the doubt might creep in, and I get cranky that I’m not lifting heavy. But there’s still plenty to do to ensure a smooth, stress-free meet.
One Week Prior to the Comp
• Buy food to take with you. Pick up some protein bars, trail mix, or your favorite non-perishable staple that you know agrees with you. You may not have easy access to a grocery or supplement store at the comp, so you’ll want to make sure you have what you need.
• Use your checklist to pack your gear bag. You’ll be deloading anyway, so you won’t need most of your gear. This will give you enough time to make sure your music player is charged, and you have plenty of everything you’ll need. This also leaves enough time to make a quick trip to the store if you find you’re low on something. If you are flying, make sure everything in your gear bag can be taken on a plane. You don’t want to let this bag out of your sight at the airport. If your gear doesn’t make it to your destination, you may not be able to compete.
o Music Tip: I like to download a few new songs for my lifting playlist at this time. Pick something that will get you fired up and focused. It’s a good motivator in the chaos of a meet, and helps you get your mind right before a big lift.
• Set your opening attempts. If you haven’t already done so, decide on your opening attempts and meet strategy, including weigh-in time. This will give you something to help visualize, and you won’t have to worry about it when you’re having pre-meet jitters. Write it down, so you won’t need to do kilo conversions on meet day. Make sure this gets into your gear bag. If you’re aiming to break a record, list the record as well. Many comps ask that you notify them of state, national or world record attempts so that they have the correct refs on the floor to validate your lift.
• Visualize. If visualization isn’t part of your normal training routine, now is the time to start using this technique. I’ll post my pre-comp visualization preparation separately, but here are a few guidelines
o Be consistent. Consistency in your visualizations makes it more real to you. Try to do this at the same time each day. Construct the visualization the same way each time, in the same venue, wearing the same gear, etc.
o Be detailed. Hear the weights being loaded, feel the chalk in your hands, see the head ref look into your eyes. Don’t skip over things in your head. If you don’t put your belt on in your mind, you may forget in the excitement of meet day. I’ve seen it happen.
o Be focused. Don’t let interruptions rob you of this useful tool. Turn off the tv, shut the door, do whatever you need to do to have this be your time. If your mind wanders, reset and start again.
• Relax. Try to let your body relax and recover during your deload week. This is a good time to get a massage if you can. This is not the time to help a buddy move, decide to rebuild your deck, or anything else that may add physical or mental stress to your life. Move around a little, get some blood going, and stretch. Trust your training plan and resist the urge to lift heavy ‘just to make sure you’re ready’.
• Select your post-comp celebration meal. This is why you were googling food options and it’s one of my favorite things to plan. I’ve been known to do it well in advance. Once you’re finished lifting, you’ll be tired and hungry. If you make a reservation to a good restaurant now, all you need to do is show up and eat that well deserved steak and drink that hard earned beer.
Stay tuned for the third and final installment detailing the travel day, day prior and day of meet…