Last weekend, I was in Cookeville, Tennessee for another stellar CFE seminar. About a couple days before arrival, I realized that this was the home box of two-time winner of the CrossFit games, Rich Froning. Oh yeah and Dan Bailey trains at CrossFit Mayhem too. It was quite surreal to be around the a few of the top games competitors, I quickly figured out that a lot of the other attendees were quite experienced as well. As the weekend rolled on, a theme seemed to develop and it came down to the question ... what are you willing to do?
Athletes and coaches become the best or the top of their class because they're willing to do that much more than the person next to them. With so many passionate people in the CrossFit community, clearly you have to take certain steps to be Elite. To become the best runner or triathlete it certainly takes a few things...
Willingness to learn - when an athlete (or a coach) stops learning or they can become complacent the ability to be truly elite can't happen. We see this in the Endurance community when folks speak of the fact that they didn't do "enough" miles before their last event or "you only did a 10 mile run before your last marathon, that's crazy?" I was actually out to dinner last night and one of my friend's who typically runs 80miles a week said he ran thru the warning signs of a stress fracture. What he assumed is that if he had just scaled it back the fracture would have never occurred. Yep, that's potentially true; however I've talked with these folks about technique and it seems to go right over their heads or not much conversation follows after the first few sentences. Don't get me wrong, CrossFit athletes are guilty of this too, but the fact is elite athletes don't make assumptions, elite athletes have a willingness to learn.
Sleep, Eat, Live - everyone is a little bit different, but Elite athletes understand the amount of sleep they need, what clean eating involves and how they need to live. If you're truly willing to be the best at what you do there's a lot of factors to take into consideration. You have to check in on factors such as RHR when you wake up in the morning, number of hours of sleep, muscle soreness, timing of fats/proteins/carbs, what your day job involves. All of these things add up. Elite athletes make sacrifices, what I know is that they look at all the variables at all times. If you want to improve your 5K time your best bet is to start with the nutrition and then go to the skill components. What's the one thing if you change it will make the biggest impact?
Hydrate and get yourself mobile - in between every lecture presented by BMack and Adam this past weekend, Rich was on the mobility component. Often times we neglect the "not so sexy stuff" meaning mobility versus the metcon or drinking water verses the protein shake. When our fascia gets tight (the connective tissue between our muscles) it restricts movement. When we aren't fully hydrated (even 1-2% dehydrated) there will be a drop in performance. When movement is restricted because of knotted fascia and dehydration the injury cycle can occur. Check out TP Therapy's "Injury Cycle" as I think we can all relate.
All I am saying today is that if you want to be Elite (especially as an endurance athlete) it comes down to what you're willing to do. When you cross the finish line of that next event, ask yourself what you NEED to do different (not could). Were you learning and not assuming in training? Did you sleep, eat clean and factor in life's stress's? How about the hydration and mobility? Cassidy Phillips says "What you tolerate you accept." don't tolerate skipping these variables.
At the end of the day, when all these angles are looked at it'll come down to who has the greater ability to suffer. All you can do is prepare.
This Weekend's RACES:
Team Less Miles More CrossFit - 6 Athletes
WOD for Maureen 5K - Truly inspirational morning. There were roughly 150 CrossFit Athletes who completed the WOD along with 6 boxes represented. The event was a fundraiser to benefit Maureen Tefft with Bluffton Crossfit. Maureen was recently diagnosed with Stage 4 Glioma brain
cancer. Their phrase, One CrossFit. One Family. Without a doubt true yesterday morning.
30 KB Swings #53
30 OHS Lunges #45
30 Push Ups
30 SDHP #53
Beaufort Twilight Run 5K/8K - Results
Team Less Miles More CrossFit - 2 athletes
It was only Lindsay and I who competed, but she ended up PRing her 5K by 1minute running 20:36 2nd overall, and 34:11 1st age group 4th overall in the 8K run. Lindsay will be running her first full marathon and continues to PR almost every time she shows up to a race.
After finishing the Maureen WOD 5K in 25:02 earlier in the day (1st overall finish) I posted a 29:59 and was totally stoked given the calves and hamstrings were a little shot. the 6min mile pace was good enough for 1st in my age group and 12th overall.
All and all another solid weekend!