On October 14, 2017, one of our members, Kristen S., participated in her first CrossFit competition. Festivus is designed for first-time competitors and for those who are not necessarily interested in becoming Games athletes but are looking for a different challenge.
We asked Kristen some questions about her experience to demystify the CrossFit competition and to encourage other members to consider this option as they progress in their own training at Summerlin Athletics.
SA: What interested you in this competition in particular?
KS: I’ve always enjoyed competing in sports but had never done a CrossFit competition. Festivus is geared for beginners and intermediates so that anyone can compete without feeling intimidated. That helped a lot, and also they published the WODs months in advance, so I knew exactly what the workouts would be before signing up. Knowing that made me feel confident that I could complete the workouts, and the challenge would be trying to push myself to do my best. This Festivus competition was a partner event, which also takes some of the pressure off.
SA: What prep did you do in the weeks leading up to competition?
KS: For the most part, I just kept doing the WODs at our gym. My partner and I did have one “strategy session” where we went through each workout to make sure we understood the requirements and also got a feel for which things were our strengths and weaknesses.
SA: How did you feel physically/emotionally/mentally on the actual day?
KS: I was very nervous for a few days before, partly because I didn’t know how experienced the other athletes would be, and partly because I’d never done four WODs in one day. I kept alternating between thinking I should just really try to crush each WOD, and thinking I should make sure to pace myself so I wouldn’t get too exhausted. That day things went by really fast, which helped keep me from overthinking things too much.
SA: How did you feel by the end of the day?
KS: Physically, I felt pretty good, except that my back was really tight (my own fault for continuing in the deadlift event at a weight that was too heavy). Mentally, we were proud of our performance, and we were really happy that we actually won one of the events.
SA: What did your recovery look like?
KS: I took one day off and then returned to class at Summerlin Athletics. My back was still REALLY tight and sore, so I modified the workouts for one or two more days. I made sure to drink a lot of water, eat a lot of food, and used the foam roller whenever I could. I think it took about five days to feel completely recovered.
SA: Did the fact that it was a partner competition have any impact on your interest?
KS: Yes! Most partner competitions give you flexibility about which person is doing the work–so if there’s a movement that you find really challenging, your partner can do more of it. It also often means that there are times in the WOD when you get to rest!
SA: Would you do it again? Would you recommend it to others?
KS: Yes and Yes! It was a fun experience, and I do think that Festivus is a competition that anyone can do. I also worked harder in my daily workouts because I knew that a competition was coming, and I wanted to be ready. It helped me focus on getting the most out of each workout instead of just coasting through.
The next Festives Games is scheduled for April 2018. We will keep you posted on registration details, and we hope you consider competing!