The build-down to building-up to a competition
"Competition is very good...as long as it's healthy. It is what makes one to strive to be better."
Last week I competed at the Battle of Britain competition in Birmingham. After a positive start, where I stayed in the top 5 all day, I unfortunately finished up taking 8th place in a competitive field of 60 athletes from all over the UK and Europe.
The 'build-up week' or 'build down' is the week building up to a competition. Despite being so close to what we have been working towards, our training is starting to build down and it should be a smart but fun week.
It’s so easy to start building up self-doubt and think you need to start adding more to your training. I should do more workouts...I need to quickly squeeze in more gymnastics, more strength work and more engine work in these last few days to make sure I am ready for a competition. In actual fact, what you need is quite the opposite-LESS!
Yes, it’s time to ramp it down now all the hard work is done. All the preparation is done. All the time spent suffering and pushing yourself both mentally and physically is done.
What we need is time to rest and repair so we are firing on all cylinders come game day. This does not mean you take the whole week off, but it's time to dial it back.
For me I had two normal days of training, which involved two sessions a day. These kept me feeling sharp and confident for the weekend and allowed me to get a feel for the workouts that had been announced that week. From there I started to dial the volume back. This doesn’t mean lowering intensity-you still need to push hard in the given sessions.
From that point, I did just one training session a day with my normal rest day during the week.
On the day before the comp I had a much lighter session which was just to get a sweat on, stretch out and make sure I’m feeling loose and ready.
It’s so easy to start to overthink your training week-trust me! It’s easy to start thinking you need to do more because you're not ready. Or think you need extra work because you can’t do X amount of unbroken pull ups or you need to start a new strength programme because you can’t lift X amount of weight. Unfortunately, this will not help you. It’s very hard to get stronger in one week, let alone four days.
All the hard work is done. You qualified for a reason so have some confidence in yourself. You deserve to be there competing so go out and give it your all!