What I’ve learned from doing the Open for the past three years is that for me it’s all about surviving each week (mostly mentally). Each workout fills me with a little bit of fear and excitement, but I love the sense of having this shared experience with 200,000 other athletes, despite the slight bit of anxiety.
Like many CrossFitters, I watch the announcements each Thursday, chat with fellow CrossFit athletes about my “game plan,” read the online tips and watch the videos about strategies for maximizing my score.
A lot of athletes who are serious at making a run at one of the top 20 individual spots will hire a variety of coaches to work with them on programming, nutrition, sleep and anything else to maximize their Open performances.
For the rest of us … what should we do?
The best advice I can give you is train specifically for the Open. The saying “just show up” is very true when preparing for the five weeks of grueling Open workouts. Depending on your individual goals (which might just include completing all five workouts), you’ll need to train each week leading up to the 15.1 announcement.
But what steps should we take to get ready even before the 15.1 Open announcement airs?
I will admit that I don’t have a master plan to kick the Open workouts in the ass. The main thing I will focus on as the workouts progress is to maintain a three-day training schedule on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, rest on Thursday (and watch the announcement) and then tackle the Open workout each Friday afternoon.
For the last month, our affiliate has been dedicating one WOD a week to “Open prep” by featuring some traditional Open-type movements or we will actually redo a past Open workout.
Whether you are giving the Open a go for the first time or trying to make it back to the CrossFit Games, take these workouts seriously. Watch the videos, learn the tips and put forth your best effort regardless if you are doing them in your home garage or as a group celebration in your box.
I can promise that no matter your final scores — from 15.1 to 15.5 — you will learn a good deal about yourself and your fitness along the way.
What’s your game plan for the Open? Just for fun, challenging yourself, competing with friends or making a run at the new Regional format?