There’s 2 weeks left until Oceanias. There’s lots going on in everyone’s lives with work, uni or school not to mention trainings! Stress is at an all time high right now and some of you may feel like you’re running out of time! If this sounds like you, what should you be doing? Or more importantly, what shouldn’t you be doing?
What not to do:
First off, what you SHOULDN’T be doing is training harder than you have for the past few weeks. I get that it’s frustrating when you have only limited time and you haven’t got anything nailed and you feel like you’re about to breakdown every training because you can’t get anything right and so you train harder because that’s how you’ll get that routine perfect, right? WRONG. By doing this not only will you be tiring yourself out and draining yourself before a big competition, but you will increase the risk of injury. The more stressed we are, the higher the risk because the less careful we become. This is the time to taper off to save yourself for Oceanias. What you don’t have nailed by now, you won’t have nailed by Oceanias. This is the time for tidying things up not putting things together.
What you SHOULD do:
- Rehab: BIG part of the weeks leading up to Oceanias. Educate yourself on foam rolling for sore muscles. Get yourself some arnica cream, visit a physio, get a massage, STRETCH the sore muscles, SLEEP, get some good nutritious food in you (lots of fruit, lots of VEGETABLES, whole grains and complex carbs like brown rice/pasta/kumara and some high quality protein such as beans, spinach, kale, chicken, lean beef, no processed stuff. If it’s in a box and has lots of ingredients, it’s probably not good for you) cut the fast food and junk (no athlete should ever be eating fast food on a regular basis in the first place anyway), drink plenty of water and concentrate on getting a good warm up and warm down routine that you can repeat every time you come to training, official trainings and competition.
- Routines: if you’re not already, only do routines. Stick to this as much as you can. After a warm up, go straight into your routines with music. Pretend you’re performing every time. Do NOT tire yourself out every training. This is your recovery time.
- Mental training: Huge part of this crucial time. Imagine competition day in your head. Do your hair and make up in your head, put on your leo, warm up, imagine the crowd and the other skaters, what you will do at the marshalling area, then especially concentrate on your performance. Imagine coming off the floor and feeling good. Do this every time before you fall asleep, on the bus, in the car on the way to school/training, when you wake up or when warming up or down for skating. Practise your breathing when imagining the moment before you’re just about to go on the floor. Picture your routines in as much detail as possible. Listen to your music. Practise difficult steps/jumps/spins in your head if they’re not working. This is a great way to avoid getting tired/injured but still getting training in. I’ve relied almost entirely on visualisation this year because of lack of time and dealing with injuries and stress.
- Off skate training: Concentrate on rehab. Lots of gentle stretching, lots of visualisation. The idea is to maintain your fitness, not improve it. If you’re unfit now, you’re gonna be unfit for oceas. It’s now too late to start anything new so keep doing what you’ve been doing cos there’s no point in risking an injury. If you’ve been doing some training at the gym, take it easy, be smart, don’t try new things/weights. The week right before we leave, do not do off skate. Only stretch and concentrate on getting your performance together.
This is definitely what I’m feeling right now so this post is as much directed at me as it is to you. I often find I know all the right things but I don’t necessarily do them. If this is you as well, take this as a reminder that you should be slowing down. So let’s take some deep breaths and trust that your training up until now will come together right when you need it. You have done everything you can. Now let’s just enjoy it! And if you don’t feel ready, fake it till you make it.