THE ROAD TO COMPETITION: WAR OF THE WODS 2019
Feat. Ramon Vega & Cristina Ortiz #CackalackyStrong
Self proclaimed multi-sport athlete, movie enthusiast, can quote seven different Vines at a moments notice.
Co-Founder of Team Smiley
WAR OF THE WODS 2019 (WOTW) is right around the corner! A two day CrossFit competition featuring some of the most athletic humans the Carolinas can produce. This week I sat down and interviewed of a couple local athletes, Ramon Vega and Cristina Ortiz, both of whom are competing in the "Team" segment of WOTW this year.
Q: You’re less than a week from your first competition of the year, are you ready?
Ramon – Yeah, definitely ready! There’s still a couple of things that we’re touching up on, but for the most part I feel pretty confident and ready to rock.
Cristina – YES! I feel as ready as I’m going to get.
Q: Coming off of the Holiday’s, is it hard to get your mind prepped for a competition? Especially one that is as varied and sometimes taxing as War of the Wods?
Ramon – Yeah I think so. I know I definitely gained a couple of holiday pounds with Christmas and New Year’s, so trying to get back into the weight where I feel most comfortable and can perform at the best. Besides that, with the holidays it’s mentally taxing traveling from one place to another. So trying to keep training on top of that, it gets tough. But for the most part you have to remind yourself on why you’re competing and you just keep going.
Cristina – For me it is, mostly due to the mental aspect. One thing I’m constantly focusing on is my nutrition, and I keep wanting to eat as if it’s Christmas. So that’s a big struggle for me going into a prep phase of competition.
Q: In the weeks preceding a competition, what does your diet look like?
Cristina – It doesn’t change much compared to my normal eating routine. I’m pretty consistent with my healthy fats, lean meats, healthy carbs… it’s always varied but I do start intermittent fasting more the closer I get to competition. That way I’m at my leanest by the time comp comes around!
Ramon – So I usually will start eating really clean the week prior to competition. Not a lot of huge changes, calories stay about the same as a normal training session. The only thing that will change is I usually like to have a day where I eat whatever I want, but the week of competition, that cheat day goes away. I definitely try to stay in my maintenance calories.
PIZZA, you can't go wrong with pizza!- Cristina Ortiz
Q: Do you have a secret weapon in the kitchen that gives you an edge?
Ramon – Not really, I definitely try to stay hydrated. That’s one of my fallings in past competitions. Especially as I start to de-load my training, I have to remember to stay hydrated even though I’m not sweating as much.
Cristina – PIZZA, you can’t go wrong with pizza!
Q: What does your training usually consist of?
Ramon – Right now I’m just covering the movements that we’re going to see during War of the Wods. This year we have heavier barbells and heavier dumbbells than the usual standard. Overall just getting comfortable with those movements and the skills that we’re going to go through.
Cristina – I don’t train nearly as long as Ramon. I train maybe 1.5 – 2 hours a day, and that includes my warm-up, a strength portion, and a METCON or more strength training, and a mobility stretching routine.
Q: It’s the day before competition, do you have any crazy superstitions or “rituals” that absolutely HAVE to be done?
Ramon – I don’t really have any rituals. I like to try and get some sleep the night before. I’m usually very anxious, nervous, and excited all at the same time, so a good night’s sleep rarely happens. When I wake up I’ll have the same breakfast that I usually do, because that’s what my body is conditioned to perform on.
Cristina – Focusing on staying calm and making sure I’m not thinking of the competition that way I’m not nervous going in. And same as Ramon, I just try not to eat anything out of the ordinary.
Q: Lastly, what tips would you give an athlete who’s looking to compete in their first competition, whether it be a CrossFit comp, Powerlifting, a 5k, etc.?
Cristina – Have fun and don’t pay any attention on what everyone else is doing. You won’t enjoy it if you have a comparative mindset going in.
Ramon – Do your research! If you need help don’t be afraid to ask for help whether it be a trainer, a friend, or a general support team. It’s a lot more fun doing it with someone else and in the end it's all worth it!
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