Competition and racing during workouts have always been part of the CrossFit culture, and always will be. This is one of the many tools CrossFit uses to get the most out of its athletes.
The problem is when it becomes the most important tool for the athlete or coach. There is a time for racing and a time for training. It is important to know which you are doing. Training has a purpose, a purpose greater than your final rep count or time. Yes, at the end of the workout you will have a time or total rep count, but these are just reflections of your training.
For example, you want to improve your Fran time, but there are many things that need work. It could be that you are working on the speed of the reps, doing the thrusters or pull-ups unbroken, or doing butterfly pull-ups as opposed to kipping pull-ups. Dedication to any one of these on a given day could be something that slows down your overall time. You may have to sacrifice your time for improvement in specific areas of your fitness. To become a better overall athlete, it may mean a slower time for this day’s training.
Another example would be moving better and beyond competition standards. Even though squatting just below parallel meets our competition standards, it does not mean we should train this way. Our goal should be to train to our full range of motion. Shortening the range of motion for the sake of competition on a training day is not helping your overall fitness. Again, there is a time and a place for squatting just below parallel, but not on a daily basis in the gym. It is reserved for special days of competition.
Keep in mind there are days when racing is the purpose of training, and your goal for that training day is to get as many reps as possible. Some days it is all about the amount of work of which you are capable on that given day. At TreeTown we call these test days or benchmarks.
We want you to be aware of what the day’s training goals are. Often times that means slowing down a bit, and to have a training goal for the day!