Sunday 26 April 2009

Nationals' newbie mistakes

Well, it really did not go the way I wanted, but there is plenty for me to take away from Saturday. It was my first Nationals and I performed nowhere near what I am capable of, but I know it will be better next week and I would rather learn these lessons now than next Saturday at the Small Nations competition in Malta.

I arrived for the weigh in 15 minutes early to check my weight. I was under weight by .6 of a kilo, and the scales were changed after I weighed in officially because of a battery problem and the scales were not official. The second set of scales were generally supposed to be more accurate and they were .8 of a kilo lighter. This means that I was 1.5 kilograms too light, which is a lot of energy that should be there. Mistake number one. Mistake number two was not eating enough after the weigh in which was ten in the morning. I was lifting at around three in the afternoon in the third group and all I ate was porridge with fruit, two shakes, a wrap and some fruit.

When I started my warm up I felt ready to go and amped to the max. Hindsight being the muse that she is, I should have left the venue for a few hours and gone somewhere to chill out and eat a nice lunch. Instead, I stayed around the venue until it was my time to lift. My warm up went swimmingly. I missed my last warm up attempt at 100, it was bit too relaxed.

Competition lifts:
1x1@100--I knew I had to speed this one up. We originally wanted to open with 102, but I missed 100 so we dropped back. This lift was very quick, but it was not controlled at all; it jarred at the bottom as you will see in the video.
1x1@105--I started my pull too early on this one instead of staying over the bar as Morgan and Harry have told me to do. I ended up behind the bar and missed it.
1x1@105--I focused on staying over the bar and finishing my pull. Again it flew up and I got the lift because I was able to get through it.

After the Snatches, my legs started to get the rubber feeling so I knew I needed to get some sugar. I had a sugar energy pouch and some fruit juice, but I was hungry ny now. I started my Clean and Jerk warm up and things were going really well until I missed my last warm up lift of 125 because I tried to Power Clean it rather than bring it down. Damn you ego! I was supposed to open with 130 but then we went down to 128 because I did not have time to repeat 125.

Competition lifts:
1x1@128--I messed this up very badly. I overpulled the Clean and my feet did not go out, so I went back on my heels. I just about made the Jerk, but I messed that one up too, pushing it out front. At this stage, I was a little frantic. Weights that were normally so basic felt very heavy and my technique had taken a back seat.
1x1@134--This clean was better but still ugly. I have no idea how I did not make the Jerk. Looking at the video I did not get through it, but what caused my technique to give me the fingers is a mystery.
1x1@134--I panicked like a lost ten year old in Tesco's. Instead of calming myself down, I got more anxious to rip the bar as hard as possible. I forgoed my usual routine and raced up to the bar. It barely got off the ground. Then came the heartbreak.

Things to learn from yesterday:
1. Buy a decent set of scales--Mine is useless and I never know what I really weigh.
2. Come prepared with more food and a pre-selected spot to go and relax in after the weigh in for a few hours.
3. Have more immediate sugar hit products ready. One is not enough.
4. It is not a question of power in my Snatch, but of control.
5. Instead of thinking I need to lift harder--which causes me to use my arms like I did in all the Clean and Jerks--I need to think smoother.
6. When something inevitably goes wrong, I cannot let instinct take over. Calm must be restored like it was after my 2nd attempt Snatch miss. I knew what I had to do and I did it.
7. Ego is the enemy. I have to stop thinking about what I should be doing and and just accept what I am currently able to do, irregardless of whatever potential there may be.

Considering I got 105/130 in October after only lifting for five months, this was a massive disappointment. But, I know I have improved in technique and power since then so I just have to learn from my mistakes and enjoy the process. I love weightlifting, even on the bad days. Those bad days are a cruel mistress though.

On a better note, well done to Gill for her 5 out of 6. She will be going to the Eiliko women's Grand Prix in a few weeks. Laura Snatched really well and Sami was smooth in his Clean and Jerks. There is a lot more in all of us it is safe to say. Cathal hit a great 142 Jerk and Kevin did a lovely 120/160 with room to spare for next week. Eamonn and Andy looked very strong as did Neil Dougan. It was great to meet Pete Stewart who I though was the best lifter there. Very fast and precise. My lifts are below, warts and all.


Laura Nolan said...

Hey Barry - you definitely weren't up to your usual standard yesterday at all, and I don't mean that in a bad way just that you're normally a lot better!

I found the place a bit frantic yesterday, there were a lot of people about the warmup area, it was ferociously hot, loud, smelled of paint and the media people about the place didn't help either. I was getting that rubbery in the legs feeling as well during my C+Js. Very hard to just focus on the lifts which is what needs to happen. Still, as you say, plenty to learn from.

BTW - don't take the scales in the Hercs as totally accurate either, they seem to be about .5 of a kilo out (they read heavy). I was a fair bit lighter than I thought too, I was aiming to be just under the 63 with a 200g margin of error and ended up under 62.3.

Lots more competitions coming up through the year. Ass shall be kicked all round.

Ger said...

that 134 was SOOOO close there barry, you looked in good shape to throw it up no problem. Better luck next time. 105/128 is still very, very respectable in my books. take it up a notch the next time!

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