I think almost every athlete has been in this situation before: creeping closer to a major competition, beginning your peak, and yet things just feel slightly off. Your legs aren’t moving as fast as you thought they would, and you aren’t throwing as far or lifting as much as you thought you would. Here, I’m going to explain why this is perfectly fine--and even expected.
Everyone needs to remember that peaking means that there is a full phase of recovery/recovery compensation that needs to take place. All of the things you have taken out of your training (lower volume, slightly lowered intensity) for your peak are removed to allow the body to recover full time. So, about a week or two out from competition, it is normal to feel a little groggy or slow because your body is in full recovery mode, trying to catch up from your previous training cycles.
By the time that you’re about 2-3 days out from competition, you should start to feel snappy and ready to compete. This delayed recovery is why, for those 7-10 days when it seems like nothing is improving, it’s imperative to really focus on technique and good movement patterns. You have to remind yourself that technique is the most important thing anyway, and if you spend a week and a half focusing hard on technique, the worst that could happen is that you compete with great technique at your competition. Increasing protein intake is another great way to help your body speed up its recovery during a peak. An extra protein shake every day can help you decrease muscle mass losses resulting from decreased activity in your training. Overall, just don’t panic! Trust your program and stay the course.