Dumb_Duck's blog

By Dumb_Duck, history, 3 days ago, In English

I recently started practising 5-hour contests with my ICPC team. I've noticed that I get really tired after about 2.5 hours of contest. My problem-solving abilities decline significantly, my body and my head ache a bit, and I have a significant loss of motivation. I can't think straight. I feel hungry. After about 3.5 hours, I'm pretty much useless. After about 4-4.5 hours, I start feeling a bit dizzy too. I've faced issues with my stamina in contests multiple times during the past year, but recently realised how bad it really is, during the team contests. I have noticed that I don't feel this way while solving problems leisurely, but only under the time and performance pressure of a contest.

I'm fairly accustomed with the two-hour contest format on Codeforces and face almost no issues during it. I'm worried, and unsure how to train myself to get optimal performance in 5-hour contests. I plan on trying two things: running, and giving a lot of 5-hour contests.

I'm pretty unfit (not overweight, but unfit). I feel some sort of physical activity like running on a regular basis may help me improve my stamina during contests too. Not sure how effective it shall be. Also, logically, if I give enough 5-hour contests on a regular basis, my body and mind should eventually adapt, somehow, to perform optimally in them.

It would help a lot if you have any suggestions, or any ideas to help me overcome it, or if you or some friend of yours have faced similar issues in the past and have overcomed it, or are trying to overcome it. Anything.

 
 
 
 
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2 days ago, # |
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Try drinking coffee and/or eating during the contest. Some people say chocolate and other sugary stuff gets you through this. Also, you can try taking some kind of breaks.

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    2 days ago, # ^ |
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    Thanks for the suggestions. I'll give them a try. Eventually I'll have to stop being dependant on them as they are not usually available during actual onsite competitions, but they'll probably help me get accustomed to the long format.

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      2 days ago, # ^ |
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      I've never been to an onsite competition where I could not have snacks (and I think IOI 2017 was the only on where I could not bring my own, I think they allow it now). And most of the time, I've been allowed energy drinks (if it wasn't allowed, I would probably use some kind of caffeinated candy instead).

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2 days ago, # |
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My friend Raju's advice: Save water, Drink beer.

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2 days ago, # |
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lol I thought for a second stamina for something else.

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2 days ago, # |
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Some aerobics and running would do wonders for you. Don't consume caffeinated drinks during contests.

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2 days ago, # |
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Mind control is most essential factor for any type of stamina . Hence meditate .

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2 days ago, # |
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I also struggle with longer contest formats. You can try this out. Take 4-5 hard problems , hard based on your current level and take a pen and paper. Try to solve those problems on paper. You don't have to write actual code, just try and solve the problems on paper. It sort of trains your mind to think on hard problems for say, more than an hour. The actual typing out of the solution is usually not a problem, it is just that the mind sort of "gives in" when thinking about hard problems for long periods of time.

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2 days ago, # |
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I had to check if I am on Codeforces after reading the title. :D

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2 days ago, # |
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The title ignited my curiosity.

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2 days ago, # |
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STOP mast-ur-basin

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2 days ago, # |
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Salmon Bhai's advice : Take Revital.

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2 days ago, # |
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I can't think straight. I feel hungry.

Have you tried eating? I strongly recommend it.

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2 days ago, # |
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There is an interesting article about chess players.

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    2 days ago, # ^ |
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    Thanks a lot for sharing it. I remember reading it last year. But now it makes a lot more sense.

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2 days ago, # |
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Just like physical stamina, you can build mental stamina by training. Do more of 5h contest.Eventually you will become better at it. I will not suggest unhealthy sugary drinks or so. You can try meditation tho,it may help in long run. Proper sleep is important too.

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2 days ago, # |
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When you focus on something for long time, the breath becomes inefficient. Take small breaks to do conscious breathing. Breathing really helps me stay focused for long times. I use box breathing, wim hof breathing. Fine tuning your breath will take some time, but i have felt the difference.

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40 hours ago, # |
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give contests on treadmill :}