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June 12, 2013 Comments (0) All Posts

Nicola smashes it in new Fastlift shoes

Our athlete Nicola Simpson reflects on her fourth place finish at the European CrossFit Regionals

Nicola in action at the European CrossFit Regionals

Nicola in action at the European CrossFit Regionals

What an exciting weekend!

I went into the European CrossFit Regionals event in Denmark aiming for a top-10 finish and an improvement on my placing of 11th from last year.

As it turned out, I exceeded all my own expectations and finished 4th.

The first workout (WOD) of the weekend was my worst. It involved rowing, which is not my strongest discipline. I finished in 14th position.

The second and third WODs were better for me. I hit a PB (personal best) on the three rep max overhead squat, wearing the new inov-8 Fastlift shoe.

The inov-8 Fastlift 315, as worn by Nicola at the event in Denmark. The Fastlift is new for autumn/winter 2013.

The inov-8 Fastlift 315, as worn by Nicola at the event in Denmark. The Fastlift is new for autumn/winter 2013.

I finished day one in fifth position.

Day two started with the longest WOD of the weekend – 100 wall ball, 100 chest to bar pull-ups, 100 pistols and 100 dumbbell snatches.

The chest to bar pull-ups seemed to take an age to complete and I was happy to see the back of them.

Following this was the deadlift and box jump WOD. This was a good one for me.

After that WOD I walked into the warm-up area and my friend Sam Briggs told me I was in joint third overall. I was surprised. It’s crazy how the scoreboard can pan out.

When I first saw the WODs for the weekend I saw the third day and thought, ‘I’ll enjoy that.’

I stuck to the plan and focused on my own game.

WOD six was gruelling. I placed ninth in that WOD, which left me in fourth position, with one WOD to go.

The final workout was screened live on Eurosport and the arena was buzzing. The atmosphere and support was electric.

That final WOD consisted of squat cleans and rope climbs. I didn’t realize until the last round of the workout that I was in second position. Sam had already finished and was screaming at me to pick the bar up. I realised then what position I was in! I finished the workout in second place.

Unfortunately, this wasn’t enough to take third position overall and I finished the regionals in fourth.

Nicola and team-mate Stuart Trees at the inov-8 stand at the European CrossFit Regionals

Nicola and team-mate Stuart Trees at the inov-8 stand at the European CrossFit Regionals

I was more than pleased with my performance, and a bit surprised. Sometimes you don’t realise how much you’ve improved until you truly test yourself in an event like regionals.

It has inspired me to work and push harder for next year.

The Fastlift shoe was amazing. I noticed some of my rivals having to lift weights in normal trainers because the outsoles of their lifting shoes were too slippery for rope climbs.

The Fastlift gave me outstanding grip, meaning I had the confidence to smash the crucial WOD that involved both lifting and rope climbs.

The shoe is extremely light, and fast to move in.

It is the lightest of its kind (335g for men and 315g for women) and allows those wearing them to smash both lifting and multi-discipline workouts.

Watch inov-8’s official Fastlift video launch.

Prior to the regionals I travelled to Los Angeles with my training buddy, Hayley Knowles. We met up with Sam, who was out there training with Lindsey Valenzuela.

We trained at Dog Town, which was super-friendly and felt like home. This made it easier to get stuck-in straight away.

It was a fantastic week and a great change to be able to train in the heat, instead of having to battle to keep warm between WODs like in the UK!

Sam and Lindsey planned an intense week. We worked on strength and skills as well as competing double WODs most days. It was a real help having Hayley alongside me. We are both at the same level and pushed each other constantly.

During the week we also worked on our Olympic lifting. I was happy when I hit a new PB of 64.5 kg snatch -an increase of 4.5kg.

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