After taking a break from running, to work on my strength during the winter off-season I decided to push myself out of my comfort zone and enter the CrossFit European Championships; scaled division.

For those of you unfamiliar with this kind of competition, picture the CrossFit Games process with the CrossFit Open qualifiers at a much tamer level! After only doing CrossFit for just under a year I wasn’t even sure if my abilities would be good enough for it!

This proved to be a rather eye-opening experience. Over the last month I have taken part in three CrossFit online qualifiers, which have to be filmed and scored, with the top 30 getting a place at the live finals. Unlike running a race this was a very weird situation for me, with so many rules and regulations to follow and a variety of movements to take part in it wasn’t as straight forward as getting from A to B as fast as possible following a route.

CrossFit Qualifier 1: Double Impact

5 Rounds

3 Front Squats 40/30 kg

6 Snatch *choose your weight 9 Deadlift 40/30 kg

12 Push Press 40/30 kg

All of the weightlifting and everything I wasn’t confident with. After getting rather worked up about this being the first qualifier it was also every bit, if not more, as hard as I had imagined. The front squats and deadlifts weren’t a problem for me but handling the snatches and a 30kg push press for 5 rounds of 12 shot my arms out. I managed to make the cut off of 16 minutes in just over 14, but I placed myself very close to the bottom of the leaderboard.

CrossFit Qualifier 2: The Sprint!

10 Burpee Box Jump Overs 20” (Male and Female)

20 Calorie Row

40 Kettlebell Snatches 12/8 kg

80 Single Unders

This was totally opposite to the initial qualifier and everything I loved in a workout. My nerves were gone and I felt confident in my abilities. I managed to test out my rowing earlier in the week so I knew roughly what time I would be working with for the rest of the workout. This was a sprint with a time cap of 7 minutes so it was going to be fast and furious! I placed much better in the workout but assumed I would not make the qualifying top 30 due to my first poor attempt on Qualifier 1.

CrossFit Qualifier 3: Twisted Fran

Round 1 (3 Minute Time Cap)

15 – 12 – 9 Thrusters @30/20 kg

Jumping Pull Ups

Round 2 (3 Minute Time Cap added to previous Round Timecap, i.e Total Timecap = 6 Mins)

12 – 9 – 6 Thrusters @30/20 kg Jumping Chest to Bar Pull Ups

Round 3 (3 Minute Time Cap added to previous Round Timecap, i.e Total Timecap = 9 Mins)

AMRAP 9 – 6 – 3 Thrusters @30/20 kg Jumping Ring Muscle Ups

Seemingly more complex on paper than it actually was. With the feeling of no pressure on my shoulders now I enjoyed a nice mix of thrusters and jumping pull-ups, chest to bar and ring muscle ups. Unexpectedly I did the best in this workout. From the first qualifier I learnt to pace the weights a little better and make sure my breathing wasn’t all over the place.

What are the main things I learnt from this process?

Read more about the benefits of CrossFit here.

About the Author

Ultra & Trail Runner

Connect with Sophie Adams

Sophie Adams is a London based trail and ultra marathon runner; as well as co-partner of the running community Wild Trail Runners.

Starting her journey as a track athlete and representing her local county at a young age, Sophie has now progressed into longer distance running and competing in various races across the world. She has recently competed in European races such as the Skyrunner World Series race Transvulcania, on La Palma Island, and Italy’s Sciacche Trail.

After transitioning to long distance, mountain running events Sophie also has a strong focus on strength conditioning and CrossFit endurance training.

Head over to Sophie’s blog to see her latest adventures.