Kelly Friel: Embracing the Challenge and Enjoying the Journey at the 2023 NOBULL CrossFit Games
I'm Kelly Friel, the reigning Female Masters Champion 2022 of the CrossFit Games
It's incredible to be back at the 2023 NOBULL CrossFit Games, and I'm approaching it with a different perspective this time. Of course, I'm still pumped up and determined to come out on top, but I really want to soak in the entire experience and enjoy every moment.
Moving up an age category this year means facing some tough competition, especially from this talented newcomer from Brazil. But hey, that's what makes it all exciting, right? I'm eager to see what these new competitors bring to the table and embrace the challenge.
Now, let's talk about how you have been preparing for the games?
I've been gearing up for the Games this year. My training routine has been quite similar to my previous winning years, with five days of intense training and two well-deserved rest days. But, you know, life has its surprises, and this time around, I had a little setback with a back muscle twinge. It forced me to adapt my workouts, focusing on rehab while keeping my strength and endurance intact for the big showdown on August 1st.
My usual training sessions are 90 minutes long and consist of a well-structured warm-up, strength exercises, a WOD, and a final endurance section. This year, I've been giving extra attention to my ring muscle ups, which have been a bit of a weakness in the past.
Have you had to adapt your training in any way for this year?
Because of the back twinge, I had to modify my workouts, incorporating more bodyweight exercises and swapping outdoor runs for intervals on the Assault Runner. Just last week, I finally felt confident enough to start squatting again, gradually working up to 70% of my 1RM, which was 100kg. Both my coach and I were thrilled with that progress.
Now, let's talk about the workouts we know are coming your way this year?
So at the moment we know there's a 5KM Cross Country Run and an Olympic Total workout, where we have to find our 1RM in Snatch and Clean & Jerk, all within three minutes per lift.
The Games will consist of seven gruelling WODs spread across three days. On the first day, we'll tackle two WODs, three on the second day, and another three on the third day.
Do you have any guesses of what else you could be tested with?
I Think if they are going to use the Assault Runners, that one workout will be a HELEN. This is a 400M Run - 21 KettleBell Swings - 12 Pull ups for 3 Rounds however nothing is confirmed yet.
What is your strategy this year?
The heat in Maddison; it's expected to be between 35-40 Degrees. So, staying well-hydrated, properly fuelled throughout game days, and getting enough rest with at least 7 hours of sleep is my top priority in between so that I can keep my energy levels up for every workout thrown at me.
The last 3 weeks of training running up to the games have been slightly different not only with the back twinge, but pre comp prep where sessions have been more WOD based.
What is the main goal for this year?
As for my personal goal this year, it's not just about defending my title or being called the "GOAT" in female masters CrossFit. I want to enjoy every single moment of the Games and have fun competing against a talented group of athletes in my new category.
My family is flying in to support me this week. My husband, my eldest daughter, and even my dad, who's witnessing me live for the first time ever. It's pretty special! But, you know what's even more exciting? My daughter, Erin, is competing in the Under 23’ European Junior Championships for weightlifting with Team GB in Romania. I'm so proud of her!
Now, for a quick-fire round! Three of your favourite pieces of training equipment?
What are your go to meals pre- games?
My go-to pre-Games meal is a delicious Bagel with Peanut Butter and Jam, and during the CrossFit Games, you can catch me enjoying an Acai Bowl to keep my energy up.
What are you dreaming of after the games for a treat meal?
After all the hard work and challenges, there's one meal I'm looking forward to treating myself to: a juicy Burger and some Nachos! I'm ready for the Games, and I can't wait to give it my all. Thanks to Wolverson and all of you for your support for this year's 2023 NOBULL CrossFit Games!
Wolverson and the entire community eagerly await her performance and wish her the very best in the 2023 NOBULL CrossFit Games. Bring it home again, Kelly!
We will catch up with Kelly after to bring you her insights and analysis from the games.
Follow Kelly on Instagram here @kelfriel