Through Two Days, The Devil Is In The Details
It would be easy to look at the massive point leads that Tia-Clair Toomey and Mat Fraser have and chalk it up to them just simply being head and shoulders fitter than everyone else.
You wouldn’t be wrong, but it would be a disservice to the details of their performance that has allowed them to shine in historic fashion.
Preparation, execution, success: Toomey and Fraser’s fitness and preparation is unquestionable at this point, but what the close quarters format of this year’s CrossFit Games have highlighted is just how much better they are at executing gameplans and focusing on details within workouts that has allowed them to not only win the war of the leaderboard, but nearly every single individual battle along the way.
- 2007 Reload: In the later rounds, Tia-Clair Toomey’s closest competitor is Haley Adams who is roughly 10 plus reps behind. During the final set of bar muscle-ups, Toomey rests and waits to jump up to the bar until she physically sees Adams finish the previous round knowing she’ll have enough distance between them. When Toomey fails the final shoulder-to-overhead rep, she’s got enough energy in the tank to get right back on the bar after a quick break to finish the workout and secure the win.
- Handstand Sprint: Fraser goes 90 yards unbroken, and does so with impeccable technique. He keeps his head and chin tucked in a more neutral position, which prevents him from seeing his progress but allows him to maintain a better position and ward off fatigue longer. It’s not a common technique even for the elite despite it being more mechanically sound, but he’s rewarded with an event win.
- Toes-to-bar/Lunge: During a heated race with Katrin Davidsdottir, Toomey opts to place her kettlebells down near her feet under the rig for her final toes-to-bar rather than walking them all the way to the next lunge station before walking back to the rig like Davidsdottir did. Toomey picks up a few precious seconds and marches to victory a few second clear of Davidsdottir.
- Bike repeater: Fraser utilized multiple gears on his bike to shift his pedal cadence and tension while conserving some energy throughout the event despite maintaining a lead most of the way. When Jeffrey Adler made a push to pass Fraser heading into the final round, Fraser had plenty left in the tank to put on the boosters and accelerate past him in the final stretch to win yet again.
There are plenty more instances like this throughout the weekend that extend from the bigger picture strategies like carefully planned weight jumps in the total to Fraser physically looking back and using his wrist watch to time how far back the next group of athletes were behind him and Justin Medeiros during the second loop of the trail run.
The bottom line: In nearly every workout at least one of their peers has taken their best crack at Toomey and Fraser before ultimately falling short. Execution down to the last detail is the bridge between preparation and success, and not only are Tia-Clair Toomey and Mat Fraser more prepared, but they’re executing at a level that has made them virtually unstoppable in stage two.