Mikaela Norman Eyes HYROX World Championship After Nine Years of CrossFit

February 21, 2023 by
Image Credit: Ava Kitzi
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After nine years of CrossFit, 2022 CrossFit Games Team athlete Mikaela Norman is stepping away from the sport. However, she’s not going far from the functional fitness space. A highly specialized endurance athlete, the Swede has a new sport more attuned to her natural abilities: HYROX. 

Remind Me: Wait. . . what is HYROX?

  • Hyrox is a functional fitness race based on running and other cardio modalities. In a regular race, athletes complete eight rounds of a 1-kilometer run and other movements like rowing, sled pushes, burpee broad jumps, and farmer carries. 

Norman first tried the sport last November in Hamburg, Germany as a fun activity with a few friends. She put up a new world record that day and was immediately sold. At the time, she was still holding strong to her dream of competing as an individual at the CrossFit Games.

  • “I was very sure I would do everything I could to go to CrossFit Games and suddenly, one hour later, things changed,” Norman said.  

Because of her natural abilities in endurance, Norman’s nine years of CrossFit training for elite competition were solely focused on strength and power. In fact, she says her coach would reward her with “relief runs” during competitions to up her morale. While she says the constant practice on things she was deficient at, she says training her strengths in running has been just as mentally difficult. 

  • Norman: “What I’ve been doing has been super fun, but it’s mentally harder in another way. When you’re pushing your weaknesses, it’s hard, but pushing your strengths can also be hard because you’re reaching such a high level.”

Only two months into focused HYROX training, Norman already had her goals set for a World Championship title in May and is taking the 2023 CrossFit season off in order to prepare. She’s currently ranked second on the worldwide Elite leaderboard. However, she’s not fully ready to hang up her CrossFit shoes once and for all. 

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Whether she ends up as a touted World Champion in the new sport or comes back to her roots, Norman says CrossFit has undoubtedly made her the athlete she is now. 

  • “Since CrossFit is nine years of my career and HYROX is two months, I would say that the athlete that I am is because of my CrossFit training,” Norman said. “Of course, I’m trying to slowly adapt, but the fitness I have is because of all my years of CrossFit.”

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