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Emily Rolfe on Training “Smarter” in 2023

Morning Chalk Up

August 24   |   POWERED BY

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Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up premium subscriber edition.

In today’s edition:

  • Emily Rolfe adjusted her training in 2023 due to injuries and her approach paid off at the Games
  • Olivia Kerstetter, Jelle Hoste and Bayley Martin wowed in their rookie seasons
  • Why you should try trail running shoes

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  Training Smarter, More “Intentionally” Helps Emily Rolfe to Her Best CrossFit Games Finish Yet  

Training Smarter, More “Intentionally” Helps Emily Rolfe to Her Best CrossFit Games Finish Yet

Though she spent much of the 2023 season rehabilitating injuries, Emily Rolfe managed her best ever finish yet at the recent 2023 NOBULL CrossFit Games, finishing 12th in the world.

Her secret:  She trained “smarter” and “more maturely this year” than ever before, she said.

  • “Partly because I had to. I was forced to (because of) injuries and going through rehab,” Rolfe said.

But also, she cared for her body just a little bit more.

Remind me: Rolfe withdrew from the Games last year after being rushed to the hospital to undergo emergency surgery for a blood clot in her left arm after the very first test of the competition.

It took until October before she was 100 percent recovered from a medical standpoint, but she had lost fitness in the process. In fact, even by December when Rolfe made her competition comeback at the Dubai Fitness Championships, her fitness wasn’t where she wanted it to be, especially her upper body strength from having taken so much time off in August and the fall.

Then came TYR Wodapalooza in Miami, FL in January. Healthy again, Rolfe was leading the entire field by 45 points on the final day of competition, but then tore her calf doing double-unders on the sixth test of the weekend.

The calf injury was more serious than Rolfe had realized, and again took weeks to heal.

  • “I made it through the Open but it was still pretty bad,” she admitted. And then just as she thought she was 100 percent, the injury flared up again just before Semifinals.
  • “It took a lot longer (to heal) than expected. I tore it pretty good,” she said.

Getting to 100 Percent

The experience spending the large part of her year healing injuries, though, didn’t derail Rolfe from focusing on being 100 percent when it really mattered: The CrossFit Games.

She was able to do just that. The 34-year-old arrived in Madison, WI with a healthier body than ever, she said.

  • “It was so nice to go into the Games with nothing concerning me. This year there was nothing. I felt great,” said the four-time Games athlete.

To get there, Rolfe put more “time and care” into her warm-ups than previous years, she said, including diligently following her bulletproof calf program every morning that her husband and coach Kyle Rolfe designed for her.

Further, this season she “didn’t waste energy on things I didn’t need to work on” like she had in previous years, she said.

For example, Rolfe never even bothered to do any long runs in training, as running is one of her big strengths—which she proved again with a test win on the Cross-Country 5K test at the Games—and focused more on “being intentional with everything,” she explained.

On top of it all, Rolfe continued to work full-time all year as a radiation technologist, which she thinks was actually an advantage at the Games, as many of the turnaround times between tests this year were really quick, she said, which is something she’s used to.

  • “I train like that everyday because I have to get to work, so I was so used to it. People were really hurting. It was hard. I’m not going to lie, it was a hard turnaround, but because I train like that, and I don’t have all day to train, that was a huge benefit that I had.”

She added: Working “prevents me from overtraining. And I’m a lot more focused and intense when I’m in the gym.”

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🚨🚨 TYR Wodapalooza Online Challenge and Qualifier (WZAOC): The WZAOC is the first step in earning a spot to compete in Miami at the TYR WZA fitness festival in January, but it’s also a great opportunity to throw down with your gym family, Friday Night Lights-style. Athletes have two options for the TYR WZAOC, individual or team of three. Check it out register now!

  • The first two weeks are focused on our individual athletes and kick off on Thursday, September 14th, with scores due and registration closing on Monday, September 18th at 8:00 PM ET.
  • The second week starts on Thursday, September 21st, with scores due on Monday, September 25th at 8:00 PM ET.

The Rogue “Q” Workouts: The Rogue Invitational qualifier, known as the “Q,” will take place August 25-28 (this weekend). The workouts have been released and they look 🌶️🥵🌶️.

Get ready for the Fittest Experience Qualifiers by checking out this mini-documentary, “No Quit,” about the 2023 TFX Championship.

  • The TFX Qualifiers will take place online, September 27-October 10, register now.
  • The 16th Annual Fittest Experience, the biggest functional fitness competition in the South, will take place at the Williamson County Expo Center in near Austin, TX, January 26-28, 2024.

ICYMI: Ricky Garard talks about recovery and taking on the 2024 CrossFit Games season.

  Stand Out Rookie Performances at the 2023 CrossFit Games  


Stand Out Rookie Performances at the 2023 CrossFit Games

Every year there’s usually one rookie who stands out above the rest and immediately shows everyone why they belong at the highest levels of the sport, but this year we were actually graced with three.

In this post we will be reviewing the three rookie athletes that stood out this year and made an impact at the Games:

  • Olivia Kerstetter (United States)
  • Jelle Hoste (Belgium)
  • Bayley Martin (Australia)

Let’s begin with the 2023 rookie of the year.

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  Why CrossFit Athletes Should Wear Special Shoes When Trail Running  

Why CrossFit Athletes Should Wear Special Shoes When Trail Running

As we learned during the 2023 CrossFit Games, the 5K run has been the most-programmed workout of the day on CrossFit mainsite, appearing more than 100 times.

But trail running, specifically, has only ever been made an appearance twice:

But while trail running only makes the occasional appearance on mainsite, it’s become a staple in the competitor tracks of training programs like PRVN, HWPO, TTT, and MisFit Athletics.

Why? Simply, because off-road running has made a regular appearance in The CrossFit Games since the event’s inception.

So, while the 2023 No Bull CrossFit Games may mark the firsts for a lot of things — first time seeing pull-overs in competition, for example — it’s not the first time we’re seeing a timed, off-road.

Still, there was something about the Cross-Country 5K that has inspired many functional fitness fans to try their hand (er, feet) at uneven terrain.

The Quick and Dirty Benefits of Running on Dirt

Running on any surface — track, tread, Trueform—offers up a slew of health and fitness benefits like increased cardiovascular capacity, improved endurance, stronger legs, and better overall general preparedness, says Keith Stern, Director of Product, Running Footwear at Reebok.

Trail surfaces, broadly speaking, are less predictable, stable, and sturdy than any other running surface.

No doubt, the instabilities and inconsistencies make trail running harder than running on other surfaces — but they also tack on additional benefits to the monostructural modality.

  • “The uneven surfaces of trail running can demand a lot of different muscles than a treadmill or road run, in particular when running an incline or decline,” says Stern.
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Celebrating a PR, hosting a fundraiser, this, that, or otherwise. Send us a tip.

In honor of coach Joanna Vargas, that recently passed, United Barbell – CrossFit Soma in San Francisco, CA will be hosting a fundraiser WOD and memorial in October.

  • In the meantime, to support Joanna’s wife, Brittany, and their three daughters, (soon to be four), a Go Fund Me account has been created for them.
9/29 - 10/1: MACC FEST (Mid-Atlantic CrossFit Challenge Festival) (West Friendship, MD)
9/29 - 9/30: Iron Anchor Throwdown (Batavia, OH)
9/29 - 10/1: 2023 Masters Fitness Championship (Fort Wayne, IN)
9/30 - 10/1: Sango Games 2023 (Clarksville, TN)
9/30: 15th Anniversary and Birthday Brawl (York, PA)
9/30: Barbell Brawl VIII (Kennett Square, PA)
9/30: No Weak Links: Cuff Links (Marcy, NY)
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10/6 - 10/8: Marbella Championship (Marbella, Spain)
10/7: Babes with Barbells (Huntington, WV)
10/7: KJ Classic (Longmont, CO)
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10/7: 2023 KJ Classic (Longmont, CO)
10/7: FitoberFest (Prairie Village, KS)
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10/13 - 10/15: Midwest Championship (Rochester, MN)
10/13 - 10/15: Midwest Championship (Rochester, MN)
10/13 - 10/15: Crash Crucible (Spartanburg, SC)
10/14: T-Town Throwdown (Toledo, OH)
10/14: Triple Threat Terror 2023 (Forney, TX)
10/14: Oscar Mike Challenge (Lakeville, MN)
10/14: Babes and Barbells (Asbury Park, NJ)
10/14: Scream & Clean III (Danbury, CT)
10/14: Girls Gone Rx Canada: Belleville (Bellevile, Canada)
10/14: Best Babes West Fargo (West Fargo, ND)
10/14: Best Babes Columbus GA (Columbus, GA)
10/14: Best Babes Illinois (Byron, IL)
10/14: 8th Annual Kilo CrushFest Competition (Hampton, VA)
10/14 - 10/15: 059 Classic (Modena, Italy)
10/14: Strength and Speed (Feasterville, PA)
10/14 - 10/15: The Vanguard (Lakeland, FL)
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10/20 - 10/21: AAYMCA CrossFit Throwdown (Anderson, SC)
10/20 - 10/21: AAYMCA CrossFit Throwdown (Anderson, SC)
10/21: Festivus Games – Pairs (Savannah, GA)
10/21: Barbells For Bullies: Portland (Hillsboro, OR)
10/21: 401 Fall Throwdown (Smithfield, RI)
10/27 - 10/29: Oslo Throwdown (Oslo, Norway)
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10/28: Wodtoberfest (Owosso, MI)
10/29 - 11/19: CHLKDUP BOX LEAGUE – NASH (Nashville, TN)
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11/3 - 11/4: Florida Grid League Championship (Orlando, FL)
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11/11: War of the Masters (Elkton, MD)
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