May 13, 2013
Lindsey Valenzuela: New Partner, Plan and Prep for Regionals
By Jaimie Bougie

“I believe in my ability to win any workout and I know I’m at my best when I’m having fun. And with that, I hope to qualify for the 2013 CrossFit Games.”

Photos by: George Bryant

With one workout as an exception, two-time Games athlete Lindsey Valenzuela isn’t overly concerned with her 18th-place finish in the 2013 Reebok CrossFit Games Open in Southern California.

“I am pretty happy about my workouts, except for 13.3,” she says. “My lower back was flared up that week, so I didn’t do as well as I would have hoped for that workout. I didn’t let my placing in that workout (89th) discourage me though and I was just happy that my back was mended for the rest of the Open workouts.”

Valenzuela, in her third year of CrossFit competition, found the Open workouts universal, but also predicts the workouts for Regionals to be a different kind of test.

“Overall, it was a good competition,” she says. “The workouts consisted of movements that everyone can do and that were not too technically complicated. But I do believe the true test of fitness will be found at Regionals — when everyone is on the same competition floor, with everyone judging them and not in the comforts of their own gyms. One attempt at the workout and that’s it.”

Outside of performance and rankings, Valenzuela set two goals during the Open: only attempt the workouts once, and keep her eyes off the Leaderboard.

“I tried really hard to not look at the Leaderboard too much, which is easier said than done because of my competitive nature. I did keep my viewing to only once a week, though,” Valenzuela says.

She stuck to her second Open goal, as well, giving each of the Open workouts a go only one time each, including 13.2, which she completed on that Wednesday night before a live audience.

With the 2013 Open now behind her, Regionals preparation is in full swing for Valenzuela. Along with her coach, Dusty Hyland, Valenzuela has been analyzing past Regional workouts, considering loads and time domains, to help her prepare and consider what this year will bring.

“I’ve also been hitting unusual movements, just to keep training interesting while I’m focusing on the usual strength and lifts. This year, I expect to see a few longer, endurance-type workouts and some heavy loads. Last year’s Regionals was somewhat heavier than the Games in terms of the load weight,” she predicts.

Hyland has had Valenzuela training her mind to focus more on drive and competition, as well.

“We have been working on sharpening her weaknesses and further developing her mental game,” Hyland says. “Her mental prep is definitely the difference now. She has become a relentless competitor.”

A relentless Valenzuela was seen tearing it up on the local competition circuit in the offseason. Valenzuela competed in both the 2012 Outlaw Open and 2013 OC Throwdown, taking first place at both events.

In addition to working with Hyland, Valenzuela has recently enlisted a new training partner to get her ready for Regionals, and hopefully the Games. 2013 Open winner Samantha Briggs has been living and training with Valenzuela in SoCal for the past month.

“She’s a character and it has been amazing living and training with her. I enjoy her personality. It’s also very nice to get to workout with someone who can beat you,” she says of Briggs.

Briggs contacted Valenzuela earlier this year after deciding to make the trip to SoCal to train. The two athletes, who first met at the 2011 CrossFit Games, have been using their strengths and differences to challenge each other during workouts.

“We complement each other very well during our workouts; Briggs pushes me on the workouts with lighter loads and that are more endurance-based while I push Briggs on the heavier loads,” Valenzuela says.

According to Hyland, having Valenzuela train with great athletes like Briggs, Ruth Anderson Horrell and Valerie Voboril, has been “monumental to her growth as an athlete.”

In just two weeks, that growth will be challenged at the 2013 SoCal Regional. But Valenzuela maintains a positive attitude.

“I believe in my ability to win any workout and I know I’m at my best when I’m having fun. And with that, I hope to qualify for the 2013 CrossFit Games.”