At the age of 22, Katrin Davidsdottir won the 2015 CrossFit Games just four years after first taking up the sport. In 2016, she defended her title and became only the second woman ever to repeat as world champion.
Now 27 years old, Katrin is still among the fittest on Earth. She’s posted top-5 finishes at the Games in each of the last three years, and is back in the finals once again in 2020.
— The CrossFit Games (@CrossFitGames) October 18, 2020
How has Katrin been able to maintain this level of excellence for so long?
According to her, sustained success lies in the details. “All the little things that you think are so little add up to great things,” Katrin told us on the WHOOP Podcast. That, and a good night’s sleep. “My No. 1 recovery [tool] is always sleep,” she said. In fact, she’ll often pass up other recovery modalities in favor of spending more time in bed. “I’ll skip everything, even at the Games, I’ll skip body work if I need to sleep.” She went on to say:
“Recovery is so important, I can go as hard as I want, day in and day out, but you can only go as hard as you then recover for the next day. WHOOP keeps me accountable.”
On the first day of Stage 1 of the Games last month, Katrin awoke with a 58% recovery. She placed 12th on Friendly Fran, 27th on the 1RM Front Squat, and 11th on Damn Diane (see the full explanation of each event at crossfit.com). Despite rallying to finish 4th in the 1,000-meter row, she still sat in 8th place overall (out of 30 competitors) with a lot of ground to make up in order to reach the top 5 and move on to the finals.
True to her word, Katrin focussed on sleep.
After posting a strain of 15.7 (on a scale of 0-21) on Day 1, she still managed to get all the sleep she needed that night with a 100% sleep performance. Katrin woke up the next morning with a 65% recovery, a very solid number considering the stress put on her body the day before.
Fully rested and ready to perform, Katrin won Day 2’s opening event, Nasty Nancy. She then followed that up with an epic showing in the Handstand Hold, capturing 1st place yet again. Her time of 2 minutes and 54 seconds was a full 40+ seconds more than 2nd-place finisher Kari Pearce.
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Katrin closed out her spectacular day by finishing 7th in Awful Annie, which helped vault her up the leaderboard all the way to 4th place overall and qualify for the finals.
You know an RX won’t cure you
And only the Fittest survive.
— WHOOP (@whoop) September 21, 2020
The Games resume on October 23. Can Katrin capture a third title, something only one other woman has ever done before?
To boost her chances, we know she’ll be sure to get enough sleep.