It doesn't always have to HURT...

Are you pacing yourself properly?

One of the biggest mistakes athletes makeespecially inexperienced onesis mis-pacing their conditioning workouts. They go out too hard and hit a wall. Fly and die. Its painful for the athlete, and almost as painful for the coach to watch.  

 

It occurred to me recently that many athletes dont even realize how much they mis-pace a workout. They just chalk it up to: That workout crushed me.

 

Listen up: It doesnt have to crush you that much! 

 

And in fact, if youre in a lot of pain in the first half of any given conditioning workout, then youve probably done something wrong. In other words, a perfectly-paced workout is usually less painful than an improperly paced one. And on top of that, your final time will likely be faster when you execute a pacing strategy thats appropriate for your fitness level. 

 

What does a well-paced workout look like?

 

Think of it like a 1-mile run. Youd  never go out at a full sprint in the first 200 meters of a 1-mile run. More likely, youd pick a steady pace and try to hold onto it throughout the course of the mile. The same is true of what we do: Each round of a 5-round workout, or a 10-minute workout where youre trying to do as many repetitions as possible, for example, should be completed at a consistent speed.

 

3 Tips to a Perfect Pace

 1. Go into each workout with a plan:

 Before each workout, take a moment to examine what you’re about to do, and then predict how fast, or how many rounds, you think you will be able to complete.

Many athletes just wait for the 3, 2, 1 Go, and then start moving aimlessly without a clue how long theyll be conditioning for. How do you know how fast to move, or how hard to go, when you have no idea if youll be working out for 7 minutes or 20 minutes?

The more you practice assessing how your body will react to different types of movements and time domainshow youll break up the reps and the sets and how much you need to restthe better youll get at properly predicting your perfect pace.

 

2. Break things up early:

Going unbroken’—glamorous as it might seemisnt always the best way to move the fastest, or the most consistently over the course of a workout.

Lets say the workout is Grace30 clean and jerks for time.

Many people are determined to bust out a big set off the top because theyre fresh, but often this just means the second half of Grace takes three times as long as the first.

Dont do 10 reps unbroken in your first set, for example, unless you plan to hold 3 sets of 10 at a consistent pace. In other words, if you bust out 10 reps really quickly, but then you have to move to singles, you probably went out too hard. Ive seen people complete a workout like Grace faster doing singles the entire time than someone else who did a set of 15 off the top and then 15 slow, sloppy, painful-looking singles to complete the workout. 

 

3. Keep track of your scores:

 Keeping track of your numbers goes a long way in helping you figure out your pace. The more data you know about your fitness level, the easier it will be to apply this data even to workouts you’ve never done before.

 For example, lets say youre doing something like 100 pull-ups for time and you know last week you did a workout with 50 pull-ups and found yourself doing singles and doubles by the end. Remembering how those 50 pull-ups went will allow you to come up with a plan of attack for 100 pull-ups for timehow to break them up, how much to rest etc

 

These arent foolproof tips, of course. Sometimes youll still get your pacing wrong. But the more you practice calculated pacing, the more you pay attention to your body and your scores, the easier it will be to perfectly pace a workout, so when a five-round workout like Kelly comes up, your first and fifth round will take you virtually the same amount of time. And youll probably end up with a better score, too!