What Up Guys!
Long time no speak, I know right! No need to talk more on that and lets make the change! So today we will be talking about two topics you hear me speak of quite often on the training floor, Pace and Mindset. My background with these two words stems from two VERY different sports, that being Wrestling and Distance Running. Now Wrestling is short bursts of high intensity, physically demanding, but also calculated sport. On the otherhand you have Distance Running where training and competitions are low intesity, requires a mindset that is better to think of everything but running, and requires CONSISTENCY.
So how do these two correlate to the point I’m making?? Well, Wrestling as it’s very physical and much shorter then any marathon it requires a HEAVY amount of mental toughness!
Then you have Distance Running which requires a certain type of crazy and ridiculous amount of dedication. When you wake up for your run and there is 4 inches of snow on the ground, it’s 25 degrees outside, and you have 12 miles slated you know what?? Some days RUNNING SUCKS! So with all of that said the Topic for today is “Don’t Pace Yourself, Push Yourself.” But what does this mean? How do you do it?
Well let’s start with the What? In workouts, runs, practices, in your office, wherever you are you are given the opportunity to do more, to push harder, to run faster, but in a calculated way. This doesn’t mean go balls to the wall for 30 seconds then the next 14:30 seconds your flopping around the floor in a pool of sweat. What I’m speaking about is finding your “80%” and then improving it! Now you ask How do I do it?? A great way is a Time Trial. I pick 800m Runs and Burpees, for most non-track athletes an 800m is not as daunting as a mile run but is also something most people can’t “sprint” the entire time. So what is the idea here? What I’ve found with most athletes is that they usually don’t know how to pace, breathing patterns fluctuate, and strategy on how to complete the task is wide spread.
Recently I got to put this to the test! With 4 athletes: 2 female, 2 male with different athletic backgrounds in which some either still compete or their profession requires a higher level of fitness then the average. After a warm-up we went over the workout: An 800m Run and 15 Burpees immediately following the Run with a 4 min rest between. Out of the 4 athletes we had 3 different strategies:
- Pace myself on the Run so I have energy for the Burpees
- Run Fast and Hold on For the Burpees
- Stay Steady and Smooth
So lets breakdown Number 1. This was the mindset of 2 of the athletes. They were last to finish the run and they also finished last overall in Part 1 of the workout. However they had the fastest time for the burpees! So technically stuck their plan went perfectly! Lets look at Number 2, someone who has gained confidence in their running and wanted to push the envelope some. This individual finished the 800m Run first by a VERY large margin but was second slowest on the burpee portion, once again they stuck to their plan. Finally, Number 3 the method that seems like the most calculated and most strategic for a longer duration workout. This individual finished second in the run and second overall. Once again seems like a great thought process! Now lets talk about why I HATE these strategies!
So we discussed improving your “80%” earlier. Lets go over why none of these methods work for improving your “80%”. Strategy Number 1: Had the Slowest Times on the Run and the fastest times on the Burpees. This screams at me “sandbagging”! (which I discuss in the video below) Meaning we saw these individuals at around 50-60% of their aerobic capacity to save themselves for the shorter but more intense portion of the workout. So what if we met in the middle? Make ourselves a little uncomfortable by just by 5-6 seconds each 400m’s and still have a kick for 45 seconds to finish the burpees? This mindset clearly shows to be ineffective at not only in competition but also in improving your “80%” copacity, especially since you’re NEVER in it! Now Strategy 2: This one is close but once again the mindset is just slightly off! Their idea was I’m going to push my max effort for as long as I can and I think that will be enough. Starting around a 90% and just depleting that as the workout continues, finishing around 40-50% once again just missing the mark. Lastly, Strategy Number 3: IF done right this is the ideal method BUT with less experienced runners and athletes of all sports they have the tendency to keep their Steady and Smooth Pace under 80% of their max capacity.
So I broke this down with the team and it was time to re-test! So how did they do??
Athlete 1: Round 1: 800m Run at 3:56 and Burpees in :53 seconds with a final score of 4:49. Round 2: 800m Run at 3:17 and Burpees in 1:07 for finished time of 4:26.
Athlete 2: Round 1 800m Run at 3:54 and Burpees in :51 seconds with a final score of 4:44. Round 2: 800m Run at 3:29 and Burpees in :42 for a finished time of 4:11.
Athlete 3: Round 1: 800m Run at 3:01 and Burpees in :58 seconds with a final score of 3:59. Round 2: 800m Run 2:54 and Burpees in :48 for a finished time of 3:42.
Athlete 4: Round 1: 800m Run at 3:45 and Burpees in :58 seconds with a final score of 4:43. Round 2: 800m Run 3:29 and Burpees in 1:00 for a finished time of 4:29.
Each athlete dropped time, some bigger then others but what was the difference?? PACING and MINDSET! It’s easy to go through the motions when you are doing the same thing over and over like running, but its the one’s that can go to the dark place to push the pace, to speed up, when they have the option to stay at the same pace or decide to speed it up even just 5%! Check Out the clip below as I discuss with the athletes proper mindset for these types of runs and tune in for the next post as we gear up for January’s Run Clinic with Coach Eli!