A lack of pacing your workouts usually creates one of two scenarios:
You go out as hard or as fast as you can, only to gas out minutes (or seconds) later.
You hang out in your comfort zone without pushing yourself enough to produce results.
So how do you find the sweet spot between pushing yourself and sticking to your comfort zone? Practice! Pacing is a skill. And just like any other skill, you get better at it when you’re willing to put some effort into learning how to get better.
How to Practice Pacing
Start with a strategy.
Take a look at the whiteboard and decide how you’ll approach the workout. If the WOD includes a high number of reps, determine how you’ll break them into smaller sets. If you know you’re going to have to build in short intervals of rest, plan on how long those rest breaks will be. If the workout’s 20 minutes, decide the intensity level you’re going to try to hold for the duration of the WOD.
If you have no idea how to form a strategy or if what you’re planning will work, that’s okay! Remember that pacing requires practice. But by creating a strategy, you’ll start to gain some experience with how your body reacts to what you plan.
Experiment with your intensity level.
As you figure out how to pace your workouts, you’ll probably have a few messy attempts. But when you’re willing to push yourself more than you have in the past and risk making a few mistakes in your approach, you’ll gain a better understanding of your current limitations and what you can or can’t handle at this point. By getting uncomfortable, you’re more likely to get a better idea of how to pace because you’ll paint a clearer picture of what it feels like when you’re hanging back vs. pushing too hard.
Evaluate the outcome.
Once you finish a workout, take some time to think about what happened and evaluate the outcome. If you went out too hard and pushed the pace too much, rather than just chalking up the results to poor pacing, figure out why it was poor pacing. Maybe you need to aim for smaller sets of reps, slightly longer rest intervals or a lower level of intensity. If you finish a workout and feel like you had perfect pacing, think about what you can adjust the next time.
Pacing is a moving target. You have to check in with your results and adjust continuously. Doing so will help you avoid hitting a plateau, and you’re more likely to keep seeing progress toward your goals.
To learn more about Rhapsody Fitness in Charleston and our range of programs, get in touch with Team Rhapsody today.