Workout of the Day

Don't Forget the Gas Pedal


It’s a common problem I see in students of a GPP program, and particularly those who have been in the game for a long time, to develop a mistaken understanding of what pacing is.

Pacing, without a doubt, is an important element of high performance and effective training. In its simplest form, pacing is knowing when to hit the accelerator and when to let off the gas or pump the brakes. It is matching one’s output (how “hard” you are working) with their capacity (how fit you are) in the context of the demands of a workout (movement, load, and total work/time to be completed). The problem I commonly see manifests itself as an over-application of the slow-down-and-conserve-energy side of pacing and a neglect of the speed-up-and-just-go side of pacing. This all comes at the cost of intensity; and intensity, as you likely know, is our primary inlet to results. You can see the issue here.

Let’s put it this way: a 100m sprinter is never going to pace herself to victory. Or, a 1 mile track athlete will never be a viable competitor if he paces every 1 mile training run like it’s a 5km run. To properly apply pacing, it must go both ways. It is the capacity to know when to slow down to maintain performance and get the most work done in a longer event, but it is also the capacity to turn off (or turn down) the limiter and dip into higher intensity.

Let me just say, I get it. I understand why this happens. Intensity, and particularly the type of intensity that comes from an effort that involves no pacing or very fast pacing, is downright uncomfortable. A 90-second dance with truly high intensity is enough to make any athlete a little gun-shy. But let’s not fool ourselves into thinking that we’re getting more from our efforts in the gym because we’ve mastered the art of slowing it down to keep chugging along. This leaves an intensity-sized hole in your game. Don’t forget to step on that gas pedal sometimes, folks.

- PS


  • 20 min AMRAP

    • 30 cal row

    • 5 squat clean & jerks (185/125)