Strategy Is the Name of the Game
Yesterday, I was giving the women’s class strategy tips for Franklin Hill. I’m a huge fan of strategy especially on competition and mental toughness days. Strategy, by definition, is a plan designed to achieve an overall aim, but I believe strategy is mostly about finding the most efficient way for your body to perform its best in a specific situation. That’s different for many athletes. So, my advice to the women included possibly walking up the hill to keep the heart rate (and panic) down to complete the Up and Over the best possible way.
Then I coached the noon advance class and watched Andy walk up the first turn of the hill! As he fast-walked past me he began to stride into a run straight out of a Pose manual. He yelled, “I’m trying a walking strategy!” I laughed. But to myself I thought, “That’s what I’m talking about.” Andy was the last one up that first hill, but he was the second to finish the interval, just behind Kenny. He exerted far less energy and was only 15 seconds off his normal Up and Over times. This strategy would have certainly paid off had we done more than two repeats. I love that he’s always tinkering.
I also love that we’ve been playing with pacing this cycle. It takes a lot of discipline to stick to a strategy and to consistently find an even pace, at high or low intensity. It takes patience to even find it at all. But it pays off. Rocketing out of the gates no matter the workout is a rookie move. And sometimes I still see three and four-year rookies!
In 1999, a few “human movement” scientists studied the determination of optimal pacing strategy in cyclists. I don’t know many athletes more obsessed with the fine-hair details of performance than cyclists. Here’s their general conclusion:
Different strategies in distributing the available anaerobic energy were evaluated and we compared model predictions of split times and final times with values achieved by cyclists during championships. The best result at the 1000m time trial was obtained when the cyclist had the highest anaerobic peak power output and used an ‘allout’strategy. The fastest time on the 4000m pursuit was achieved with an ‘all-out’ start at a high level of initial power output, followed by a constant anaerobic power output after 12 seconds, resulting in an evenly paced race. The results show that even small variations in pacing strategy may have substantial effects on performance. There seems to be an opportunity to gain a competitive advantage when individual athletes experiment with small variations in pacing strategy to find the precise individual strategy that works best under specific conditions.
That’s just a fancy way of saying, Keep tinkering! Stay open to strategy and pacing coaching. Tapping into your specific strategy for specific workouts will be empowering and game-changing, even if that means slowing down now and again.
20 Calorie Row
20 Jumping lunges
B) Pistol Skill Practice (10 min)
C) For Time
D) 3×3 Press (+2 / +5)
AND COMING THURSDAY
A) 3 Rounds for Pace
12 Strict CTB Pullups
**Rest exactly 1 min between rounds**
**Keep rounds within 5-7 seconds**
B) For quality load (FQL) in 15 min
Heavy triple power clean and push press
*Maintain control of bar*
C) Back Squat 3×3 (+2 / +5) (20 min)