Understanding Pacing

Understanding Pacing

Understanding Pacing

Our community has been blowing up lately over here at CFHV! Attendance is back from the holidays, and I’ve seen an awful lot of smiles lately.

Group training really adds that extra energy that makes things special.  It’s that feeling in the air, good vibes, and friendly competitive atmosphere.  It also is a great momentum to bring into the Open.

You’ll notice that our training has geared toward Open style WODs.  That doesn’t mean we won’t be strength training though. You’ll still see plenty of strength work at sub-maximal loads, and don’t forget we back squat on Fridays.

It just means that in lieu of a movement cycle that our “movement” for this cycle is metabolic conditioning.  Working different energy systems or practicing technical movements while aerobically fatigued is more of what to expect.

We’ll also push our anaerobic capabilities as well as our mental fortitude during lactic pump.

…anaerobawha??  …lactiwho?

You may recognize some of these words from your coaches when explaining intention. Lots of you have asked, so let’s take a look at what they mean:

Aerobic means “with air”, whereas anaerobic means “without air”

Think of it this way:  If something is aerobic, it is sustainable for a long time.  If you were running you could even hold a conversation.  The idea is that you are working at a pace where you’ll need little to no breaks, and can keep moving at the same output without slowing down.

If you are doing something anaerobic, it means you may be gasping for air.  You’re winded, maybe you can’t catch your breath, or you’re having a hard time recovering for the next piece of work because your body is unable to take in oxygen fast enough to be recovered from the level of output you are operating at.  Think of the Assault bike, running sprints, or Fran.

Another major difference is recovery times. Typically aerobic pieces take 3-6 hours to be 50% recovered, and 24-48 hours for total recovery.

Anaerobic recovery times are much shorter, but to understand them, we first have to split them into two categories: lactic & alactic.

Alactic means working without lactic acid and lactic means working with lactic acid.

To simply explain: alactic is a very short and intense piece of work at a very high output. Literally 20 seconds or less at 95-100% effort.  Think a 100m sprint, :20 on the Assault bike.  Anything that is a single movement and won’t be limited by strength or endurance.  With this energy system, you are 50% recovered in 20-30 seconds, and fully recovered in 4-5 minutes.

That leaves lactic training. This is the “awful” stuff. It’s where you feel like your muscles are starting to slow down and they may not be able to do the next rep…but then you do.  You grind through it, and your ability to mentally overcome how your body is feeling is where the growth comes.

Don’t confuse bad pain with lactic pain.  Bad pain is an injury.  You should stop immediately!  Lactic pain is the “pump” you feel after a long set of pull-ups or kettlebell swings.  It’s the “wobbly legs” after a bunch of lunges or air squats.  No danger here, as much as just testing your resolve to keep going without quitting.

In 15-20 minutes you’re 50% recovered, and in 1-2 hours you should be fully recovered. Keep in mind though, without proper mobility and recovery, this is where you’ll get DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) which is why foam rolling, lacrosse balls, barbell smashing, and other methods are paramount.  Along with proper hydration and rest of course!

I’m leaving a lot out here, and over simplifying things to an extreme just to cover the basics and keep it tight for the blog.  If you’d like to learn more, drop me an email or come see me in person!

Let’s have a great week of training!