Pacing is an important aspect of CrossFit, pacing basically is spreading out effort over the course of the workout in order to keep massive crashes in output from happening. Although it is a word we often hear, we think the a lot of people still don´t truly understand the concept.
Let´s first start by looking at what aspects determine the pace of an individual. The first thing is of course the individuals capabilities, if an individual can row 1000m in 4 minutes and we give him a workout with 4 rounds of 1000m row-30 burpees-15 wall ball shots, he should not hold the same speed as with the 1000m row in 4 minutes (considering 4 min on 1000m is his max). In fact, he would not be able to do it if the 1000/4 min was a true max effort piece. This is where pacing comes and takes over. We now want to look back at previous workouts and build our frame of reference on top of that.
If the speed of the 1000m/4min is applied on the 4 rounds 1000m row/30 burpees/15 wbs the individidual will quite likely to decrease in speed as the pace they started with did not allow them to continue for longer. They determined their pace based on the 4 minutes while they would be rowing for atleast 16 minutes and we have not even talked about the burpees and the wbs yet.
Determining pace is a difficult thing, it can be learned, but only if an individual’s intent is to do so. This means that individuals should aim for doing workouts with a steady power output and maintain rhythm as much as possible. Do this across ¨broad times and modal domains¨ to learn how to shift gears. Knowing the difference in speed when looking at an amrap of 30 minutes with 10 burpees and 10 power cleans or looking at a amrap of 7 minutes with 10 burpees and 10 power cleans.
Next time you do a workout, don´t be like the left one in the picture. Don´t be that guy or girl that can only go 100% or nothing. Be able to shift gears with certain exercises. Be able to do burpees real fast with no rest in between but also be able to do them consecutively for 5 or 10 minutes. Once you are able to hold a steady pace, you can speed it up a bit. Always look at your own body when determining pace, everybody has their own strengths and weaknesses. I would, for one, not be able to keep up with a marathoner’s pace when we would do murph. He would not be able to keep up with me during the push ups, pull ups and air squats. But that is ok, we are in training, not in competition. I will not try to keep up with him, I would just be trying to maintain my own pace. Make sure that you find rhythm, so instead of doing 10 reps-rest for 30 seconds-do 10 reps again try to find rhythm in doing 20 reps unbroken. Try to go a bit slower and spread out your output instead of going balls-out in the first minute.