Want to skip ahead to the "HOW", then click here for the vid:
How does one go about finding an appropriate pace to set for a particular mixed modality workout?
(Disclaimer ... I am a dude who likes to lift the weights. So while I don't mind getting a little sweat on, you won't find me on the track very often)
The word "cardio" itself makes me break out in into sweats, and not in the style of calorie burning.
But this has personally helped me be better at sustaining during longer "cardio" style workouts.
When it comes to mixed modality workouts (i.e. CrossFit, Orange Theory, Barry's Boot Camp, etc ...) you will find many of these sessions involve at least one form of your standard cardio methods. A few classics include Running, Row Erg, Ski Erg and/or Jump Rope
Go too hard on any of these cardio portions and the rest of your workout may just become a little bit harder than you anticipated.
Go too slow and you'll have Coach in your ear politely yet loudly ask you to pick up the pace.
So again I ask (In many more words):
How can a hard-working, fitness enthusiast like yourself figure out your best pace
This is where my love of lift comes back to help out!
Here's how it works:
We want to use the difference between our all time best, and the percentage intensity we want to work at, to find the pace we will use for a given cardio measurement. If that sounds confusing (cause it def did to me at first) Lets use a 500 meter Row as an example
Visualize that you've walked into the gym, check your phone for to find your workout, and it looks something like this
5 Rounds for Time
500 meter Row
You know that your Personal Record A.K.A. "PR" for a 500 meter Row is 2:00
So 2:00 is equal to 100%* intensity for you.
(*You could only do this one time, and then afterward you'd feel like Ricky Bobby running around with your legs "feelin' like they're on fire")
To prevent our Ricky Bobby scenario, we'll want to bring down that intensity just a bit to a level we can maintain for multiple rounds and not "fly then die" after Round 1.
In this example, we're want to work at 90% intensity
Here are the steps.... (Fair warning, get ready for some math!)
1) Convert your unit of time to seconds
~2:00 becomes 120 seconds
2) Find the difference between your 100% and 90%
~ 120 minus 108 equals 12
3) Add the difference back into your 100% to then find what 90% intensity would be
~ 120 plus 12 = 132 seconds
4) Convert back into original units
~ 132 seconds equals 2 minutes and 12 seconds
Congrats, you've now got a tactical number to use when trying to find the best pace within your workout. For each one of these rounds, the goal would be to keep our rowing split times approx around 2:12.
Yes, there are many variables that come into play when we want to find the right pace for a mixed modality workout. But then you'd have a lot more to read here today. Plus, I've got to save some info for later articles right?
Now go forth and use this as another tool in your arsenal of fitness to help you better understand yourself and your progress!