A few days ago Dave C posted a link to a great article on the value of tempo training in relation to running. If you didn’t happen to see it already I recommend you read it before you continue with this post. The concepts laid out in it are very similar to what we have been working on here at CRAIC over the past two months or so on Wednesdays. We will be continuing these styles of workouts after Test Week but the day of the week we do them will likely change.
The workouts we have been doing on Wednesday’s usually involve exercises with little to no external load and low enough rep schemes to ensure you don’t cause muscle failure. It’s been a little bit different each week but it has been things like 5min AMRAP rest 3mins x4. The goal has been to get as close to the same score on every AMRAP as possible. If you get the same score having moved consistently for whatever duration was prescribed then you can say that your pace, or tempo was the same. This is training your body ”to sustain speed over distance.” If you look at any of the best CrossFitters do a workout for any given time they never stop moving. They go out of the gate at whatever pace they know they can maintain and then they hold on for however long they need to. They are always going at a sub maximal effort then at the end if they have anything left they punch hard and sprint to the finish. Developing this level of self awareness can take a very long time and needs to be practiced A LOT, especially considering that we are not runners and that our sport involves multiple distances, time domains, and training disciplines.
The tempo, or pace that you can sustain for any given workout is going to be different for everyone but it should feel “comfortably hard” meaning that you are working hard enough that you would like to slow down but you are able to hang on for as long as you need to.
These days you should leave the gym feeling like you have worked really hard BUT you are not rolling around on the floor crushed. There is a time and place for that and for the past couple months that has been the high intensity interval days which have usually been on Tuesday’s and Thursday’s. That’s our speed and power work. Monday and Thursday have been our Strength days rounding out each week. Over time we gradually mesh all these areas into each other which is what we believe will give you balanced fitness.
1min walking lunges
1min kettlebell swings