The Third Stage of Pacing Awareness: The Shrinking Violet

It takes time and practice to learn how to pace efficiently. But sometimes, being too good at pacing can actually backfire and hinder an athlete from maintaining their full potential. ‘The Shrinking Violet’ is an athlete who has become so efficient at their pacing that they often underpace a workout and leave too much in the tank. These athletes typically know their numbers so well that they can tell you how many RPMs they should complete any Assault bike workout at, how many minutes they should rest between heavy squat sets, and how many sets of handstand push-ups they should do during a long chipper workout.

This knowledge isn’t necessarily bad, but it can prevent the athlete from working out at their full capacity – they stay away from ‘redlining’ and therefore are no longer aware of what a truly difficult pace is for them. Here are a couple strategies to help you learn how to pace outside of your comfort zone:

Option 1: Pre-determine a specific pace to hit on the machines or how quickly to cycle certain movements. 

Example: if you consistently bike at 63 RPMs, then try something like the following workout but at a higher-than-normal RPMs.

  • 10 rounds:
    • 6 burpees to a 6” target
    • 8 kb swings (70/53)
    • 10 Assault bike calories

The goal of this workout would be to move smoothly and efficiently through the burpees and kettlebell swings and then maintain 65+ RPMs for each round on the bike. This will push you outside of your comfort zone and will probably hurt a lot more than you are used to, and may even result in you blowing up, but it will give you an opportunity to test just where your capacity lies and recalculate if necessary.

Option 2: Regularly include “messy” CrossFit workouts in your training. 

Sometimes it’s easy to spend too much time focusing on building up one’s capacity in running or rowing, strict gymnastics, or barbell cycling, but then shying away from incorporating all of these components together in classic CrossFit-style workouts. Sometimes the simplest couplets or triplets can be the most painful and effective. Take the following workout for example:

  • 10 min AMRAP:
    • 3-6-9-12…power cleans (115/75)
    • 4-8-12-16…bar-facing burpees

This is a great way to practice working outside of your comfort zone because even if you start off pacing this workout well, it will start to get uncomfortable and you will have to adjust your pacing strategy based on how you feel. 

Sources: https://wodprep.com/blog/crossfit-pacing/ 

 

Kipping it Real with Danielle!

Each month Overland Park CrossFit recognizes a member who exemplifies our values and motivates others in the gym to push themselves with encouraging words. May’s Athlete of the Month is Danielle West. Danielle was chosen because she NEVER misses a day. She makes working out a priority and shows up no matter the workout. She is also very dedicated to making sure she moves with proper technique and does a really good job of listening to the coaches and taking their cues to heart. She has been an awesome addition to our 6:30 class! Her hard work is paying off and we love having Danielle as a part of our OPCF community!

1. How long have you been working out at Overland Park CrossFit? I have been working out at OPCF for a year!
2. What were your thoughts after your first CrossFit workout? Do you remember what it was? 
I don’t remember what the workout was, but I remember there were a lot of air squats. Although it was a challenge and I was incredibly sore for the next several days, I remember feeling very accomplished and knowing I was 100% going to be back on Monday. I was definitely scared coming into the gym but everyone was so welcoming; I left feeling so encouraged. I remember Klaudia (who I didn’t even know was a coach at the time) stopped the accessory workout that she was doing to help me with my squat form, which I thought was so kind.

3. What has been your favorite workout so far? That’s tough. I would say the first Open workout from this year because I came into it so worried about the fact that there was going to be a person judging me and that it was going to go terribly, but I actually ended up really surprising myself!

4. What is your favorite cheat meal? 
Any type of Mexican food is by far my favorite cheat meal.

5. What did you want to be when you grew up and where do you work now? 
Growing up I wanted to be an elementary school teacher. I now work as a Kindergarten (soon to be fourth grade) teacher and am pursuing my Masters in Mental Health Practices in Schools.

6. What do you like to do outside of work? 
Outside of work, I love coming to CrossFit (obviously) but aside from that I enjoy trail walking, listening to podcasts, cooking/baking and hanging out with family/friends.
7. What advice would you give a newbie just starting at OPCF? My advice would be to stay consistent and to just keep moving in workouts. The workouts can be so intimidating and I remember, especially when I first started, I would get really hung up on the fact that I was finishing last, getting time capped, struggling to perform a movement, etc., and I’ve really tried to switch my mindset going into every workout to just, “Do your best and keep moving”. Also, if you have 10-15 minutes before/after your workout to practice any movements you’re wanting to improve, it’s amazing how big of a difference it can make!

8. What is your favorite/least favorite movement? 
My favorite movement is the clean and my least favorite movement is a thruster
.
              
9. What’s one CrossFit goal you have set for yourself to accomplish this next year? 
One of my goals for this next year is to do a pull-up.

10. What changes have you seen in yourself since starting at OPCF? As cheesy as it may sound, CrossFit has really helped to make me stronger not only physically, but mentally, and has pushed me to do more than I previously thought I was capable of. Growing up and throughout college, I was not even the slightest bit athletic and like a lot of people, I’ve always struggled with body image issues. CrossFit has really helped me shift my focus from wanting to be “thin”/ looking a certain way, to wanting to be strong. I have begun to focus so much more on what my body can do for me versus what it looks like. CrossFit has also been a huge stress reliever for me and I have met some of the most amazing and encouraging people.

11. What is your biggest improvement or proudest accomplishment thus far? I would say my proudest accomplishments thus far have been getting my first rep of some of the higher skill movements like double-unders and toes-to-bar.

12. How do you fit working out into your weekly schedule? 
I just really try to make it a priority and I plan ahead. Going into each week, I look at my schedule and if need be, I will adjust the class time that I attend. Starting out, I told myself that I would only allow myself to miss a day if I was sick and I have held myself to that. Even if I can’t make it into the gym for some reason, I still make sure I get in some sort of a workout. I genuinely enjoy CrossFit and coming to OPCF, so working out never really feels like a chore to me; it’s something I truly look forward to every day.

13. What is something you have always wanted to do but haven’t yet? 
Something I have always wanted to do but haven’t yet is go hiking in Colorado!

 

Kipping it Real with Jen!

Each month Overland Park CrossFit recognizes a member who exemplifies our values and motivates others in the gym to push themselves with encouraging words. March’s Athlete of the Month is Jennifer Brown. Jen was chosen because even though she has been dealing with a lot of back pain, but through it all, she has never given up coming to the gym. She makes working out a priority, despite how she might be feeling that day, and always does it with a smile on her face! She is really good about asking how she can modify movements to ensure that she keeps her back safe and is simply just happy to be at the gym moving! Her positivity and do-work attitude is very inspiring! Her hard work is paying off and we love having Jen as a part of our OPCF community!

How long have you been working out at Overland Park CrossFit? I have been working out at OPCF for 5 months now.
What were your thoughts after your first CrossFit workout? My first thought after finishing my first workout was “sign me up!” However,  this was something that I concluded after getting over my initial shock. I recall driving up to the gym and noticing a group of beautiful, fit people running outside. I initially panicked and thought about turning around. I worked up the courage to park my car and walk in. There were even more beautiful, fit people inside working out! I was a deer in headlights and then someone approached me (I think he was a coach, but it’s all a blur now). I mentioned how nervous and unprepared I felt, and he said that I already did the hardest part, I walked in!
What has been your favorite workout so far? I love AMRAPs. They are challenging but also allow for a great level of flexibility and that is very important to me.
What is your favorite cheat meal? I was recently introduced to Birria tacos and I am obsessed.
What did you want to be when you grew up and where do you work now? I am a native New Yorker from the Bronx and growing up I wanted to be a Cop with NYPD. Currently, I work at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services.
What do you like to do outside of work? I am very boring; however, I enjoy reading and am one of the best window shoppers that you’ve ever met.
                                      
What advice would you give a newbie just starting at OPCF? 
The best advice that I can give a newbie is commit to a schedule that they are comfortable with and walk through the darn door!
What is your favorite/least favorite movement? My favorite movement is the push press. I truly love all movements; however, I do have frenemies and they are Mr. Snatch and cousin Burpee.
What’s one CrossFit goal you have set for yourself to accomplish this next year? I would love to continue to strengthen my back and build a stronger physique that would allow me to try more complex moves that I am hesitant to try.
What changes have you seen in yourself since starting at OPCF? I am definitely a lot happier now. I work from home and don’t get much interaction with the outside world. I really enjoy getting out and seeing people push themselves; it’s motivating and good for the soul.
What is your biggest improvement or proudest accomplishment thus far? I can do push-ups again! Who knew that a minor victory could bring so much joy?!?!
How do you fit working out into your weekly schedule? It’s not an option! I’ve made a commitment and I stick to it. Also, my dog says I’m too clingy and rushes me out the door every afternoon.
What is something you have always wanted to do but haven’t yet? I would love to open a B&B!

 

Kipping it Real with Aaron!

Each month Overland Park CrossFit recognizes a member who exemplifies our values and motivates others in the gym to push themselves with encouraging words. February’s Athlete of the Month is Aaron Fowler. Aaron was chosen because he has shown great improvement in his lifting technique and gymnastics movements, and is very encouraging to the other members in his class. His desire to become a better athlete is evident in his dedication to make working out a priority, spending extra time doing the optional accessory work when he can, practicing his gymnastics movements, and listening to the coach’s cues to improve his weightlifting movements. His hard work is paying off and we love having Aaron as a part of our OPCF community!

How long have you been working out at Overland Park CrossFit? I have been at OPCF for a year and a half.

What were your thoughts after your first CrossFit workout? Do you remember what it was? I don’t remember my first workout but I remember being extremely challenged and excited for the next one.

What has been your favorite workout so far? My favorite workout has been the 2K row.

What is your favorite cheat meal? My favorite cheat meal is pizza!

What did you want to be when you grew up and where do you work now? When I was young, I wanted to play in the NBA. I currently work at Children’s Mercy Hospital as a Respiratory Therapist and ECMO Specialist.

What do you like to do outside of work? Outside of work I love to hunt, play disc golf, and brew coffee!

What advice would you give a newbie just starting at OPCF? Hang in there. Do what you can do. Have a good time!

What’s one Crossfit goal you have set for yourself to accomplish this next year? This year I would like to finish an Rx workout with muscle-ups.

What changes have you seen in yourself since starting at OPCF? I have gotten stronger, faster, and more confident with my lifts.

What is your biggest improvement or proudest accomplishment thus far? I did my first muscle-up this year!

How do you fit working out into your weekly schedule? I make working out a priority as much as I can. And I try to get in a little extra work after class each day.

What is something you have always wanted to do but haven’t yet? I have always wanted to explore/survive in the backcountry in Alaska.

 

Kipping it Real with Shawn!

Each month Overland Park CrossFit recognizes a member who exemplifies our values and motivates others in the gym to push themselves with encouraging words. July’s Athlete of the Month is Shawn Herrman. Shawn was chosen because even though he has been dealing with a couple of different injuries for the past few months, he has been extremely patient, gracious, and dedicated to getting his body back to full health. He has consistently come in and done his PT every single day, he has modified many workouts without complaint, and he is always caring and encouraging towards the other members. His positive attitude radiates throughout the gym and he is an inspiration for those who are not only dealing with an injury, but also for those who just want to improve their fitness in general. His hard work is paying off and we love having Shawn as a part of our OPCF community! Learn more about Shawn below.

How long have you been working out at Overland Park CrossFit? I have been working out at OPCF since September 2020.

What were your thoughts after your first CrossFit workout? Do you remember what it was? I don’t remember my very first workout, but I do remember one of the first wods I did was a thruster workout. Alejandro and I were the last two to finish haha.

What has been your favorite workout so far? One of my favorite workouts was surprisingly the first Open workout with wall walks and double-unders.

What is your favorite cheat meal? If I had to pick my favorite cheat meal it would definitely be a double cheese burger and fries from a local restaurant back home in Hays, KS, called the Golden Q. If i can throw in a cheat dessert… definitely ice cream cake from Dairy Queen!

What did you want to be when you grew up and where do you work now? When I was younger, I actually wanted to be a doctor some day. Fortunately, this December I will be graduating from chiropractic school with my Doctorate of Chiropractic and opening up a clinic here in the KC metro area.

What do you like to do outside of work? Outside of work/school, I enjoy being outside (especially in the summer) whether it’s being at the lake, fishing, hiking, or paddle boarding. I’m always up for any type of adventure!

What advice would you give a newbie just starting at OPCF? My advice for someone starting out here at OPCF would be… we all start somewhere and want to be the fittest, fastest, strongest we can be, but perfect the simple movements and enjoy the little victories.

What is your favorite/least favorite movement? My favorite movement is handstand push-ups. My least favorite right now would probably be an overhead squat.

What’s one CrossFit goal you have set for yourself to accomplish this next year? A goal for myself within the next year (besides being healthy and injury free) is to work on some of my weaknesses and be a better and more well-rounded athlete.

What changes have you seen in yourself since starting at OPCF? Since working out at OPCF, I have seen that if you put in the work (and sometimes even a little extra), you start to see those little victories add up and they not only make a difference in your performance at the gym, but also outside of the gym.

What is your biggest improvement or proudest accomplishment thus far? One thing that I was happy about was being able to string together decent sets of bar and ring muscle-ups. But, it was also good to be able to take a step back and trust the process of healing a couple of injuries.

How do you fit working out into your weekly schedule? Right now with school it has been nice for the most part to be able to workout in the morning at 9:30am and usually Open Gym. Outside of this, I usually see patients in the clinic and study.

What is something you have always wanted to do but haven’t yet? One thing I would love to do in the future is to work towards competing in an Rx competition.

 

Kipping it Real with Clayton!

Each month Overland Park CrossFit recognizes a member who exemplifies our values and motivates others in the gym to push themselves with encouraging words. May’s Athlete of the Month is Clayton Dye. Clayton was chosen because it is evident that he is striving to get better by signing up for additional programs that OPCF has to offer (Gymnastics program and Nutrition program) and through the way he prioritizes good technique over heavier weight on his lifts. He is a very hard worker and it shows with the progress he’s made in the time that he’s been doing CrossFit. His hard work is paying off and we love having Clayton as a part of our OPCF community! Learn more about Clayton below.

How long have you been working out at Overland Park CrossFit? 11 months! Time flies..

What were your thoughts after your first CrossFit workout? Do you remember what it was? Loved it. I remember coming on a day we had to do a million thrusters. Me being naive, thought it was no big deal when we warmed up/practiced it before the Metcon. Boy was I wrong. Still made it to class the next day 🙂

What has been your favorite workout so far? As much as it hurt the next day, I enjoyed the 100 devil’s press and burpees workout from the winter. It was ROUGH but I felt like I had really accomplished something many people wouldn’t have attempted.

What is your favorite cheat meal? Tough choice, it’s either sushi or 5 Guys’ Burgers.

What did you want to be when you grew up and where do you work now? Astronaut. I realized in high school that Calculus and Statistics were going to be the max my brain could handle in math. I then found the Stock Market and wanted to become a Stock Broker. However, NY is really far away from family and friends. I am now a Merchandiser Assistant at a commodity trading firm.

What do you like to do outside of work? Hunting, fishing, camping, hiking or going on walks with the wife at a park and feeding the geese.

What advice would you give a newbie just starting at OPCF? Commit to it whole heartedly. CF definitely isn’t something you can half commit to and get the results you’re looking for. It’s tough but in the end its worth it and there is no better feeling than kicking a workout’s butt. I’d also add, practice makes perfect. I’m still not very good at double-unders, but I am slowly getting there through the help of the coaches and other CF’ers that lend advice!

What is your favorite/least favorite movement? Snatch… Really anything overhead. Shoulders die every time.

What’s one Crossfit goal you have set for yourself to accomplish this next year?  Set a new PR in squats and power clean.

What changes have you seen in yourself since starting at OPCF? I’m able to move heavier weight more quickly and with better technique. Leah’s nagging… er, coaching, has kept me honest and more mindful of foot placement and other aspects of a lift that keep me from hurting myself. Klaudia’s nutrition plan has helped quite a bit as well. I am trying to gain a little bit of weight and eating as much as I do, I haven’t felt groggy or heavy during a workout. I’m seeing great results both on the scale, and in my legs and upper body.

What is your biggest improvement or proudest accomplishment thus far?  It might be small but being able to do a dip on the rings. An old football injury has kept me from doing a lot with shoulders but with the right technique I’ve been able to do those and increase the speed at which I get them done.

How do you fit working out into your weekly schedule? Every day after work! I work the normal 8-5 gig so 6:30 is the best time for me to get a workout in. I will occasionally make it to the 5:30 AM class as well later in the week but the bed sometimes wins out.

What is something you have always wanted to do but haven’t yet?  Deep sea fishing or a trip to New Zealand for many reasons but mostly to sight see. Really pretty country out there.