We’ve posted quite a bit on the importance of being more mindful and cognizant in training. In the grand scheme of things, having a solid mental grasp on your training can be what separates good from great athletes and can also be the difference maker in getting you over the hump on those long, sought out, but stuck PRs. One piece of the pie is understanding the purpose or intended effect of the workout or training session from the coach or trainer. It is our job to disseminate what we want you to get out of the training and it allows you to work the progression that is appropriate for you. This is a big reason why we’ve implemented weekly WOD insights so you get a little better understanding of the intention of the workouts. If the coach wants the workout to be intense and a short blaster, you should adjust the weight and reps of the workout to allow you to train for that desired effect. This knowledge also allows you to alter your mindset on how to strategize the the specific workout accordingly.
A useful tip I’ve used lately with my clients is “self-ratings” after each training session as if they were their own coach. When I started coaching CF, Nabil had me rate my workouts to get a better feel for how the level of intensity was sustained or not during training. I’ve felt this was super helpful in understanding, not only how certain movements effected my work output and intensity, but also how to program workouts for desired effects simply based on intensity. Lately, I’ve had my clients rate themselves (1-5 stars) on THREE specific criteria after each training session:
1.) Effort- (1-5 stars)
Did you have it today? Did you give a full effort or were you cruising on autopilot going through the motions? Did it change throughout the workout?
2.) Intensity- (1-5 stars)
How did the heart rate and breathing fare throughout the workout? Were you able to maintain a high heart rate throughout or did you crash and burn? Were you taking a lot of rest on the movements or were you constantly moving throughout. How nasty was it?
3.) Strategy- (1-5 stars)
While this may dictate how intense the session went, it’s good to note how you felt your plan went. Would you have broken up the reps more or go unbroken? Did you go out too slow or too fast? Strategically, what would you do different the next time you do the workout.
Just as important as understanding the desired effect of the giving training day is (given from coach), all athletes should be able to make a quick reflection on how the session went from their perspective. I think that athletes who can appropriately critique their performance (without being too hard on themselves), learn a little more and continue to grow and get better than those who don’t. Also, by sharing these with coach, allows for better feedback and understanding throughout the program. Keeping this little log each day of training based on effort, intensity, and strategy, gives you subtle, healthy reminders that you are in the “process” and that each day doesn’t need to be simply WIN or LOSE. If you haven’t done it, give it a try and see how it goes!