Workout Sunday: 800-meter reps at lactate threshold pace with 45 seconds rest between reps. With the World Masters Track and Field Championships 10 months away, I’m continuing with “Project High School” (my attempt to approach my high school track times) as my Achilles tendon heals and working on my aerobic strength before doing the anaerobic speedwork I’ll need later to get into 800-meter and mile race shape. Did 8 reps today.
Training tip: Never start workouts with a number of reps in mind. Number of reps is arbitrary and not as important as causing fatigue. There’s no magic in doing 6 or 7 or 8 reps. Do as many reps as it takes to cause fatigue, until you feel that you couldn’t do another rep without breaking the bank. Fatigue is what your body responds and adapts to. Give yourself the opportunity to adapt.
The other reason to do “Unlimited Reps Workouts” (which are a tenet of my coaching training programs), is to redefine your limits. If you focus on one rep at a time without any preconceived idea as to how many reps you’ll do, you may do more than what you thought you could do. If you decide before the workout you’ll do 8 reps (us scientist nerds call that “a priori” when something is decided before an experiment), guess what happens when you get to rep 7 or 8—you feel tired, because your brain thinks you’re close to the end of the workout. If you leave the workout open-ended, you’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish. Same for tempo runs and other types of workouts. Reset your limits by not placing limits on your workouts. That’s smart training.