Finding your pace


I think one of the hardest parts of starting a new fitness program is finding the right pace. More often than not we sprint out of the gate and wind up gassed and resentful of the exercise.

When I’m teaching class, I can always spot a new student over doing it. Sometimes this person leaves during class and sometimes they stick it out looking increasingly frustrated. Often when I see this, I give my running example to class.

Before I began running, I’d randomly hop on the treadmill and just start increasing the speed. After a minute, I’d think “I’m faster than this” and start increasing speed. Very quickly I was gassed and hated running. It was stupid, I wasn’t good at it and clearly, I wasn’t meant to run.

OR, my approach was totally defeatist! When I decided to truly give running a chance; I did a lot of research and decided to start with intervals. I walked for 2 minutes and ran for 1. In the beginning my run was too fast, but I was determined so I slowed down the run on the next interval and surprise – found a speed I could maintain. Who knew?

Over time, I learned how to find my pace. This doesn’t mean I didn’t get faster. My pace has certainly changed over time. I’ve been faster and slower, but I learned how to adjust and find where I need to be.

How does this relate to strength training? Almost the exact same way! It’s important to pick up a weight or choose an exercise that challenges you to start, but makes it hard on your last rep. If your first rep feels really hard, your tenth will be impossible and odds are you won’t like it. 

Whenever you enter a class or workout, look at the options and pick the right one for you. There is a lot of trial and error that goes into it and that’s ok. The idea is to not give up and find your personal sweet spot. It will make exercise that much more enjoyable because, yes – it should be mostly enjoyable!

Do you struggle with finding your pace? What helps get you on track?