This past week was Peak Performance Week at Orangetheory. I actually have come to love Peak Performance Week. It’s a great way for me to check my how I’m doing compared to how I’ve done in the past. It’s the same way with Hell Week. It’s nice to have workout benchmarks to compare to because I know I make improvements in my workouts even if the scale isn’t going down.
I would have loved to have done 4 workouts during Peak Performance Week this time, but with my 5K race on Saturday I knew I wasn’t going to work out on Friday. I added a Thursday workout in, but since I didn’t want to do 4 days in a row I had to keep it at 3 days.
Since I was pretty stuck with what days I could go, I’m glad that the workouts on the days I went were pretty much the ones I would have wanted to go to anyway.
Monday was the 1 mile challenge. This one is the one I have the most feelings about. I feel like my mile time means so much to me and I know what times I want to get to. So since this is the most important one in my mind, I’m glad it was first so I could get it over with.
Our last Peak Performance Week was about 4 months ago and I was able to do a 16:58 mile then. My PR is 16:30 and as much as I want to get back down to that, I knew my body wasn’t there yet. I really had hope that I could at least do better than what I did 4 months ago. When we started the treadmill, I was at 3.5 miles an hour and 6% incline. I pretty much stayed there until I was 3/4 of the way done. By then, everyone around me was already done with the mile challenge and on to the next cardio block (thankfully my coach let me finish it even though power walkers only have to do a half mile).
I was really hurting toward the end of my mile and I kept bumping up the speed because I could see that I was going to be really close to my last mile time. And when I was done, I was a little bit slower than last time.
It makes me so mad how close I was because all it would have taken was a little more speed for a such a short amount of time to get to where I was last time. There’s nothing I can do about it now, but it was making me feel a bit off about how my 5K would go on Saturday.
After the mile challenge, we had a run/row to finish out the cardio block. Since I had taken so long, I really only had time for a little bit before we moved onto the floor (where we were doing a ton of lunges and my legs felt like jello).
Wednesday’s challenge was a 1000 meter row. I had looked at my past records and couldn’t find what my PR was when I went to class (I now know that it is 4:58.9). So I just sent my goal time at 4:50 thinking it sounded good to me. I had warmed up on the treadmill first before getting on the rower and then when it was my group’s turn to row I got strapped in. I really didn’t focus on the computer on my rower at all. Since I had set it for distance I knew that the timer would stop when I reached 1000 meters and chances were that I would know when I was close. So I just tried to look straight ahead at the treadmills and not think about the rowing at all.
By the time I was halfway, I was exhausted. I really thought about taking a few second break to stretch and catch my breath, but I decided against it and kept going. Somehow, I did my 1000 meters without taking a break once. Honestly, no matter what my time was, I would have been happy just knowing that. But my time was pretty awesome too.
I made it 1/10 of a second under my goal time! I just barely made it under my goal time, but it still counts! After I got of the rower, I was a bit wobbly. I know I really pushed myself hard on that and my body was feeling it. It ended up being run/row day on the treadmill so I still had more rowing to do, but they were all pretty short compared to the challenge. On the floor we did a bunch of upper body work, especially on the TRX straps. I know my arms were done because by the end of class my form had gotten really sloppy and I was needing a bunch of corrections.
Thursday was my last day of Peak Performance Week. I knew it was going to be another treadmill challenge involving hills, but before I got to class I didn’t know much more than that. What it ended up being was a 13 minute run for distance. Runners and joggers had to be at 2% incline (normally they are at 1%) and power walkers had to be at 6% incline. So basically for me, this was going to be a 13 minute push pace (normally the longest push pace is 3 minutes).
There was a white board on the side of the room that showed how far you should be able to go in 13 minutes. For power walkers, it was at least .8 miles so I assumed that was based on being at 3.5 miles an hour (the slowest power walkers are supposed to be) for the entire time. So my goal was to beat .8 miles. I did 3.5 miles an hour for the first 10 minutes (that was a challenge in itself!). Then the next minute was at 3.6 and the following minute at 3.7. For the last minute I bumped up the speed every 20 seconds (so 3.8, 3.9, and 4.0 miles an hour). Clearly the chart showing how far we should be able to go wasn’t correct for power walkers because for all the extra speed I did at the end I wasn’t able to get to my goal distance.
I actually don’t know how fast I would have had to go to get to .8 miles, but I only set that as my goal because I assumed that it was based on 3.5 miles an hour. I still did 13 minutes at 6% incline and did the entire thing at 3.5 miles an hour or faster! I think I might need to start playing around with my base pace again because I think I might be ready to be back at 3.5 miles an hour very soon.
For Thursday’s floor work there was some rowing (500 meters) and a lot of heavy weights for me. I was using a lot of 20 pound weights for squats, lunges, and deadlifts. After working so hard on the treadmill the 20 pound weights felt like 50 pound weights, but I stuck with it (and just took breaks to help me catch my breath).
Even though I didn’t always beat my past Peak Performance Week records, I think that this week went really well. I struggled from time to time, but I kept going and I know that whenever the next Peak Performance Week comes up, I’ll be ready to see if I can beat these records or my other ones.