I had been pretty excited going into this past week of workouts. I really do love Peak Performance Week (it’s so much better than Hell Week!). I track a lot of my workout accomplishments on my phone so I do know how I’m doing week to week. But for some reason Peak Performance Week brings out the competitive side of me and I really go for it! I’ve hit some amazing goals and PRs during past Peak Performance Weeks, and I knew that while I wasn’t going to hit that every day I was going to have an awesome week.
I really wanted to go to 4 workouts this past week, but my schedule didn’t allow for me to do that so I only got in 3 workout challenges (the one I was sad to miss was the same day as my therapist appointment). But I think that I really maximized the time that I was at Orangetheory and I really couldn’t be prouder of myself.
Monday was the 500 meter row challenge. We started our workout doing the challenge (so we wouldn’t be tired doing it later) so I was able to get my row done within the first 10 minutes of class. My goal time was to be able to get this done in under 2 minutes, and I really thought I might get there. I was going really fast on the rower and was pushing back really hard with my legs. But even with the effort I was putting in, I came up just a bit short of my goal.
I really set the bar high with hoping to be under 2 minutes, so I’m pretty happy with what I was able to get done. Plus, since I know Mondays are usually tough mornings for me, I knew that I might struggle a bit. But I was pretty happy with my endurance during the row and I think my time is a good one that I can work toward beating next time.
After the 500 meter row, our coach split our group up more evenly to do the rest of the workout. I ended up being in the group that had to start on the floor (I really don’t like that). The floor block ended up being very similar to Friday the week before. It was a long block that had a lot of arm and ab work and we also had to do some more rowing during it. For the treadmill, I only ran during the all out segments because I was feeling a bit tired in the second half of class and I didn’t want to overdo things too much (that’s when I hurt more).
Wednesdays class was pretty fun for me. My friend Dani was able to be in class (she’s missed a few weeks because of work) and my friend Amanda surprised me by being there too! That was pretty awesome and made me be in a really great mood for class. The challenge that day was weighted sit to stands on a Bosu ball for 1 minute. Unfortunately for me, I can’t do sit to stands really well. I can do it if I use my hands and flip over to stand up, but my hips don’t really bend that way right now. So I ended up doing weighted squats for that minute and was able to do 32 squats!
The workout was a strength day, so that meant all inclines on the treadmill. I didn’t end up doing any running for the treadmill time. I knew what was coming up on Friday and I wanted to make sure my legs were ready. But I was able to bring my inclines up on the treadmill higher than I have in a while and that’s a pretty great accomplishment for me! My calf hasn’t been hurting at all lately so I’m getting a bit braver with testing my inclines. I’m not ready to try running really at inclines yet, but to know I can walk at them again is pretty nice.
The floor work that day was nice. I was tired after all of the hill work that we had to do, so I was pretty happy to see that there was an entire block of floor work that was on the Bosu! A lot of that was laying on the ground, so my heart rate got to relax for a bit.
Friday was the big day for me! It was the 1 mile challenge and I was feeling super excited and nervous about it. I know that I just had a major PR recently with my mile time, so I wasn’t expecting anything huge to happen this time. But I did know that I was able to run faster and a bit longer than I did when I got that PR, so I figured I would be getting a faster time that day.
My original plan for my mile was to run for 45 seconds and then walk for 1 minute and just keep repeating it. That seems like a good pace idea for me and I was happy with the plan. When I started my mile challenge, I was feeling pretty good with my running so I decided to run for 1 minute and walk for 1 minute until that was tiring me out too much. I figured I could probably do that a couple of times and then I’d go down to running for 45 seconds at a time. But I was actually feeling pretty great. In fact, I was bumping up my speed on both my running and walking segments (running at 4.8 mph and walking at 3.7 mph).
We technically only had 13 minutes to finish the mile, and I knew there was no way I could finish that quickly. So I just figured that I would stay on the treadmill while everyone was walking to recover and hopefully I could keep going into the beginning of the floor block and nobody would need my treadmill (we were switching between blocks this day). At the 12 minute mark, I saw that I was killing it with my time and I decided to just go for it and hope that I could keep going. I started running at 5.0 mph and decided that I wasn’t going to stop until I hit the 1 mile mark. I was bumping my speed up a bit throughout the time and in that last effort I hit 2 big milestones. I ran at my fastest speed yet (5.3 mph) and for the longest time yet (1:50 without stopping). And it totally paid off in my mile time.
That’s a minute and 40 seconds faster than my mile last month! That’s insane! I pushed myself harder than I ever have and while I know that this speed and intensity could not be done for a 5K race yet, just knowing I can do a mile like this is incredible! I really want to work on my endurance and continuing to run for longer and longer blocks. I had set a goal for June to run for 90 seconds straight, and I ended up beating that by 20 seconds!
After that mile, I was beyond exhausted. I was very out of breath and had to sit down while the rest of the floor work was being explained. I even had to take a bit of time during the floor block to work on getting my heart rate back down and to stop breathing as hard as I was. The first floor block was 13 minutes long (so the other half of class had 13 minutes to do their mile challenges) and it focused a lot on arms and abs. I was really grateful for the ab work because that meant I was laying down on the floor. I’m glad it was a longish block because I was able to take my time and I know I was going pretty slowly.
After the longer floor block, we got back up to the treadmill for the last 2 blocks of cardio. I was walking during all of it and keeping my inclines a bit lower because I really was tired. My legs were a bit sore (not in pain, just sore) and I knew I had pushed myself maybe a bit harder than I should have so I wanted to be easy on myself. And when we were back on the floor, the final block was 2 1/2 minutes of arm work (biceps and triceps) and I was sitting or laying on the weight bench for the entire time.
Overall, I think that this Peak Performance Week went really well. While I didn’t beat old records every time, the records I did beat were pretty amazing. And I was pushing myself harder no matter what I was doing. That competitive feeling was really making me want to do better than ever and I think that I accomplished that.
I’m not sure when the next Peak Performance Week will be, but I know that all this time between now and then will be training to beat these records and to prove that I’m getting stronger, better, and faster every day.