Do you allow yourself to get on a roll, even when it seems like it's more prudent to take a break?

A couple of years ago, Keith Prather and I had an incredible opportunity to do collaborative strategy sessions on 18 different topics in 10 business days. We split up and ran 2 simultaneous sessions some days. Others, we'd do two 1/2 day sessions.

It was mentally and physically fatiguing, but the opportunity to innovate the emerging Brainzooming approach  so frequently in a very compressed time created tremendous learnings about what worked and didn't. It allowed us to modify and test new strategy exercises the very next day. By the end of two weeks, we were completely on top of our game despite being exhausted.

A similar situation happened recently.

When it comes to exercise, I take the easy way out, telling myself it's important to rest in between workout days and to not go too hard on the elliptical trainer, especially if I've got a training session afterward.

At the start of the year though, Seth Simonds put out a Primal Stride Challenge to attain weekly fitness and health goals. The first included doing a daily 5K for 7 days straight. New Year's Day, I did my typical hard, but not too hard, run on the elliptical trainer and posted an average 5k time. Having a goal to work against and doing it on a daily basis, however, I reduced my 5k time by 6.6% at week's end.  That was with only one off day! A remarkable improvement based on where I am in my physical fitness journey.

Reflecting on this, it reminded me of the earlier experience with Keith. Both cases involved doing something way more than I thought made sense given the likelihood of the effort leading to fatigue - and an expectation of lower performance. Yet in both cases, getting on a roll and not letting up actually led to tremendous performance improvements.

My take away?

Your strategy should be to keep going and not worry about pacing yourself if you truly want to dramatically improve.

How about you? How do you train to reach your peak mental or physical performance, and what works best for you to get on a roll and keep it going? - Mike Brown