When you train well and become fitter and start going faster, going faster still hurts and you may find it hurts even more. What you need to remember it hurts to reach new levels or fitness, speed or agility. It is an illusion or myth to think as you get better, the pain or hurt disappears. In reaching new speeds and abilities, you should expect to hurt.  

With that, there is great learning as an athlete and an answer to finding your potential. If you want to improve, get faster, you need to be prepared to hurt, to suffer and be challenged both physically and mentally. 

Your RPE (Rate of Perceived Exertion) – measures the intensity of an exercise — it uses a score of how difficult a particular activity feels while you’re doing it. RPE is a subjective rating based on how you feel physically and mentally during the exercise.

Your coach may plan sessions according to your perceived exertion. It is a way of getting you to work at a certain intensity. What is beneficial, is if you start recording your perceived exertion against the sessions to perform during the week. You can use the scale below. 

Over time, you can see where you do the most of your training, whether you are actually getting fitter, and whether you should do more or less intensity in your training. 

Remember, getting faster will hurt, and it is a new mental approach you will need to take to deal with the uncomfortable feelings. The pain is often an indication that you are realising new speeds and abilities you are capable of. Become comfortable with being uncomfortable. 

(2-3 /10)
(4-6 / 20)
(7-8/ 10)
Recovery >1hr20-60mins6-15mins1-5mins
Heart Rate 
(approx )
<145145 – 155155 – 165170 – 180>180

MONITORING – You can’t track what you don’t measure

For athletes – it is a good habit to get into recording your training sessions. Why, you may ask…… you can’t monitor what you don’t record. 

Keeping a diary of what you have done is a great way to track your progress. Particularly with so many competing requirements such as the 5 disciplines of Modern Pentathlon. By recording your training, along with the perceived exertion for the sessionyou will notice more progress and improvement toward training goals, than if you don’t record. 

With the new GPS devices readily available now, it is easy to do this minimal effort. If you have a GPS watch, and wish to do this, please feel free to send an email to our performance director (hannah@modernpentathlon.org.au ) 

Other benefits of monitoring training and logging the data: 

  1. Seeing progress over time. 
  2. Enable coaches to see how you are handling and adapting to training prescribed. 
    1. Enables to coaches to know how to, and when to add stimulus to your training plan
  3. Build confidence, which may lead to further consistency
  4. Encourages good training habits by adherence to programs
  5. Accountability
  6. Self-motivation and rewarding
  7. Identifies challenges 
  8. Unifies a team – particularly in a multi-discipline sport like Modern Pentathlon and ensures everyone has the athlete’s goals and aspiration as the focus at all times.


  • Do the simple things well
  • Have a training plan. 
  • Focus on consistent training
    • Having a plan will help ensure this occurs
  • Incorporate only small increases in training load 
  • Schedule recovery time. Recovery is vital to ensure you can adapt and train as you want to.