Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Tabata This Run

My running has tapered off due to daylight savings time and my own lack of initiative now that I have finished the Complete Runner Program.  But my goal is to get faster or at least maintain my running fitness at its current level.  This involves a couple of things: working on form using POSE, speed workouts and trail running.  Tonight was a speed workout - specifically the tabata form where you run hard for 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds and repeat 8 times with no pausing beyond the 10 second rest period.  From the Crossfit Endurance website, the prescribed workout is 0-30 seconds slower than 5K pace per mile on a treadmill with a 12% incline.  I don't really know what my 5K pace is so I picked something faster than my half-marathon pace and I set the treadmill at a 5% incline since this was to be my first tabata run workout.  I warmed up for 4 minutes on the treadmill at a 12:00 mile pace then started the tabata run at a 9:05 mile pace and 5% incline. I felt pretty good so I ended up doing 10 rounds (instead of 8).  I then cooled down for 5 minutes.  Total workout was < 15 minutes.  Next time, I'll try an 8:30 pace with an 8% incline.  A 12% incline seems a bit too ambitious right now but it's in the horizon.  There was no knee pain, calf cramping, or achilles tendon hurting during or after this run!  I hope that means my form is getting better.  I also need to sign up for a 5K race and just see how I do, it would be pretty cool if I could complete the 5K in under 27 minutes- this was beyond my imagination a year ago! 

Interesting note from Wikipedia: Tabata Method
A popular regimen based on a 1996 study[2] uses 20 seconds of ultra-intense exercise (at an intensity of about 170% of VO2max) followed by 10 seconds of rest, repeated continuously for 4 minutes (8 cycles). In the original study, athletes using this method trained 4 times per week, plus another day of steady-state training, and obtained gains similar to a group of athletes who did steady state (70% VO2max) training 5 times per week. The steady state group had a higher VO2max at the end (from 52 to 57 ml/kg/min), but the Tabata group had started lower and gained more overall (from 48 to 55 ml/kg/min). Also, only the Tabata group had gained anaerobic capacity benefits.

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