Thursday, 5 April 2012

4) How to incorporate Tabata protocol in your training regimen? b. Endurance sports

b.    Endurance sports

                                          i.    Running

As we mentioned earlier, sprinting is one of the best exercise for Tabata. It might seem a paradox but sprinting will help you to improve your endurance. Tabata can be used as a time saver, and also to exercise different muscles fibers than the typical endurance sessions.

Tabata will not replace steady endurance training for marathon for instance. It’s however an exercise you can include in your preparation schedule.

As stated by Dr. Pat O’Shea:

“Coaches and athletes need to understand however, that short-term intense interval training has very limited application to long-distance events such as marathon running and the Tour de France. Long distance endurance athletes need efficient "fat burning" bodies. Their muscles must be trained to utilize energy from free fatty acid oxidation while conserving the limited stores of glycogen which are necessary for nerve and brain function. (Nerves and the brain derive energy only from glycogen - not fat.)” .

Some others think differently: “In the old days, before sports nutrition was taken seriously, athletes used to train to burn fats for energy. Compared to carbohydrate, our body's fat reserves are vast. Training the body to burn fats for energy is time consuming, as it involves lots of long, slow distance training. If you are short of time you must look for a different solution”. (Source:

                                         ii.    Triathlon

Triathlon is an endurance sport, but Tabata can be beneficial.

“MacKenzie trains a number of triathletes and incorporates stationary-bike and treadmill Tabata sessions into the program of all who are willing to endure the suffering these workouts entail. An ultra-runner himself, MacKenzie credits his own twice-weekly Tabata sessions with enabling him to improve his performance on a training schedule averaging only 6.5 hours per week, and he says his triathlete clients have reported similar benefits.”

More about MacKenzie and CrossFit Endurance:

Another testimony from Lisa Barnes (USAT Level 1 coach and an Ironman athlete):

However in her article, I don’t see the “Iron Man” training with biceps curls and triceps extension soliciting enough muscles to reach the Tabata intensity.

In short, Tabata for triathlon can be highly beneficial, as a time saver, and practicing swimming, cycling or running.

It’s no use to try the Tabata training before or after a long classic endurance session; you will need a couple of hours to recover and to benefit from the method.

About swimming, it’s pretty difficult to manage exactly the 20s work /10 s rest, but you can try something approaching. For instance, if you can cover the 25m of lap pool in 18s (free style), taking only 10s rest before heading back should be sufficient. The last bouts will be probably done at a pace over the initial 20s, because of the exhaustion. Be careful; don’t be alone in the swim pool if you try such a high intensity. Safety first. May be the butterfly swim is a good option, especially if your technique is not perfect, you will spend a lot of energy and you will have a chance to reach the intensity required by Tabata training (remember, 170% of VO2max?).

No comments:

Post a Comment