Friday, 4 May 2012

Tabata sprints: which distance to cover? How to calculate?

With 8 bouts of 20 seconds with 10s rest, what is the distance you should run to comply with the 170% of VO2max as per the Tabata protocol?

Well, it depends of your experience in sprinting and MAV (Maximum Aerobic Velocity), and fitness level.

But for instance, if you MAV is 15,13 km/h and you run the  21.1 kms (half marathon) in 1h44mn40sec, 170% of VO2Max should be approximately 170% of MAV and therefore, the distance to cover will be around 140m. This is very challenging to perform in 20s, especially for the last bouts. But this is the secret of the Tabata training, very high intensity!
The formula is something like this:
Theoritical distance to cover in 8 reps : MAV (in km/h)*9.452
Practical distance to cover after the session : MAV*9.452*0.8
example : for a MAV of 16km/h, you should cover 1208m in total (ie 151 for each reps of 20s!) but practically a good target is 986m, which is 121m for each bouts of 20s.

By experience, the distance you will cover will be less (“target”) than the theoretical one (“distance”). Don’t start too fast but try to keep the same distance at each interval. This way the average intensity could be 170%, with 2- bouts at 200%, and last 3-4 at only 150% for instance.

I For your first attempts of Tabata training with sprints, you should target only 4 repetitions to get used to the intensity of the effort and to avoid injury. For the 2nd try, at least 48hours later, raise up to 6 repetitions. And finally, for the 3rd attempt, you should be able to complete the full cycle. With practice, both physical skills and experience will increase and you’ll perform more correctly.

Example: my MVA is approximately 16.8km/h and for Tabata the distance covered is ~1000m instead of theoretical 1272m. After 6mn of warming up (average cardio=71%) the Tabata session is done at 89% average and 91% maximum. Another 6mn of cooling-down at 79% average. That’s it, 18mn of efforts with only 4mn intense, for a better result than one hour of classical endurance cardio!

No comments:

Post a Comment