I have been researching the high intensity interval training and especially the Tabata method. I described it in an earlier post but basically the Tabata method is 20 seconds of high intensity exercise followed by 10 seconds of rest for 8 repetitions for a grand total of 4 minutes total effort. The exercise can be anything that involves the larger muscle groups; sprinting, dead lifts, swimming, etc. According to the information among the websites I visited you can make some dramatic increases in your VO2 maximum and your anaerobic capacity in as little as 6 weeks.
I went out today (July 27th) to give it a try. I have to admit I ended up wimping out a little. I started off with a 2 mile warm up. I added some butt kicks and some high stepping into the run. After the run I stretched out a little to loosen up. I set my Garmin for 8 repetitions of 20 seconds with 10 second intervals. I then let loose with my first sprint. Well, since I have aged I don’t sprint too often unless someone or something is chasing me. A 20 second sprint is a looooonnnng time! Conversely a 10 second rest period is a short time. When the Garmin signaled the 20 seconds were over and I slowed down to a walking pace, the 10 second rest was done! After about 6 repetitions I had to take a 30 second break instead of a 10 second break. My last couple of sprints was more of a slow run. I think I need learn to take the pain and crash through my lactate threshold. I was not satisfied with my performance at all. Next time out I need to give my all for that brief 4 minutes.
Has anyone else out there tried any high intensity training? I like the idea and plan on incorporating it into my work out routine. I must say that I don’t necessarily look forward to it. Hopefully I can bump up my running ability some. I have been stuck at a little above 7 minute mile pace for a 5K for about two years now. I would really love to get below the 7 minute mile for the 5K and also break a 6 minute mile pace for 1 mile.
We will see what happens. I plan on doing the Tabata twice a week.
PS: Another thing about sprinting is it is hard on your body. I was amazed at how my legs, knees, and ankles were sore. If you have not sprinted in a while you might want to start out slowly.
Have a great day!