My first "tabata" - hurt so good
I use the quotation marks around tabata because I have no idea what % of my whatevers I was doing on the sprints so I don't know whether or not they qualify for "true" tabata sprints. However, I know for sure I just did this: I got on my ellptical machine and moved my legs as fast as they would go for 20 seconds times eight with 10 second breaks in between. And this is what I observed: never has 20 seconds seemed so long, and 10 seconds seemed so short. I also observed that, just like contributors to various posts mentioned, it feels like you are breathing bleach. And just like this video What Are Tabata Sprints? | Mark's Daily Apple showed, there is no choice but to throw your body on the ground when you are done. But once I was able to breathe again, I kind of liked it I fully expect to make it a weekly event. Say what you will, a 4 minute workout sure is efficient.
Now that I'm done it makes me feel a little silly that once I committed to myself that today was the day, I found excuse after excuse All Day Long to avoid my basement (where the elliptical machine lives).
And a little background on me in case anyone cares, I have been eating primally for 5 weeks and so far have kept to my regular fitness routine (weekly tennis and pilates, a long walk or two each week, occasional biking and elliptical...). Next up: trying out this whole Lifting Heavy Thing thing.
I'm gingerly working toward tabata...
This past weekend, I did "sprints" for the first time since seeing the MDA website, but they were more conventional type (similar to what I had done in the past...like when I was at a high school CC practice)
I ran the length of the street I live on (I'm at the very end of a cul-de-sac) so, from my mailbox the the street sign at the corner of my street and the main road. That was "1" and then I rested...back to my mailbox was "2" and so forth...they length of each sprint was roughly in the 200m/eighth of a mile range, although I haven't actually dragged a tape measure or anything out there. I was in a hurry and didn't want to go up to a nearby track to do "exact" distances and besides, I'm trying to learn that "exact" isn't always important...
Anyway, I did sprints in 50, 54, 54, 60, 60, 62 seconds with about 3 minutes in-between each...admittedly, there was slightly less than 3 minutes rest between the early sprints and slightly more rest between the later ones. I was really feeling it between #5 and #6...so badly bent over that a passing car stopped and asked me if I was "ok"
I did the first LHT workout this past week, doing the 5 essential prime movements. Only once, though...going to try for doing LHT twice THIS week and also sprints again...maybe this week I'll try tabata...
Sprints in and of themselves can be quite a challenge--especially for the uninitiated. Tabata sprints are a whole other level.
This is one of the VERY FEW sections of the site I kind of disagree with. I was a serious track and field runner growing up, I loved it. If it involved sprinting, I did it. And I love that Mark recommends it as part of the Primal Fitness plan--it deserves to be there. However, Tabata sprints, in my opinion, are near impossible and are going to be discouraging to most people.
Here is the reasoning. Your average high school, college, professional sprinter can go 200 meters in roughly 20 seconds. They are not going to go all out and then take 10 seconds and go do it again--this leads to significant fatigue and possible injury.
The purpose of sprints, at least as far as PBF is concerned, is to engage the fight or flight mechanism, to get those flexors primed and to use your leg muscles, heart and other muscle groups in a way you don't normally achieve--that's a great thing. But as a Tabata? No.
90% of the people here that attempt to do Tabata sprints will be done by sprint number 2 or 3. Done. DONE. Then where are you? Jogging the last 5-6 sprints and therefore negating what your goal was. Sprints!
I wholeheartedly recommend it be more realistic and still challenging. If you insist on Tabata-inspired sprints, I would say try just doing 8 full speed sprints and then gradually increase the distance over a period of weeks.
For instance: 20m x8 with a 1min break in between. Gradually increase to 80 or 100m and decrease breaks. Throw in some elevation by way of stairs or hills to mix things up. If you find that by sprint 4 or 5 you just aren't sprinting, just merely moving faster than jogging, you have missed the point and the benefit.
You want to be tired by your final sprint, but you still want to be sprinting--that is the point.
As an aside, the video Mark has for the girl sprinting, is not sprinting, at least not to me. Sprinting is this:
Last edited by exilio; 08-11-2011 at 08:59 PM.