Thursday, January 21, 2010


Hooray, I'm back in the game. I did 6 miles early this morning at a reasonable clip (just over 48 minutes) with minimal after effects. I felt the foot a little at the start, but it soon settled down. I'm beginning to think it may have been a bit of plantar fasciitis rather than tendonitis, but whatever - I'm just glad to be back running. I'll test it out again tomorrow with another 6 miler, and hopefully all will be good for Saturday's 22 miler.

I'm also starting to see the benefit of all the cross training I've been doing, and I've been hitting it hard - sometimes twice a day - and mixing it up (maybe that's why I'm constantly hungry). Because everything I'm doing is geared toward endurance and speed I don't do heavy weights. Instead I focus my strength workouts on circuit training and lighter weights (with lots of core work) - everything is done at pace with little or no rest between sets, and I always include some kind of aerobic cardio element to the workout. That means that I can pack a heck of a lot into 20 or 30 minutes and really get a sweat going.

Hopefully I'll see the difference in my marathon times this year.

And while researching various training techniques, I came across an interesting method called the Tabata protocol which is a very intense 4-minute interval training workout. It originated in Japan and comprises a training cycle of 20 seconds at maximum intensity followed by 10 seconds of rest repeated 8 times without pause (the original Tabata protocol also includes 5 minutes of warmup and 2 minutes of cooldown for a total workout time of 11 minutes - because this is done at maximum intensity, the warmup is very important). Studies have shown it yields impressive gains in both aerobic (VO2max) and anaerobic capacity.

This would be a great workout to try with sprints or on the stationary bike. Some other great candidates that come to mind are pushups, squats, jumprope, jumping jacks, bicep curls, tricep dips and crunches.

You would think that a 4 minute workout would be easy, but I'm told that when you first start you will probably not be able to complete one 8 round cycle and should just go until you can't go any more (remember, those 20 second bursts are done at 100% effort).

I think I'll add a tabata interval onto the end of one of my core workouts and report back.

Finally (and on a completely different note), congratulations to Derek who yesterday informed me that after many months of trying he has completed my cracker challenge. Six crackers in less than a minute is an outstanding achievement - take that Ted Allen!!!


Ryan V. said...

Dude, tabata is awesome.

Hope all is going well in your world, my friend.

Mark said...

Ah, dumbell squat thrusters eh? Nice