Buggeracup

Tabata Workout

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Just curious if anyone incorporates Tabata type workouts into their cycling regime?

 

Background for me is that I live in an area that is not really conducive to safe, scenic or enjoyable cycling and, in addition to that, cycling is the sport that I enjoy the least out of Tri training. I love going for a run or a swim but cycling just bores me. That being said I do love tris, have done them for years, so it's a necessary evil. Just focusing on shorter stuff and Oly's at the moment - nothing too serious.

 

I've got a wind trainer so I've been doing a few Tabata workouts (2 or 3) during the week and then trying to get a longer aerobic ride in on the weekend. It's nice to get it over and done with, quick warm-up, maybe some single-leg drills and then get stuck into a 4-5min Tabata session before cooling down just long enough to feel like I'm not going to spew my guts up. Done in 20mins but feel like I've smashed myself.

 

Question is, is there any real benefit to my triathlon cycling (obviously it's better than doing nothing)? What is it really working - is it going to boost my VO2 Max or my lactate threshold or my strength? If they're worthless, what session could I substitute that's going to be done and dusted in a similar timeframe?

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I do them now and then. If you're doing a few a week then you're a braver man than me!

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I do them now and then. If you're doing a few a week then you're a braver man than me!

Usually just 2 per week to be honest, they definitely hurt and you end up with the wobbly legs for awhile!

 

I'm guessing that they are not really Tri specific though so I'm wondering if they're any use at all? I just like them because they're over quickly!

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I have a bit of an interest in HIIT/tabata training. Adam McDougal (former NRL player) runs a personal trainer/health business and is a big advocate. His version is 20 seconds flat out, rest - repeat two more times. Do it three times a week.

 

A few questions I have.

 

Does the amount of rest matter?

Can you mix up the exercise (punch a bag for 20 seconds, sprint a bike for 20 seconds, run on the spot for 20 seconds - as along as you're flat out.

Does doing extra (5 repeats) give better results?

Can it be done during a session? eg, swim 1k, smash out 3x 40m sprints/rests, then finish with another k?

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Usually just 2 per week to be honest, they definitely hurt and you end up with the wobbly legs for awhile!

I'm guessing that they are not really Tri specific though so I'm wondering if they're any use at all? I just like them because they're over quickly!

I think I'm a bit the same. I have some structured stuff starting in April but for now it's a case ' do what I can when I can' and tabata fits with a time crunched day.

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Yeah I incorporate a 'tabata sandwich' as one of the indoor cycling workouts I teach.

We start with a 10 mins warm up getting up to somewhere close to a max effort.

Quick rest, then segway into tabata with a standing climb for a minute. The tabata is full gas, 20 secs in 10 secs off times 8.

Then we do a mix of hills and flats with and finish with the tabata efforts at the end. Total riding time is about 52 mins.

 

These are not triathletes or cyclists in any sense of the word.

 

Tabata is the most uncomfortable.

 

We also do 30 on full gas 30 off x 5 followed by 7 min flat road with increasing intensity. 2 min rest then do it again. And again.

 

Or a pyramid with increasing duration of efforts from 30 to 90 secs and equal rests.

 

I think true tabata is 20 sec max effort 10 sec rest x 8.

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There is some good evidence Tabata sets increases VO2 max. They're great as part of your trainer set. if you're only doing 20 min on the trainer however, you're not going to see ongoing improvements in your riding, even if you're only doing shorter distance triathlons. Use tabata efforts for sure but throw some 5/10/20 min efforts in regularly.. most trainer sets should be 50 min minimum to get some real benefit, particular if you only ride inside (in my opinion).

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Good for getting ripped. Not so good for improving triathlon performance.

 

'Feeling smashed' should be a long slow burn in racing and training. It's an aerobic sport, and we should be training trying to teach our body to go lactic at ever increasing levels of intensity, and continually going anaerobic will do the opposite.

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Good for getting ripped. Not so good for improving triathlon performance.

 

'Feeling smashed' should be a long slow burn in racing and training. It's an aerobic sport, and we should be training trying to teach our body to go lactic at ever increasing levels of intensity, and continually going anaerobic will do the opposite.

 

Once again wisdom from the experienced members of the forum :smartarse:

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I have a bit of an interest in HIIT/tabata training. Adam McDougal (former NRL player) runs a personal trainer/health business and is a big advocate. His version is 20 seconds flat out, rest - repeat two more times. Do it three times a week.

 

A few questions I have.

 

Does the amount of rest matter?

Can you mix up the exercise (punch a bag for 20 seconds, sprint a bike for 20 seconds, run on the spot for 20 seconds - as along as you're flat out.

Does doing extra (5 repeats) give better results?

Can it be done during a session? eg, swim 1k, smash out 3x 40m sprints/rests, then finish with another k?

A Tabata session in its true format is 20 seconds max followed by 10 seconds rest repeated 8 times - so the 'quality' part of the workout is completed in 4 minutes.

 

It was originally designed for speed skaters but is equally applicable and transferable to cycling, running, rowing, elliptical etc. Obviously those ratios could be mixed up I guess but the premise is short enough effort to allow maximal effort and short enough rest to not have time to fully recover.

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Good for getting ripped. Not so good for improving triathlon performance.ÃÂ

ÃÂ

'Feeling smashed' should be a long slow burn in racing and training. It's an aerobic sport, and we should be training trying to teach our body to go lactic at ever increasing levels of intensity, and continually going anaerobic will do the opposite.

That makes total sense Niseko about Tris being completely aerobic and that's the way we should train. I don't fully understand the second part of your statement though, if I continually operate above my threshold, wouldn't that eventually raise my lactic threshold? Or am I not operating in that zone long enough to have that effect?

 

Tabata is not something that I would do when I was training for a specific or longer race but I'm wondering if it's of any value just to keep the legs and body ticking over while I'm not training for anything specifically?

Edited by Buggeracup

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There is some good evidence Tabata sets increases VO2 max. They're great as part of your trainer set. if you're only doing 20 min on the trainer however, you're not going to see ongoing improvements in your riding, even if you're only doing shorter distance triathlons. Use tabata efforts for sure but throw some 5/10/20 min efforts in regularly.. most trainer sets should be 50 min minimum to get some real benefit, particular if you only ride inside (in my opinion).

Correct

If your only doing 20mins on the WT don't bother

 

Just doing a tabata (or several even worse) (if your doing 3 a week then I don't think u are doing them properly) isn't gunna do Nuffin for you except stress your heart

There ain't no short cuts

Edited by ironpo
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Ironpro, I think, that given that the OP wasn't asking what else they should be doing, they were asking if there was any benefit and if not, then what else can be done in a similar time frame.

given that there's only 20 minutes, surely doing something, even tabata, is better than the Nuffin.

 

would they be better of doing 3 x 10 min, or 2 x 20 min? well most likely, but with only 20 min to play with, what would you suggest?

 

for me, I'd say. Tabata, or 4 min warm up, the 3 x ( 4 min at barely hold it to the end level + 1 min rest) fall off bike, rest in the shower.

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I'm going to look into this tabata malarkey, but I'm already working on something similiar in one of my WT sessions.

 

Right now my first session is the morning after my long run -I'm usually a bit dusty and also a bit short on time - so I only have 20-30 minutes for this session (Wednesday morning). Currently I do 4 minutes warmup, followed by 15 seconds fast as possible spin (cadence 130-150)/45 seconds recovery times 4 repeats, then straight into 40 seconds in the biggest gear I can hold at 85rpm/20 seconds recovery in the small ring times 10-20 repeats, followed by 3-5 cool down. I'm thinking that maybe I could add in this tabata thing as 'the championship set' at the end of this session after a couple of minutes recovery spin at the end of the main set.

 

What do you reckon?

Edited by Andrew #1

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Ironpro, I think, that given that the OP wasn't asking what else they should be doing, they were asking if there was any benefit and if not, then what else can be done in a similar time frame.

given that there's only 20 minutes, surely doing something, even tabata, is better than the Nuffin.

 

would they be better of doing 3 x 10 min, or 2 x 20 min? well most likely, but with only 20 min to play with, what would you suggest?

 

for me, I'd say. Tabata, or 4 min warm up, the 3 x ( 4 min at barely hold it to the end level + 1 min rest) fall off bike, rest in the shower.

 

Well yes

I suppose u are right , something is always better than Nuffin

 

If 20 or maybe 30 mins is the limit then I'd suggest mixing it up and not doing 3 x tabata a week

Do 1 x tabata properly (fall off bike )

Then say 4mins on 1 min off X 4

Then a 20 min session of solid pace

 

U gotta be doing so ething different not the same thing each session or day to get some benefit

 

Also mix up the days you do each workout for viability also

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I'm going to look into this tabata malarkey, but I'm already working on something similiar in one of my WT sessions.

 

Right now my first session is the morning after my long run -I'm usually a bit dusty and also a bit short on time - so I only have 20-30 minutes for this session (Wednesday morning). Currently I do 4 minutes warmup, followed by 15 seconds fast as possible spin (cadence 130-150)/45 seconds recovery times 4 repeats, then straight into 40 seconds in the biggest gear I can hold at 85rpm/20 seconds recovery in the small ring times 10-20 repeats, followed by 3-5 cool down. I'm thinking that maybe I could add in this tabata thing as 'the championship set' at the end of this session after a couple of minutes recovery spin at the end of the main set.

 

What do you reckon?

The day after a long run, I'd sleep another 20 or go for a walk

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The day after a long run, I'd sleep another 20 or go for a walk

Fair point - how about if I did that on the Friday?

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150 cadence is crazy fast, no?

Shit yeah. For me at least. Track guys can sit on 180 ...

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That makes total sense Niseko about Tris being completely aerobic and that's the way we should train. I don't fully understand the second part of your statement though, if I continually operate above my threshold, wouldn't that eventually raise my lactic threshold? Or am I not operating in that zone long enough to have that effect?

 

Tabata is not something that I would do when I was training for a specific or longer race but I'm wondering if it's of any value just to keep the legs and body ticking over while I'm not training for anything specifically?

 

 

I think regularly going lactic in training though all out short efforts is not a great way to improve your lactic threshold. It's more likely to teach your body to get better to produce lactic acid. Longer aerobic efforts just below your thresholds are a better way to do that.

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so Niseko, are you suggesting sweet spot training?

longer periods at just below threshold, no?

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