Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Want a H.I.T.? How about some L.S.D? vomit inducing workout follows

I have spent the majority of my running career running long distance.  When I decided to go for a marathon I knew I needed to run longer.  It just makes sense right?  If I am going to run 26.2 miles I need to practice running 26.2 miles.   So I set up a training routine and started in with the LSD (long slow day). I maxed out on a long run of 23 miles.  I had read that after running only 15 miles your body will prepare itself for 26.2 but also read that running over twenty would have beneficial mental strength gains.  Up until now my training has typically consisted of 2 or 3 types of training.  Long Slow Days, Tempo Runs and Interval Training.  I ran a 2:56 PR in the San Diego Rock N Roll marathon using this strategy and thousands of other runners prescribe to giving priority to the long run with a sprinkling of speed work.  It has its merits.

However, I am currently under an experiment of my own using Crossfit Endurance.  It is a combination of weight training and anaerobic High Intensity interval Training that is in one word BRUTAL.  I am only running three times a week and lifting 4 days a week.  I am following the WOD on their website and it is working.  I feel stronger and have definitely gained speed and quickness running. Research has show, that for trained athletes, HIT (High Intensity Training) is the best way to increase endurance. "It seems that, for athletes who are already trained, improvements in endurance performance can be achieved only through high-intensity interval training (HIT). " ( That is what Crossfit Endurance prescribes.  Train hard and intense.  This means that I spend less time training which gives me more free time.  It also means I train harder which kicks my ass. Gone are the leisurely 2.5 hour runs and it seems here to stay are the vomit inducing Tabatas.  I will be running a Half Mary next month and will let you know how it goes.  I will also be running a marathon in the near future using these methods and will keep you informed. 

So your asking what are Tabatas? Well they are evil and they are righteous.  Painful and powerful but very simple so here it is.  Izumi Tabata came up with it and says it is the best supra-aerobic (anaerobic) cardio workout.  Here's what you do:
  • 5 minutes of warm-up
  • 8 intervals of 20 seconds running all-out followed by 10 seconds of rest
  • 2 minutes cool-down
This is an intense workout and you should only try it if you are in great shape.  If not I suggest you ease into this and start by doing just 2-4 intervals and see how you feel the rest of the day/next day.  This will get your heart rate through the roof and may induce some dry heaving/nausea (it did for me at least).  Make sure to fuel back up after this workout with some carbs and protein (milk) so you're not wiped for the rest of the day.  Be safe Kids and Run Hard!!