Monday, April 16, 2012

What the Heck is a Tabata?

I’m learning all sorts of new things in the weeks that I have been spinning instead of running.  While I don’t think I’ll ever love spinning as much as running I am sure hoping that it will help me get right back after it in a few weeks when my leg is healed.

Have you heard of Tabata?  I had not, but now I have.

Here’s what it is:

Specifically, the session consists of six to eight maximum-intensity sprints lasting 20 seconds apiece, with mere 10-second passive recovery periods between them.  (source)

Let me just say how hard this is.  Eight of these sprints feel so hard that I can never keep track of how many we’ve done.  When we did them last week Donna had us crank up the tension on the bike and then go as hard as we could, during the recovery periods it was like not moving your legs at all.

Another fun aspect of spin is the level 4 intervals that we do every class.  Level 3 is where you feel like you are working, but you aren’t so much out of breath that you can’t talk while you are there.  Level 4 feels like the start of a 5k, when you are out of breath and you feel a little out of control.

This seems to contradict all that I have done in my running training the past year.  I love to talk when I run, and I hate feeling like I can’t control my breath enough to carry a conversation.  Even when we feel like we are working hard and running fast I like to be able to maintain control over my breathing.  In spin it just isn’t possible.

I am sure hoping all this spinning will pay off and I will be a stronger runner because of it.  I guess only time will tell.

Back to the doctor tomorrow.  It’s been four weeks in the boot and I still am not sure when I will be out of it.  Guess we’ll see what Dr. Hines says tomorrow.

I listened to the  Boston Marathon at work today.  Sure made me feel like I wanted to be running.  How crazy that it was 80 degrees out there.  What happened to spring?

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