Thursday, September 02, 2010

Tabata Interval Block Conclusion

11 Tabata intervals over 4 sessions in the month of Aug have concluded. Overall a motivating and fun block of intervals.

I don't like to keep doing the same type of interval workouts for very long as they get stale, and I think you can peak out what you can accomplish mentally if you keep doing the same thing over and over. Tuesday was my last Tabata session for this season.

To keep track of progress I tracked the average watts for each 3 sets of 8 x 20 seconds On FULL GAS, 10 seconds OFF with 8 to 10 minutes between sets. I decreased the rest to 5 min on the last day.

I found it highly motivational to view the power tap setting on avg power for each 3min 50 sec interval. The average peaks out on the first interval and then drops as you rest for 10 seconds. Then when you get started again at full gas the game is to move the average back up as far as you can before the 20 seconds is up and you have to rest again. To achieve the maximum average for the session you can't cheat and rest for an extra second here or there, you have to get back on the gas right when your 10 sec rest is up.

To illustrate, of the 11 I did over the past month this is what my best one looked like which took place this past Tuesday. Overall average was 324

Here is what that 3min and 50 seconds looked like from a running average power perspective.

Gas on 20 seconds 1: 0 to 486
Rest 10 seconds: 486 to 375
Gas on 2: 375 to 393
Rest: 393 to 345
Gas on 3: 345 to 362
Rest: 362 to 328
Gas on 4: 328 to 342
Rest: 342 to 320
Gas on 5: 320 to 334
Rest: 334 to 323
Gas on 6: 323 to 330
Rest: 330 to 317
Gas on 7: 317 to 324
Rest: 324 to 313
Gas on 8: 313 to 324

8 days til cross!


  1. I like your idea of changing interval workouts to prevent staleness.

    In general for a sprint type workout, I would suggest longer recoveries between efforts.

    Still I think your workout will produce positive results.

    Good luck and happy riding/training.

  2. Good stuff Jeff. I'm doing Tabatas this year too. Another similar workout you can do (to spice it up), is 15secs ON (like the Tabata effort), 30sec SST cruise, 15sec recovery. Repeat. This is even more like CX efforts because you get that sustained effort after your hard acceleration.

    Dave, this isn't a sprint workout, which is why the rest periods are extremely short. This is a workout that has gained popularity in the general fitness community, but is almost tailor-made for cyclocross.

  3. Jeff, thanks for the Tabata variation, I'll give that one a try for sure. See you at Tall Oak Saturday.

    Dave, would be great to see you try cross, you'd be a great addition to the mix.