Tabata Training: Short…But Truly Sweet

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestEmail this to someone

Have you heard of Tabata training? If you’re short on time and looking for some training that yields the most bang for the buck, look no further than Tabata. Tabata training, named after Dr. Izumi Tabata, goes back to a 1996 study in Japan where subjects alternated between 20 seconds of ultra-intense exercise followed by 10 seconds of rest and repeated continuously for 4 minutes or 8 cycles.

If a Tabata regimen is done correctly, one word will quickly begin to rise to the surface…pain! This method can be applied to any form of exercise but for our purposes, we’ll focus on utilizing Tabata in running.

Tabata intervals should only be attempted by runners who are fit and have some recent interval experience (i.e. 200m, 400m, 800m).

*Note: Due to its high intensity level, Tabata should only be done once per week in the beginning. You may even want to consult a physician beforehand. After a few months, you can increase to twice a week.

Tabata intervals can be done at a local track or on trails. If you don’t have access to a track or trails, find a road with minimal traffic. This workout is not only intense, it requires extreme focus and discipline as you pay attention to your watch.

With Tabata Training Always…

Begin with a 1-2 mile warm-up of light running. Normally, I recommend stretching after a workout but in the case of Tabata, I recommend some light stretching immediately after the 1-2 mile warm-up. The Tabata routine goes like this…

  • Push very hard for 20 seconds (pretty much 100% effort)
  • Rest for 10 seconds
  • Repeat this eight times

You should be feeling pretty taxed by the third or fourth interval but this is where the real “fun” begins as you push through the pain. It’s crucial to stay tuned to your watch, especially as your body tries to encourage you to rest longer than 10 seconds before beginning the next interval. This short rest/hard run cycle is pure magic in multiple ways. Upon completing the last interval, finish with another mile of cool down running before stretching.

Tabata Training…

  • Increases Strength – you’re building those fast twitch muscle fibers
  • Increases Cardiovascular endurance – sustained discomfort with short rest
  • Increases Anaerobic capacity – no other form of training compares in this area
  • Increases VO2 Max – the maximum capacity of the body to transport oxygen for use
  • Teaches your body to recover quickly and remove metabolic waste products more efficiently
  • Improves running economy – how efficiently a person uses oxygen while running at a given pace

As you incorporate Tabata training into your workouts, you’re sure to see your body reach a new level of fitness and speed in a short amount of time. If you find that you’re unable to make it to 4 minutes, stop at 2 minutes and slowly build up.

If you don’t look like this after the workout, you simply didn’t push hard enough

Tired runner


You say potato…I say Tabata!

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestEmail this to someone

Juicing: A Great Way to Boost Nutrition Around the Holidays

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestEmail this to someone

Juicing itemsRecently, my wife and I watched the award-winning documentary Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead for the second time since it released over 10 years ago. In the film, Joe Cross, an overweight Australian business man sets out to live on fresh fruit and vegetable juice for 60 days to see if he can reverse his autoimmune disease and get off all medications. Along the way, he inspires others to take on this juicing “reboot” as he refers to it. I won’t spoil it for you other than to say it’s a very well done film with valuable information, inspiration and humor along the way.

Needless to say, we were motivated to buy a Breville juicer afterward and begin our own one week juicing reboot. We started the Saturday after Thanksgiving in order to detox our bodies and reset the system. My wife’s goals were to lose a few stubborn pounds and also try alleviating some soreness she had been experiencing due to inflammation caused by diet. She also wanted to see if her allergies would clear up. As for me, I had added a few pounds I could stand to lose and I also wanted to increase my fruit & veggie intake and get my body craving those things daily. We were eating salads and some fruit on a weekly basis but we had also fallen into some bad habits with sweets and things like pizza (one of our weaknesses).

On any kind of fast, whether it’s a water or juicing fast, the first 3 days are always the worst. It’s during this time that the body is trying to figure out what’s happening. If you’ve been used to consuming loads of caffeine, alcohol or sugar, you better believe your body is going to demand those things. As a result of “starving these appetites”, it’s quite normal for people to experience mood swings, headaches, and even some sluggishness. We certainly experienced those things, although not too extreme. I had some minor headaches on days two and three due to refraining from my two cups of daily coffee. Shelley didn’t experience the headaches since she drinks mostly decaf teas. We both experienced the sluggishness and also some mental fog those first three days.

Turning a Corner

I would say we began to turn a corner on day number four. It’s not uncommon for many people to begin experiencing more mental clarity, energy bursts, and decreased craving for unhealthy foods. This was the case for us. Trust me…once you get past the first three to four days, you’re home free. Unfortunately, many people bail before they turn that corner due to the addicting nature of food. Another thing you can expect is sharper senses…sight, smell, taste, etc.

When a person consumes a glass of fresh juice, the stomach receives it as though it’s simply water. Without the extra fiber, fat and protein, the digestion system doesn’t need to send in all the extra tools it normally would to help digest those things. Yes, you get some natural sugar rush, but you also get a rush of nutrients flooding your system. Since the body isn’t working to digest anything, you get the bonus of feeling that extra energy almost immediately. I will say that bowel movements do change with each passing day. As the body detoxes those first few days, you can expect to visit the bathroom quite “regularly” as the body gets rid of the extra baggage. Once you’ve emptied your bowels (each person could vary in terms of the time it takes), the body will simply process the fresh juice as water and you’ll be mostly peeing.

In just one week, both Shelley & I experienced some nice results. I lost 8 pounds and she lost 7. Her allergies cleared up by day four. We came off of the juicing fast with a fresh desire to eat clean and significantly increase our fruit and veggie intake. Not only are we now beginning our day with a green juice but we also intend to do a 5-7 day juicing fast four times a year to cleanse and reboot our bodies.

What a privilege to have access to fresh fruit and vegetable produce all year round for juicing. If you have farmers markets in your area, take advantage of them as much as possible. It’s especially helpful to buy produce when it’s in season.

I highly recommend watching the free documentary and doing your own juicing reboot for at least 4-7 days. Doing something like this after the holidays would be especially beneficial and will launch you into 2018 with a bang!

Here’s to juicing…the legal way!

Below is a recipe we used quite often and now begin our day with:

“Mean Green” Juice

-1 cucumber

-4 celery stalks

-2 apples (Granny Smith or Gala)

-8 leaves of kale (curly or lacinato) with stalks

-1/2 lemon (remove outer peel)

-1 inch piece of fresh ginger

Makes a 20oz glass of fresh juice…cheers!

CJ drinking juice

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestEmail this to someone

Caramel Apple Cool Down Smoothie

Caramel Apple Cool Down

If you’re a fan of caramel apples, this is a smoothie recipe you’ll want to try. This recipe also reminds me of the Caramel Apple Pops that Tootsie Roll makes…but with much healthier ingredients (and no weird chemicals added). Apples are a great source of dietary fiber which helps bind up waste throughout the body. […]

[Continue reading…]

The Importance of Sleep for Runners

The Importance of Sleep for Runners

Do you have trouble sleeping? Find yourself tossing and turning throughout the night? Do you wake up in the middle of the night only to have difficulty falling back to sleep? There’s just no getting around the importance of sleep for runners. Unfortunately, many people could answer yes to one or more of those questions. […]

[Continue reading…]

Oatmeal Protein Balls

Oatmeal Protein Balls

I thought I’d share this easy recipe for oatmeal protein balls with you! As runners, we’re always on the lookout for healthy yet satisfying foods that fuel our runs and aid in our recovery. The following recipe is one that my wife Shelley stumbled across and decided to make a couple days ago. I’ve already […]

[Continue reading…]

A Colorado Springs Running Coach with a Passion to Help Others

Colorado Springs running coach

As a Colorado Springs running coach, I’ve had the wonderful privilege of working with a variety of runners who have incredible “before and after” stories. In this post, I’d like to share my own story of transformation which fuels my passion to help others write their own story and achieve their running goals. For me, […]

[Continue reading…]

CocoMint Christmas Cheer Smoothie

Christmas smoothie

Baby, it’s cold outside! But smoothies can be enjoyed all year round. Here’s a seasonal smoothie recipe from my book Smoothies For Runners 2.0. This is a great recipe to bring out during the Christmas season with mint being a constant theme. The fresh peppermint leaves will ensure that this is technically a green smoothie. […]

[Continue reading…]

Cinnamon Roll Recovery Smoothie

For you smoothie lovers, here’s a quick video we did while making the Cinnamon Roll Recovery smoothie. It’s basically a cinnamon roll in a glass! You can find this recipe along with 23 more delicious smoothie recipes in my latest book Smoothies For Runners 2.0.

[Continue reading…]

Lose Weight…Not Energy

Low Fuel

Many endurance sports reward lower weight. But sometimes losing weight can cause you to feel weaker than you did when you were heavier, simply because you’re running on fumes. If we cut back on calories but maintain our workout schedule, our fuel tanks are going to be running low. Simply put, glycogen depletion can lead […]

[Continue reading…]

TWRW Podcast 003: Conversation with Travis Macy

In this edition of the Train Well Race Well podcast I sit down with Travis Macy of Evergreen, Colorado.  Travis recently released a fantastic book titled The Ultra Mindset: An Endurance Champion’s 8 Core Principles for Success in Business, Sports, and Life.   A few of the things we touch on include… His beginnings as […]

[Continue reading…]

Click Here to Discover 6 Proven Practices to Help You Run Faster