Tabatas & Marathon Training


Hello all (apologizes if this is in the wrong forum!)

My husband is a marathoner. Since January, he has been doing Cathe's Tabatacise once a week. Now that he is training, he has started incorporating the Tabata technique in his short runs. He was wondering how many times a week he should do this? Once? Twice?

Anyone done this or have any advice?



I would post this on an such sites as this is running specific advice you are after. Also, get a book on training for marathons and consult.

Most people would not recommend tabata work more than twice per week because it is so intense. However, the trick is to know one's own body, what it can handle, what it needs, when to rest, when is it too much, and when to bend the rules. Self-knowledge and experience as a runner counts for more here than the words of any expert.

Mixing it up is always the best way to avoid injury, which is the number 1 concern of all runners. Make sure that, if there is a tendency to injury, that adding tabata work does not exponentially increase the amount of impact work being done. Avoiding injury requires light days, rest days, cross training and weights workouts to strengthen joints, stabilizer muscles and the weak spots in the runner's body (knee, itb, hamstrings, plantar fasciitis, tendon problems, etc.

I don't think there's going to be a "one size fits all" answer to your question.




I'd say it depends on your husband's goals for his marathon. (Is this is first marathon? Twenty-first?)

I think the Tabatacise workout probably isn't the best option for him and his training at THIS point, although I'm not sure when the marathon is. Running-wise, speedwork is great and important-- but 20 seconds of sprinting isn't probably the best to meet his marathon needs. (Unless he can run a marathon in the time it takes me to run a 5k.)

This said, I've done the HIIT workouts while training for marathons (before Xtrain) so it isn't like it's a bad thing... just perhaps not the most useful way to spend his time. There are many other speedwork drills he can be doing for his running; found all over the web.

I'd also look at Jason Karp's stuff-- facebook and youtube and for advice more specifically tailored to running and marathon training.


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