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A Simple Introduction to High Intensity Interval Training for Cardiovascular Fitness

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I added a new sidebar section on training and some titles look pretty good, but I did not expect too much when I clicked on the article below from fireengineering.com, but I was pleasantly surprised. Yes, it's a simple introduction, but sometimes that is what we need...simple...not easy...and a reminder that training is how we stay fit, but also how we prepare for a variety of situations, especially athletic events.

Publow's Speed on Skates book has plenty on the physiology of skating and other forms of exercise, and on training, despite the content being a bit dry and the science not so new now. But there's good info, including some interval workouts I have used in the past to pretty good effect (but not lately). 

So the article below's focus on high intensity interval training in the context of fire and rescue workers was a reminder that really short workouts can still be really great. Add these to other types of workouts that build endurance, and perhaps you can avoid some burnout and build some various tools in your muscles for those sprints, flat or uphill, when you need them, to stick with a pack, for example. You can make improvements in your fitness "on a regimen of less than 30 minutes of training three days a week."

Now get this. In a publication for fire and rescue workers, speed skating training got a huge non-sissy mention when discussing grueling but efficient workouts:

Arguably the most difficult HIIT program is what is known as the “Tabata Protocol.” It is the original HIIT protocol created for, and tested on, the Japanese National Speed Skating Team. It requires that you warm up for five minutes, then work at your absolute max (it was initially tested at 200 percent of VO2 max) for 20 seconds and recover for only 10 seconds for 10 repetitions or a total of five minutes and then cool down. This is truly a brutal workout because of the shortness of the recovery interval and the intensity of the work period, but it does work incredibly well. If this appeals to you even a little bit, you are sure to achieve great things with HIIT.

Other options include more endurance-oriented speed work of "two minutes of near max work followed by two minutes of recovery" and various other combinations. As I recall, Publow advised or I decided to do various kinds of speed work on various days (when I did them at all). I also recall a Jeff Galloway running book from years ago recommending a day of sprint flat intervals, a day of sprint hills (which I am not sure he was recommending as intervals), and a double distance or time day, interspersed with normal days and a rest day. I say I recall all this, or at least it's what I made it into methinks. Regardless, mixing it up is a good thing if you can do it. Sometimes there are external pressures that make it difficult, but shorter workouts are often easier to schedule at least.

Also I'd like to remind you to check the documentation for your heart rate monitor and other training tools. As I recall, the Garmin Forerunner 305 can do repeats based on times or heart rate recovery, perhaps even more. As the author, Michael Krueger, states:

Whether you are going for a 20-second sprint or a slower two-minute pace, you begin with whatever your maximum is right now, and then you back off and recover. At first you may choose a recovery period that is based on your breathing, rather than a specific distance or number of minutes or seconds, before beginning your next work interval. You are aiming for about five to 15 minutes of work time (not including the recovery intervals) per workout, two to three times per week.

Some of us have that long slow distance thing going too well. This is great, and better than swapping to couch rodeo napping, but it's great to remember a little fartlek can go a long way. This is one reason indoor sessions with a team, even a beginner team, can be good, as long as you don't injure yourself. I started to worry I'd skate beyond my limits and have a bad intimacy with the rink wall (which is perhaps an excuse, but one based on evidence). 

So I'd like to thank Mr. Krueger for the article and to say I didn't quote it all so you'd hopefully go read it. I think it's a reasonably easy to understand and fairly valid introduction. 

Also if you click the "more" link in that section (as of this writing) you go to a list of articles at http://roadskater.net/aggregator/sources/23 and on that page there could be found this article on training and standard fitness tests and much more. Perhaps later I'll add some comments. For now:

Also very interesting discussion of lactate and training...

Now back to looking at the snow outside and enjoying other peoples' cablevision Dog Whisperer, Mystery Diagnosis and Forensic Files reruns. 

Cardiovascular Training: Try It, You Might Like It - FireEngineering.com -

Cardiovascular Training: Try It, You Might Like It
It is the original HIIT protocol created for, and tested on, the Japanese National Speed Skating Team. It requires that you warm up for five minutes, ...

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