I recently heard the term, Tabata training when browsing Fitness Blender exercises on YouTube. It’s something that I think many triathletes would benefit from if they incorporated them into their swim workouts.
Especially this time of year when time may be filled with other commitments around the holidays! So what exactly are Tabatas and how can they be used in swim workouts? Tabata is an exercise protocol using intervals with extremely focused short bursts.
Essentially, it’s a set (8, 12, 16) of 20 second sprints followed by 10 seconds of active recovery. The active recovery could consist of easy swimming or treading water.
These types of workouts allow you to burn more fat than in a typical long aerobic session. You will burn more calories in a long aerobic training session; however, Tabatas will allow you to burn more fat.
However, if you have poor stroke technique, there is no reason to be doing Tabatas for swimming. If you have worked on your technique and feel like you’ve hit a plateau in swimming, this would be a nice alternative to swimming lap after lap in the pool. Tabatas will give you the ability to burn more fat and get faster in the water.
Tabata Swim Workout
Warm Up: 300 yds. your choice
8 x 25 with :10 rest in between each
~All out maximum effort full speed sprints
~Followed by 1 x 200 on 4:00
~Do this set 2-4 times
Warm Down: 300 yds. your choice
Have you tried doing Tabatas in any way? What is your experience?