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Track Tuesday: Tabatas With Friends

Assemble your running buddies for this relay-style track workout.

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Looking to bring something a bit more fun to your next group track meet up? The following Tabata track workout, delivered from coach J’ne Day-Lucore, gives you the opportunity to tackle speed work in a collaborative, yet still competitive way.

Not familiar with Tabata and the benefits?

Named after the Japanese sport scientist Izumi Tabata, the training technique breaks a track session into clearly defined intervals with rests in between. These are usually shorter distances with the goal of getting the heart rate up with recovery in between.

This Tuesday’s Tabata track workout is fun to do with three people or more to make the 50-meter sprints an exhilarating relay bonding game. If you’re running Track Tuesday solo, don’t worry, you can do this too. You’ll just be on your own for the 50’s and need to supply your own (well-deserved) high-five.

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Warm Up

Start your warm up with a one-mile jog followed by some dynamic stretching and drills. For the dynamic stretching and drills Coach Day-Lucore recommends leg swings (10 per leg in front and 10 per leg on the side), 50 meters of butt kicks, and 50 meters of high knees. However, if you already have a preferred track warm up you should do whatever works best for you.

The Tabata Workout

This is where your relay team will come into play if you plan to assemble it that way. The 50-meter sprints will be run as a three-person relay team. Runners 1 and 3 will start at one end of the in-field and runner 2 will start at the other end. The rest time is the period of time it takes the other two runners to trade off 50s.

The 400 meter intervals are ran normally.

Interval Set

  • 3 x 400 at 10K pace with 2 minute recovery jog after each 400
  • 6 x 50-meter sprints with 30 second recovery jog or walk between sprints
  • 2 x 400 at 10K pace with 2 minute recovery jog after each 400
  • 4 x 50-meter sprints with 30 second recovery between sprints
  • 1 x 400 at 10K pace with 2 minute recovery jog
  • 2 x 50-meter sprints with 30 second recovery between sprints

Looking to sneak a longer recovery? If you negotiate the amount of effort put into the 50s, you can work out a way to get or give a longer recovery before your next sprint.

Cool Down

Don’t skip the cool down, you’ll need it. Jog a couple of laps of the track at an easy conversational pace until you feel relatively recovered from the workout.

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