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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Tabata Method In The Open Water

The Tabata method is a popular training regimen for land-based athletes based on a landmark 1996 study by Izumi Tabata of the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Kanoya City, Japan.

The Tabata method uses 20 seconds of ultra-intense exercise (at near maximum intensity) followed by 10 seconds of rest, repeated continuously for 4 minutes (8 cycles).

Lifeguards and other experienced open water swimming coaches have been adapting the Tabata method in their open water swimming training regimen for years. Often ins-and-out are the form that the Tabata method takes in the open water.

Ins and outs are high-intensity interval training sets performed in the open water by swimmers, triathletes and lifeguards. Typically, the athletes will stand on shore, then run into the water (ocean or lake), dolphin through the shallow water or under the waves, and then swim out to a point not far from shore. They can either rest or turn back immediately to reverse their course: swim in, body surf and/or dolphin, and then run up to shore.

The ins and outs are repeated at certain intervals and done at maximum intensity. The 20 seconds on and 10 second off cycles can be adjusted for a modified Tabata method in the open water depending on the waves or venue.

The advantages of this intense aerobic exercise include working on starts, dolphining, body surfing, transitions and finishes.

Alternately, swimmers can be escorted by their coach in the open water. The athletes can push themselves for 20 seconds followed by a 10-second rest while eggbeatering (treading water) for 8 cycles.

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