Thursday, February 03, 2011

Anaerobic Endurance Workout: Death By Ten Meters

Anaerobic Endurance. Now there's an oxymoron. Or is it? Once you go anaerobic, there's not that long that you can last in such a state. Yet, if you can keep coming back to that state with just a very little rest and push yourself again, it offers a huge benefit for your body. Many studies are indicating that this is the best way to ramp up your metabolism.

With that in mind, I put my Karate Conditioning class through the "Death By Ten Meters" workout tonight. Except that the main room in the dojo is about 20 by 50 feet, and I had 14 people to squeeze in there, so I sent half of them to each wall and they ran to the center line and back for each "lap", making sure to touch the ground on each side. It ended up being 50 feet, or closer to fifteen meters for each with a turn in the middle.

Here's how this workout goes:

Set a timer to repeat every one minute.

The first timer goes off, you run one lap of ten meters (fifteen in our case). You get a lot of rest since you don't go again until that minute is up.
The second time the timer goes off, you run two laps.
The third time, you run three.
You get the picture.

With each passing minute you run more and get less rest. Eventually, you can't squeeze in another lap. Several of us in class made it to eleven laps. We almost made it to twelve but got caught by the timer before we could complete the last lap. I've also done this one on a football field, which is more like Death by Ten Yards instead of meters, and with a bit less ground to cover we made it to 17 laps.

Afterwards, while we were all gasping for air and trying not to puke, I managed to explain that this sort of workout is perfect for Karate Conditioning because what you need a lot of in Karate is A) explosive power and B) The ability to continue generating that power with very little rest for a significant amount of time. By making sure you touch the ground on each lap, you're essentially throwing a lunge into the mix, and forcing your body to generate power out of that lunge to start each sprint. Perfect for the application to karate.

If you're an endurance athlete, you might be asking why you'd want to inflict this kind of pain on yourself. Nah, why not just go do another 6 miler at a reasonable pace? The answer is that endurance athletes are often weak in key areas, like hips and glutes. This type of workout will tax your muscles in new ways and give you a more robust body that's less likely to get injured. There is also a fair bit of evidence that anaerobic workouts have a lot of carryover into endurance as well.

So go ahead, kill yourself ten meters at a time.


Warrior said...

I like.

JenniferLeah said...

I love interval training and will certainly give this one a go :)

Another workout I love is Tabata (aka 4 Minutes of HELL!!)