Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Short blasts of exercise as good as hours of training, scientists find Less really can be more when it comes to exercise, scientists have discovered.

Sixty years ago we trained using high intensity repetitions of short duration. On the track we did intervals without calling them intervals.We would warm up then sprint for a half a lap or three hundred metres and then do another lap or two at easy pace and sprint again. Doing this many times. Often after track training I would cross over the river from the track to a very steep street which was about a hundred metres long,turn the fix wheel around to a bigger sprocket, and climb the hill as hard as I could, then ride down sans breaks to the bottom and repeat it several times.Its not new.

By Richard Alleyne, Science Correspondent
Published: 2:06PM GMT 12 Mar 2010

The body can get as much benefit from a short but intensive bursts of exercise lasting ten minutes than it can from ten hours of moderate training.
The technique not only takes less time but also involves much less physical effort.
Researchers believe their findings "blow away" the belief that staying in shape is a time-consuming affair. The claim was made after a study into the benefits of "high intensity interval training", known as HIT, by McMaster University, Ontario, Canada.
The technique involves running or cycling at almost maximum effort for a minute and then resting for a minute before repeating the process around 10 times.
HIT is "a time-efficient but safe alternative to traditional types of moderate long term exercise," they discovered.
In experiments, volunteers rode an exercise bike in stints lasting just 60 seconds while peddling hard enough to get close to their maximum heart rate.
Tests afterwards showed that their muscles had improved as much as if they had been involved in endurance training.
Professor Martin Gibala, one of the researchers, said the study proved that it was "possible to get more by doing less".
His report, published in the Journal of Physiology, said it was not clear why HIT was so effective but it appeared to "stimulate many of the same cellular pathways" as traditional training regimes.
The findings also meant that a lack of free time was no longer an excuse for refusing to exercise, the professor said.

The great Czech athlete Emil Zatopek, whose record is unlikely to be beaten, won 10000 M at the 1948 Olympics and the 5000M, 10000M and Marathon at the Helsinki Olympics, had this to say about his training ' When I was young, I was too slow.. I thought, why should I practice running slow? I already know how to run slow... I must learn to run fast by practicing to run fast.... People said, 'Emil, you are crazy. You are training to be a sprinter.You have no chance' I said 'yes, but if I run one hundred metres twenty times, that is two kms., and that is no longer a sprint.' By 1948 Zotopec had refined his daily training to become essentially 5x 200, 20x 400m and 5x 200m(with 150m jogs between each.The total distance covered each day was about 18kms. (The Lore of Running by Tim Noakes)

There is no short cut. You will still have to spend hours on the road just to get used to spending the sort of time the challenge will take on your bike. Otherwise your bum is going to get extremely sore, not to mention you arms and hands.


At July 11, 2010 at 10:14 PM , Blogger Julz said...

Hi - I found your blog while I was googling images of Taupo Cycle Challenge - I have registered for my first year of biking the event (am doing the full 160km) and I was freaking myself out seeing the amount of people at the start line! I am in awe of your spirit. I am training by myself too at the moment, and am spending more time on the trainer than outside (though did get a 39km ride in today outside - yay). I start with a training group "gear shifters" for their intenstive training programme first weekend of September am really looking forward to that especially training with others. Good luck with your training and I look forward to reading your progress updates. Julz


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