If you non-cross (slightly more normal) people ever hear me talk about Tabata night, let me explain what Tabatas are.
It is an specific exercise you can do on a bike or running. You can really do it at any type of sprint type activity, even swimming (if you like drowning, that is). It requires you to get warmed up, and then it lasts the longest 4 minutes you will ever know. 20 seconds full sprint, 10 seconds rest. 20 seconds sprint, 10 seconds rest. Repeat 6 more times. The idea is to get used to hitting the gas without giving yourself time to recover. My heart rate looks like a late-1998 IPO stock chart.
The idea is that once you do one set for a couple of weeks, then to add another set. Then maybe a few more weeks, then another set. 8 Tabata intervals, 5 mins rest, 8 Tabata intervals, 5 mins rest, 8 Tabata intervals, throw up, rest. Now you are ready to race.
I'm only on one set, but my vision blurred quite a bit after the 8th one. I may swerve during a race and hit a tree. Sadly, I won't be the first person to do that.