What Is Interval Training?
Interval training is alternating periods of high intensity exercise with periods of lower intensity exercise. An example would be: sprinting for 30 seconds alternating with jogging for 1 minute. The slower pace allows you to recover for the next interval at a higher pace. You can vary the speed, intensity, length, and number of intervals depending on your fitness level; however, the high intensity intervals should be higher than you would normally train at a continuous pace (i.e. If you normally run at 5.0 on the treadmill, your high intensity interval might be at 6.5 and your low intensity interval at 4.0).
Interval Training Example:
30 seconds sprinting & 1 minute jogging X 10 = 15 minutes
What Are The Benefits Of Interval Training?
- Spend more time at your fastest speed because of the recovery intervals in between
- Greater improvement in aerobic performance than continuous running
- Improve ability to burn fat
- Increase post-exercise energy expenditure (burns more calories)
- Improve time efficiency – get the same workout as a continuous pace workout in less time
- Increase endurance and improve your speed
- Decrease boredom
How Often Should You Do Interval Training?
Interval training can replace your traditional continuous cardio (i.e. biking, running, etc). The frequency and duration of your interval training will vary depending on your fitness level and goals. If you’re a beginner, start with one interval training session per week and build up from there. For the average person, 3 days per week for 20-30 minutes is adequate. If your intervals are more intense, you will need to do them for a shorter duration and less frequently in order to allow your body adequate time to recover. If you are not pushing yourself to your maximum on the high intervals, you may need to do the interval training for a longer duration as well as more frequently in order to see results.
See The Benefits Of Interval Training For Yourself!
Time yourself running a specific distance (i.e. 3km) at a steady pace. Do at least 3 interval training running sessions per week for 2 weeks for the same distance (3km). Don’t worry about your time during the interval sessions. After 2 weeks of interval training, time yourself at a steady pace again for the original distance (3km) and see if your time has improved!