Interval Training

As someone who practices running almost everyday, you will soon find that you have reached a point where your progress is not as steep as it used to be. If you have already achieved a comfortable aerobic and endurance level, then you will soon find your personal records reaching something of a plateau phase. This is the right time to incorporate interval training into your cardio workouts.


What is Interval Training?

Interval training for runners can be broadly defined as running at a faster than usual pace for a certain duration, slowing down, returning to your regular pace and then running faster again after a certain interval. Interval training has been known to be the most effective method of increasing speed in athletes and almost everybody who is into serious running incorporates at least a certain percentage of interval training into their cardio workouts.


What are the Benefits of Interval Training?

Interval training helps athletes develop better neuromuscular coordination, which goes a long way in increasing your speed. Furthermore, since interval training involves running at more than your comfortable pace, this increase in speed is accompanied by an improvement in endurance and stamina as well. After a few weeks of interval training, you can experience better speeds, higher personal records, efficiency and endurance.


Interval Training Workout For Beginners

The kind of interval training workout that you incorporate into your running routine will depend upon the kind of running that you are doing. Workouts tailored for long distance or marathon runners will be different than those that will help short distance fast runners. Based upon your running style, you will need to develop your own low intensity or high intensity interval training schedule.

However, if you are just starting out with interval training, then a basic workout can start with a 10 minute warn up jog, followed by a minute of running at interval pace, and end with a two minute recovery jog. The interval pace should be a pace that is higher than what you are currently comfortable with, something that leaves you huffing and puffing. Repeat this routine four times in a row and end the session with a 5 minute cooling down period and stretching. After a month of one minute intervals, increase this duration to two to three minutes in order to increase your endurance and speed further.

While your interval cardio training workout intensity and time should be based upon the kind of running that you do, you will have to take care not to overdo interval training too. Experts suggest that your total interval mileage should fall somewhere between 7% and 8% of your total weekly mileage in order to produce results without risks.

By incorporating interval training intelligently into your running regime, you will see noticeable improvements in speed and endurance. Not only will you find yourself creating new speed records during training, but you will also find yourself forging ahead during races.