Interval training is a great way to progress in whichever sport your partaking, running, cycling, swimming or anything else. Interval training is a more realistic way of preparing for competitive sport because of the similarity. When you play football or rugby for example, it’s a pretty stop-start affair – short periods of sprinting or jogging followed by slower periods.
Interval training also trains your body in different ways than a standard workout which might consist of a one hour run at a consistent speed. Interval training is thought to continue to burn calories after your session has ended, which is a good enough reason to give it a go.
We’re concentrating on running in this article and the following routine can be undertaken out on the road or on a treadmill at the gym. Although treadmills will have their own built-in interval routines, it can be more beneficial to use the manual setting and increase and decrease the speed as you require. This gives you a greater element of control and won’t take you by surprise.
Before starting your routine, make sure to warm up with some light stretching before heading out onto the road. Now follow the instructions below to get the most out of your workout; it should take between 20 and 30 minutes.
- To begin with, spend several minutes warming up by jogging slowly, getting your legs used to the exercise while slowly increasing the pace towards the end of the warm up period.
- Now go for your first high intensity period for about one minute. Depending on your fitness, try and increase to about 60% to 80% of your capacity. Don’t overdo it, especially on the first few outings. Follow this by another minute (one a half minutes is OK if necessary) of low intensity recovery. Now try another high intensity period followed by another recovery. Repeat this up to eight times in total.
- Spend a few minutes cooling down following your last high intensity period before finishing your workout.