Interval Training – Improve General and Race Performance

Interval training for runners is a highly recommended way to improve average speed, thus reduce time, over any distance.

By increasing the stress on your body, heart and lungs, for short periods of time during a training run you force your body to make adaptations. Your body will make favorable changes, such as a stronger, more powerful heart muscle and increased capacity of lung volume and exchange of oxygen into the blood stream to feed your pumping muscles.

English: An belt/wrist held interval sports/tr...

A belt/wrist held interval sports/training timer.

Jog or run at your normal pace and every so often throw in an interval of sustained faster pace that you can hold continuously without fading, then return to your normal pace until your breathing and heart rate settle down again. Once you are back in your comfort zone get out of it by doing another interval and keep repeating the cruise -interval – cruise – interval – cruise theme throughout your training run.

Training runs are generally short, 3 to 5 miles, because you want to put maximal effort into them. Each interval does not need to be a sprint, but certainly well above your normal cruising/comfort zone for a length of time you can hold without fading (too much!!).

You can time your intervals to “X” seconds (see device above), or count each stride. I have found that 50 strides = 20 sec, 80 strides = 30 sec, 100 strides = 40 sec (all approximately).

The more intervals you do the more you will stress your body the quicker you will adapt to favorable changes and become faster in your general and race performance runs.

Interval Training

Interval Training

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