Introduction To Interval Training For Runners

By December 27, 2019 No Comments

It’s common to get exhausted fast while training for your marathon. In spite of all the hard work, cross-training and early morning runs, if you’re still feeling a bit underprepared, then it’s probably time for you to train smart. What we mean by this is building your endurance by putting your body through a full range of motions. Runners can achieve this by including a fair share of Interval Training. Interval Training is very similar to a HIIT workout but for running.

Interval Training includes running faster than your usual speed or pace for a short period and transitioning to jogging and repeating this set several times. This method of training is your best bet to increase your endurance, although fast running does have a reputation for causing injuries and irregular heartbeat. Combining short intervals of fast running with longer durations of jogging can do the opposite. Runners who train this way promise by it and statistically end up with much lesser injuries than runners who don’t train this way. It is also said to improve a runner’s pace, provided you give your intervals proper recovery. 

The Science

When you’ve reached a plateau speed while training, then you know it’s time to include interval training to your schedule. As you run, your muscles that have been at work, run out of oxygen and produce a substance called lactate instead. This lactate or lactic acid can be converted to energy and get consumed. This lactic acid builds up in your bloodstream when not consumed and reaches its “lactate threshold.” Reaching this level will urge you to stop to take a break. Interval Training allows you to use up this lactic acid and increase your “lactate threshold” and muscle usage. 

If you’re not a regular runner, then avoid including interval training from day one. Your bones, muscles, and mind should be ready to endure the extremities of interval running. If you’re used to running approximately 20 miles a week, then interval training should be easy to incorporate. Include it 2-3 times a week to your schedule to see results. 

Your Plan

  • Stretch your muscles and joints and take a 10-minute jog.
  • Run at an interval pace for one minute.
  • Transition to 2-minute recovery jog.
  • Repeat this cycle four times.
  • End with a 5-minute jog and cooling down exercises.

Make sure that your interval pace is a tad bit higher than your usual running speed. You can follow the below speed to time sessions as well:

  • 8x400m with 1-min recoveries
  • 5x800m with 2-min recoveries
  • 3×1 mile with 3-min recoveries

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