Interval Running is an effective form of training for beginner runner to elites. However, the intensity is going to vary based on running experience and training tolerance. For example if your longest run to date has been 20 minutes your interval training should not exceed 20 minutes. Intervals allows the runner to add variety to the workout for both physical and mental benifits. Interval training is often confused with Fartlek Training but differs in the fact that you are doing the interval for a set time, not random. Interval training requires a specific time commitment to each interval. Theres multiple ways to approach interval training however if you stick to DIRT you’re utilizing this training method. DIRT stands for Distance of each speed interval, Interval of recovery between speed intervals, Repetitions of speed intervals, and Time of each.
Interval training became more popularized with the age of smart phones and apps. One of the more popular running apps which is free, is the Couch to 5k app. However I think the father of interval training is Jeff Galloway. Jeff Galloway was a sucseeful Olympic runner in 1972. He popularized his run walk method know as the Galloway Method. The Galloway method is still used today successfully for all lengths of races. Another contributing factor to intervals new found popularity is High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).
Interval Training is a great way to protect a runner from injury because it respond to a runner’s fatigue level. This method of training is also shown to help improve VO2 max (intake of oxygen while exercising) and lactate threshold (point where exercise intensity increases lactic acid in blood). It's also an effect technique to burn fat as opposed to strict steady state you’ll continue to burn calories after your run, EPOC. Excess Post- Oxygen Consumption is often known as the afterburn effect from exercise because the increased oxygen consumption activity will remain elevated in the body after you have exercised leading to an elevated consumption if the body’s fuel calories. Intervals can be done every day if that’s your method of trying but I like to add them into my training when ever I feel mentally bogged down. Ready to give this effective training method a shot?
For a beginner runner I would suggest walking to warm up your tissue. Then perhaps trying to run at challenging pace- one that makes them breathe heavy for 30 seconds, then moving at a controlled pace-one where there breathe would allow them to start a conversation for 90 seconds. Repeat this for a total of 4-6 times depending on experience level. Walk 10-15 minutes and recover (stretch, foam roll, ice and rest).
For an advance runner I would suggest running at an easy pace 5-10 minutes. Work on mobility and try this fun ascending ladder. Run at a difficult pace for 1 min, then at an easy pace for 2 minutes. Run at a difficult pace for 2 minutes, then at an easy pace 3 minutes. Run at difficult pace 3 minutes, then easy pace 4 minutes. Difficult pace for 4 minutes, easy pace for 5 minutes. Then run at difficult pace for 5 minutes and then run at easy pace 5-10 minutes until you feel heart rate drop and breathing rate decrease, and recover.
Have these post been helping you try some new training techniques? Leave me a comment below or share with a fellow running buddy who needs some running help. If you're interested in some further guidance feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to help you out!