What You Need to Know About Interval Training

Two women running.

Proper interval training is an essential part of training for any kind of race and consists of alternating between short, fast bursts of intense activity and slower, less intense exercise. Also called, “Fartlek,” which means “speed play,” interval training is designed to get you running faster but can also get you beyond any performance plateaus you hit during regular training.

A regular weekly session of interval training can:

  • Burn more calories.
  • Positively impact your heart health.
  • Give you better training in less time.
  • Get you the sought-after runner’s high.

Interval training sounds simple, but there are some common mistakes runners make. With interval training, timing is of the essence. If you go too hard at the wrong time, the fatigue is tiring but not productive like it could be.

Pace Yourself

The impulse, especially for new runners is to start hard, but you don’t want to wear yourself out and get fatigued and spend the rest of the run struggling to survive and hating every moment after fatigue has set in.

Instead, start out at an easy pace you can keep for the entirety of the workout, and with every repetition, it should feel more difficult, but not impossible and exhausting.

The purpose of your interval training should also influence what reps you perform and in what order. The purpose along with your level of fitness also determines your pace. Try to run your final interval at the same pace as the first.

How Does Interval Training Give Results?

Running with a combination of intervals exposes you to harder efforts, allowing your body to take on higher anaerobic activity, which allows for a faster pace and better endurance. If you feel a bit intimidated, don’t because when you first started running, you were likely doing intervals (by walking/running at different times during your workouts) and may not have known it!

When it comes to interval sessions, it is better to go gradually as these sessions can be rough. As you progress, your pace will naturally get better, your recovery will get easier, and you will get faster and have more endurance. To keep seeing positive results, take care of yourself and give yourself plenty of rest and recovery in between these sessions.

If you need ideas for interval training or feel you have hit a plateau with training, consider partnering with a running coach.

Running coaches stop on the street for a photo.

Our coaches come up with specific plans that coincide with your fitness level and goals. For more information about running coaches in Jacksonville, FL, contact one of our coaches at Personal Running Solutions.

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