Thursday, May 17, 2012

intervals

Interval training is a method where you perform an exercise at a very high level of intensity for a short period of time, followed by doing the same exercise at a slower pace while you catch your breath. Repeat.

Intervals can be used with just about any aerobic activity - running, biking, swimming, jumping jacks, dancing, etc. You can vary the time & distance of fast vs slow based on your abilities and intensity.
  • Distance - run 100 yards as fast as you can, at a full-out sprint. Then jog slowly back to the starting line, and sprint again. No resting in between sets - the jogging portion is your rest.
  • Longer distances might include 1/4 mile at a pace too fast to keep for long, but not an all out sprint.
  • Shorter distances are ok, too - more exploding off the line with less maintaining top speed involved.
  • Time - sprint for 10 seconds; slow jog for 50 seconds; repeat. This becomes 1 minute for each interval.
  • You can increase your time increments as you get stronger and fitter. Keep in mind, though, that more time sprinting equals less time recovering - 10 seconds / 50 seconds, 15 / 45, 20 / 40, etc.
  • For longer distances, exchange sprinting for running fast - run fast for 150 steps, jog for 150 steps. Repeat the process for the duration of your run.
Intervals vs Steady Pace

I find that I can run a given distance, say 5 miles for example, faster when I hold a steady pace. But when I do 100 yard intervals for that same distance (5 miles equals 44 sprints of 100 yards each), I'm completely wiped out - more tired, more sweaty, more heart-pounding, and much more sore the next day.

Intervals pack a punch, and are a great way to turn up your intensity!



Legal Disclaimer (don't blame me).

Warning - I am NOT a licensed physical trainer, therapist, nutritionist, or a doctor.  I am a regular guy who just happens to love exercise and fitness.

Exercise can be dangerous if done incorrectly or in excess.  I can't see you, and you can't see me, to know if you're doing an exercise incorrectly, which could lead to injury.

Please Please Please seek help / advice / counsel from a local professional before starting a new program, or before doing an exercise you're unfamiliar with.  This information is intended as a guide to point you in the right direction.  If you aren't familiar with the exercises described herein, I highly recommend seeking professional advice before trying them.