Interval training is tough. When I want to switch up my running or if I am getting bored of running at the same pace for miles on end I do intervals. Somehow even though I am running at a fast pace for less than half the time I am actually moving I sweat WAY more. Intervals get my heart pounding and by the end I am a sweaty and endorphin-filled mess.
Some of the benefits of interval training include:
- Burning more fat. Your body burns more calories during and after an interval workout.
- Strengthens the heart. Your heart is pumping hard and fast during the intervals and by combining tough intervals with heart-rate-slowing recovery periods you are giving your heart quite the workout, making it stronger.
- Builds muscle. Both weight trainings and interval training have been shown to build muscle, not destroy it like some forms of monotonous cardio.
- Revs your metabolism. Interval training increases your HGH production which increases calorie burn. So yes, I did have extra peanut butter on my toast this morning.
- Finally, intervals are tough mentally and I believe they help train your mind as well as your body. I feel so accomplished after interval training because it reminds me what my body is capable of when I push outside of my comfort zone. Source.
Some intervals feel like they fly by and others feel like they never end but I usually think one thing when in the middle of an interval… “I can do anything for a minute.” Taking an interval, a run, or running in general one minute or one mile at a time is a lot easier than trying to focus on the big picture.
Today I did treadmill intervals. One of the benefits of doing a workout like this on the treadmill is you can control your pace really easily and change pace simply with the push of a button. I did an 8X800m workout because I had 4.0 miles on my running schedule today.
400m Warm-up @ 15:00 min/mile walking pace.
400m Warm-up @ 10:00 min/mile jogging pace.
800m Interval @ 6:58 min/mile running pace.
400m Recovery @ 15:00 min/mile walking pace.
Repeat for 8 intervals.
400m Cool-down @15:00 min/mile walking pace.
Total: 6.75 miles
I have tried intervals at the track, on the treadmill, and on the streets and each have their own advantages and disadvantages. The treadmill was really easy regarding controlling my pace/speed but it does get tiring running on the belt for over an hour! Whether it’s an interval at a pace 0.1mph faster or at an uncomfortably fast pace, always keep in mind that you can do anything for a minute!