Best Tips on Effective Interval Training.

"Interval Training -- Do's, Dont's and How-Tos"

Interval Training is defined as alternating short bursts of intense training against rest periods or low activity periods. It is recommended to achieve optimum fitness levels at faster rate.

It is encouraged by coaches as it improves cardiovascular fitness quickly and helps improve aerobic ability which results in ability to run longer and faster. Interval Training will quickly improve your fitness levels, aerobic capacity, lactate threshold, muscular strength, physical power & anaerobic tolerance.

Hence, when doing Interval Training you need to push yourself further & faster and only as much as your body can bear the discomfort of going into anaerobic pain.

Interval Training is also recommended for weight loss purposes. If done correctly at the correct intensity, that is.

Tips and Guidelines for Optimum Interval Training.

1. Always, always do a proper warming up & cooling down sessions to avoid unnecessary injuries and pain.

2. Keep a training log to measure your performance and improvement.

3.For Beginners, it is recommended to do a 5K race pace to allow your body to reach and maximize aerobic capacity. Do a intense run for 600 metres, then rest.

Resting Intervals should include jogging or brisk walking until your heart rates drops somewhat preferably to 120 beats a minute. Resting Intervals should ideally be for another 400 metres.

If you are not on a track, use your stopwatch to track your variation between intense and resting intervals.

Here's a rough guide:

Interval Training:

-- 3 - 5 minutes of warming up.

-- 1 minute moderate or high intensity running followed by 1 minute low intensity. This should ideally be repeated up to 8 times.

-- 3 - 5 minutes cooling down.

Do not come to a complete stop as the blood will pool in your legs and you will start experiencing anaerobic pain & lactic buildup. Do not continue in resting interval until your heart beat returns to resting.

Continue immediately with another rep of Interval Training for further 600 metres.

4. Start by brisk walking or doing a mild jog. If you break immediately into an intense run, it will cause unnecessary stress on your legs.

5. Run each interval in the same time or only slightly increase your time. This is important so that you do not burn out and lose steam quickly.

5. I prefer running or jogging with another runner. It keeps me motivated and pushing myself to my limit. Do not start competing to each other though. That is not the point of training. Work together & motivate each other.

6. Stay relaxed and run or jog--keep to the intended distance ie. if you decide that your interval training is for 600 metres, stay the course. BUT if you start to lose form and get exhausted, slow down slightly. Do not tense up and force yourself to finish the training.

7. If you are a beginner, limit your interval training to once a week only. Rest the next day. Do other fitness activities on other days of the week like cycling, swimming, weight training or just your regular jog/run in the park. The point is not to over-do it and injure yourself. Ease yourself into getting fitter, do not force it and push too hard.

8. Focus, focus, focus. Do not get distracted by other runners, do not carry on a conversation with your partner. The point is to concentrate and dedicate your energy on your performance not on other things.

9. Do your Interval Training either on a treadmill or track. This makes it easier to measure your performance, time and distance.

10. If you want, write your own personal interval training log work out. This is if you do not have a coach to do it for you. Generally the log should measure the quantity, intensity and recovery time of your intervals.

As you get fitter, you can reduce your time, increase the intensity, reduce resting intervals. You will notice your fitness levels increase fast with weekly interval trainings.

Remember to rest the next day, don't over-do it & always listen to your body.

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