Conditioning plays a key role in running, and intervals are definitely the best way to improve it. That is why if you are ambitious about your workouts you should definitely make friends with them. At the beginning of your adventure with athletics a question may appear – what really are intervals and what makes them such an important part of exercises?
Contrary to some opinions, interval training is not only for advanced runners. It’s also a great choice for ambitious amateurs who care about making regular progress. Before starting the intervals it’s worth taking care of prior preparation – it will allow you to avoid all kinds of injuries and incomparably increase the pleasure of training.
Intervals are runs with variable tempo, so faster sections will alternate with slower ones. The former should be performed at speeds and durations as close to each other as possible, while slowing down we need to provide the body with a gentle reduction in fatigue. In theory, during a properly conducted interval we will be able to run the last fast section with maximum fatigue – both physical and mental. Such a session is a great test, thanks to which we will test the limits of our own muscular and mental endurance, and many times we will also gain an extra boost of motivation.
Interval Training —>
When starting your adventure with running remember that the process of introducing intervals must be gradual, so it’s worth dividing it into three episodes.
The first step is to build a base. In order to properly perform an interval training, we must have muscle endurance at a certain level, general physical fitness, and most of all running awareness. Therefore, we should start by running longer and longer distances. Our base for intervals will be ready when we are able to run continuously for 45-65 minutes. Then we can slowly introduce interval training to the weekly plan.
The second stage is gradual loading, in which we will select the level of difficulty of intervals to our current efficiency. Krakow wasn’t built in a day – so the workouts of a beginner will be much lighter than those performed by a professional. Then we move to the third part, namely the proper placement of intervals, which will be useful especially in the context of preparations for competitions. Let’s introduce interval trainings a few months before the target start, and the peak of form will certainly fall on the day of the run.
When it comes to the form of intervals they take a few forms. Probably the most common is the following scheme: 10 x 400 m, 5 x 800 m, 3 x 1000 m, 10 x 100 m, 6 x 300 m. Variability is just as important as regularity, so any experimentation is welcome. After all, one workout can contain segments of different lengths, such as 1 x 300 m, 2 x 400 m, 3 x 600 m, 2 x 400 m, 1 x 300 m.
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