Fitness

All About Intervals

With six weeks of school behind us, you may find yourself tired of your routine workouts and looking for something new. If this appeals to you, it’s time to think about interval training. Interval training will help build endurance and speed, but isn’t a hard transition to make. It can be simple or strenuous, depending on how fast you adjust and move into more difficult workouts.

Interval training alternates between short, high-intensity bursts of speed, and slow recovery phases during a single workout. If you’re working out in intervals at the gym, setting the treadmill at a speedy pace and steep slope and running a quick, hard mile would be the first part of the training. You could even try things such as plyometrics, jump roping, shuttle runs or stair running. After, you would move to something less strenuous and fast-paced, such as a slowly jogged mile on the treadmill. The recovery is all about, well — recovering – so use it wisely and make sure to do something that allows you to catch your breath and relax.

What’s the benefit of switching up the pace and difficulty during a workout? Interval training leads to many physiological changes including the ability to deliver oxygen to the working muscles better than before, as well as increased tolerance to the accumulation of lactic acid. These changes result in greater speed, more endurance and an all around improvement in athletic performance. It’s a great way to cross-train during a workout, and gives the body a rest between demanding exercises which prevents one from over-training and getting injured. There certainly isn’t anything wrong with an exhausting workout, but taking small breaks in between, yet still exercising, is a good way to motivate yourself and break up energy-consuming activities.

Take this new workout and run with it – literally. It’s always good to introduce new gym routines because if you become bored of your everyday workout, you may stop going all together. That’s not an ideal way of changing your gym tendencies! Something is better than nothing, so keep at it and switch it up from time to time. You may find something you like better than what you’re used to, which will make exercising all the more enjoyable. Put interval training at the top of your to-do list and your speed and endurance will become better than ever.

By Zoe Malliaros

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