For the Runners: Three Types of Interval Training

Want to see the pounds melt off? If you're sick of running for long distances, try quick and effective interval training.
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For the Runners: Three Types of Interval Training

Want to see the pounds melt off? If you’re sick of running for long distances, try quick and effective interval training.

-Kim Jones

woman running beach

We’ve all heard that interval training is a great from of cardio. But, do you know why? Well, when you run intervals you can decrease the duration of your workout and still burn more calories. For some people, cardio entails running continuously at a particular target heart rate for specific distances or for a particular unit of time. Interval training is an alternative that will enhance your fitness level through the manipulation of training intensities.

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By alternating between high and low intensity periods, the heart rate continuously increases and decreases. Working at higher intensities also stimulates weight loss, and is effective for people who want to decrease body fat percentage, according to Jason R. Karp’s study “Interval Training for the Fitness Professional” in the Strength and Conditioning Journal. Other positive benefits include increasing strength and power, lactic acid tolerance, and improved endurance.

Here are three types of interval training and how to do each:

Interval Training Type 1
Repeatedly raising and lowering the heart rate during training increases the amount of blood pumped during each heartbeat, which means more oxygen is delivered to your working muscles, according to Karp. Short, high intensity sprints lasting 5 to 10 seconds heavily recruit fast twitch muscles fibers. Developing these muscle fibers increases strength, power, and speed. Those who play in sports consisting of short bursts of activity followed by jogging or walking will benefit greatly from this type of training.

Repetitions: Depending on your fitness level perform 5 to 10 repetitions
Work to Rest Ratio:
1:6 for beginners and 1:3 for advanced individuals. For example, 6 seconds of rest for every 1-second of sprinting equals 60 seconds of recovery for a 10-second sprint. 3 seconds of rest for every 1-second of sprinting equals 30 seconds recovery for a 10-second interval
Recovery:
No active recovery should be used. Perform sprint then walk back to starting line, or simply stand for the prescribed rest time. Jogging, or active rest, will only deplete the energy system that needs to be replenished and available for the next sprint interval.


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