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Interval Training - When is the Best Time to Get it Done?

Yuri Elkaim, BPHE, CK, RHN


"Yuri, when should I do my interval training?"

That's a question I get asked quite a bit. Many people want to know whether it's better to do interval training before their strength training workout, after, or on a separate day all together.

Because there are many variables to consider the answer isn't as simple as it may seem. However, to begin, I will give you 2 pieces of quick advice.


Clarity is Power and Specificity is Key

If your goal is to be a faster runner, then spend more of your time running. This should make sense considering the notion of "specificity" that is important in training. Basically, it boils down to the fact that to be a better runner, you need to run. If you want to be a better cyclist, then spend more time cycling. Get it?

But strength training should also be an integral of your running schedule. But then how do you fit in your runs with your strength training workouts? Do you do them on the same day? Do you do them on separate days? So many questions, so much confusion.

Experience and research shows that if you workout before you run, you will have less energy for your run. Makes sense. Therefore, if your focus is on running, then do you run or interval training first, and then, if you want, do your strength training.

Just remember, your interval training workouts will also deplete your body of energy, which, in turn will compromise your strength training sessions.

So, I think it's really important to first establish your most important goal. Is it to spend time lifting weights? Becoming a better runner? Losing weight? Whatever it is, you need to clear. Once you have clarity you can then make better decisions.

If you're working out and are looking for a solution to incorporating into your workout routines, then it's important that your schedule your interval and strength workouts appropriately. The video below will help you do so.

Also, if you want to burn fat, then you might be better off going against some of the advice I have just given you. As you'll see in the video, fat burning is actually accelerated if you do your intervals before your strength workout. I'll explain more below.


Watch This Video for a More In-Depth Discussion

To end the confusion of when to do your interval training runs, play the following video to learn about my interval training best practices.



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