The Three Best Interval Running Tips

Interval training – now that’s an interesting concept.

As discussed on this site, an interval running workout is one of the best ways to lose weight, burn fat, and slim down to a lean, mean, running machine. And while there are plenty of good programs to be found, these three interval running tips should help you improve your program even more.

Tip #1: Raising The Intensity

An interval workout is all about intensity. The more intense a workout is, the more anaerobic exercise you get – and the more stressed your body becomes (which of course means the more fit it will be).

To increase the intensity of your run without making it longer, simply make your normal-pace interval shorter.  This will make you run more cycles and shorten the rest interval so that you are getting your heart rate up at a higher level more often.

For example, if you are running for one minute and sprinting for one minute, try lowering your normal pace to 45 seconds and keep your sprinting at one minute.  This will be sure to keep your heart rate elevated in that 80-85% zone for more total time during a workout that is still the same length overall as your original one.

Tip #2: Take To The Hills

Another tip is to incorporate hills in to your interval training. Hill training for runners adds an entirely new dimension to normal interval training. Instead of running on a flat surface, you have to tackle elevation, which makes your body work harder.

I recommend shortening your normal fast-pace intervals since you’re going to be doing them up a hill.  Find a distance on a certain slope that taxes you but isn’t impossible to run more than once or twice.  This will be your sprint interval.  Your rest interval will be going back down the hill, out to the starting point, and then back to the base of the slope.

Tip #3: Schedule

Interval training is tough (naturally).  That is what makes it so effective – but it is also what can make your body pay the price if it is not done correctly.

To correctly schedule interval training, make sure you do not run hard workouts every single day on top of interval workouts.  Typically, if you have a day of hard, high-intensity interval training, you will want to have a recovery day afterwards.

This doesn’t mean you can’t run at all, but try and keep it light and relatively short. Adding a recovery day will maintain the benefits without having the nagging injuries that result from overwork.

What are some interval running tips that you have found useful?

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