Best Interval Running Workouts
There is no one supreme, all-singing, all-dancing running routine that leaves all others in the dust. The clue is in the title of this blog post – the best interval running workouts. Plural! The right routines are the ones that are designed to fulfil your goals. Are you looking to improve a 10k race time? Have you started training for a marathon? Do you want to focus on burning fat?
Best Interval Running Workouts for Increasing Speed
The best interval running workouts for picking up the pace and scoring a personal best involve shorter bursts of intense sprinting. Anything from 30-60 seconds is fine. The more moderately pace intervals should be performed at around 65% of your maximum running capacity for 2-3 minutes. Aim for 15 minutes to start and increase to 20 minutes as you progress.
Best Interval Running Workouts: Endurance
Training for a marathon? If so, mix up your training week with shorter and more intense routines. It’s tempting to just perform distance work when getting ready for the 26.2-mile challenge. However, too much long distance running over 2-3 months can result in burnout and injury. The best interval running workouts for distance training involve longer bursts of sprinting. Unlike the shorter, speed-specific routines the sprinting isn’t performed at max capacity. Aim for 80% for 2 minutes with longer ‘rest’ periods that last for 4-5 minutes.
Aim for a total routine time of 30 minutes.
Whilst we’re on the subject of the best interval running workouts I’d like to explode a couple of myths.
The first is that even the best interval running workouts for weight loss will not out-train a bad diet. Sorry! You can’t eat exactly what you want then expect the results not to be apparent.
The second is that short, intensity routines involve less work. On a very basic level, that is true. You aren’t actually exercising for as long as you would with a traditional cardio workout. The whole idea is to maximise training time – that means making every second matter. You may not actually be running for as long as usual but when you are, the body is working extremely hard. Half a minute or a 60 seconds of sprinting may not sound like much but believe me, you will feel the burn!
The third is that intervals are better than steady state training. That’s simply not true. Neither is ‘better’ than the other. Again, it all depends on what you want to achieve from running training. If you want to see results long-term a smart move is to combine the two types of running and throw in some cross-training for good measure. If you want to avoid hitting a training plateau, getting injured and becoming bored, it’s wise to combine the best interval running workouts with other forms of exercise.