Interval training

Are you an avid runner or cyclist or at least trying to become? Do you practise several times a week, but you seams to be blocked at a certain stage of your progress and can not move from the ‘dead’ point? Then you need to change something! Try to add to your workouts interval training, which is for decades used by a lot of athletes to develop their skills.

Season of running and cycling competitions is in full swing and if you want better results, than you currently are able to achieve, the interval training is just perfect for you. For beginners can be a bit too tough, but it can be adapted. Interval training is nothing new, as its advantages are already known in the past century.

Top athletes have started to use it in their trainings after Emil Zátopek in 1952 won the Olympics in all three long runs (5 and 10 kilometer and the marathon). Such training represents in the majority aerobic training, in which it will concentrate on highly intensive interval, that why is so called a high-intensity interval training (HIIT – High Intensity Interval Training). Even the term »more intense« itself says a lot; it is therefore a very tough training session type, which some compare it with Sisyphus work. Unlike the prolonged aerobic exercise, here we are talking about of exchange of short intervals of intense activity (sprinting) and intervals of lower intensity or rest.

The first may be short or slightly longer (20 minutes) and are measured by time or distance; while others allow the body to rest from physical exertion so their length moderate with your own abilities, but do not stopwith the activity, restrict it to a minimal intensity. If we talk about running, therefore share interval sprints with jogging intervals. However running is not the only way to implement the interval training; the choice is quite wide, from swimming and cycling all the way to various devices such as elliptical training machines, stationary bicycles, treadmills and spinners. Such devices are very popular and convenient, because you can pre-set the number, length and intensity of each interval.

Beginners beware!

As mentioned, the interval training for beginners can be extremely tough, therefore, some experts recommends a few weeks of aerobic activity without intervals; however if you are a bigginer start slowly with interval training. Perform such training once or twice per week, and with time and progress enhance the frequency of training, the number of intervals in the series, intensity and change the length of break.

Beginners can first run up to 15 minutes from 60 to 85 percent of maximum heart rate, then start intervals in the ratio 1: 3; for example, running for two minutes and six minutes of walk; your goal should be to achieve a ratio of 1: 1. As mentioned above then the number, length and intensity of the intervals gradually increase.

Avoid injuries

You must always be careful, at least initially not to overdo with your workouts, as you can risk injures as a result of excessive intensity and uncontrolled performance and heart problems, which is one of the very few negative effects if not the only one. To avoid this, use a heart rate monitor, with the help of which you know exactly when you have exceeded the intensity and it can be slightly reduced.

First you need to determine your maximum heart rate, which you can do it in several ways. Formula, in where we subtract from 220, years of age, is not the most accurate, because there may be differences of as much as 24 beats per minute, much better the test with heart rate monitor. Once you know your maximum heart rate, keep in mind that at the beginning of the intensive interval you reaches only 90 percent of this, while in the interval of rest, this percentage drops to about 60. How will you continue to escalate intensity, it is up to you, especially on your purpose and the objectives pursued.