Before we discuss the benefits interval running and why it’s so important, let’s look at what exactly interval running is.
The bases of interval running is when a person runs really hard for short amounts of time with longer periods of rest in between. The key is to do shorter spurts of fast running with high energy intertwined with equal or slightly longer periods of recovery in between.
Before you start interval running, make sure you know how to warm up properly. An effective warm-up will raise your core body temperature and will also increase the blood flow to your muscles prepping them for activity.
For interval running, the warm-up should start slow and then finish at the same pace as the workout so there is a smooth transition from the warm-up to the actual workout pace.
After the warm-up, run for two minutes at a hard pace. Follow this with two-to-three minutes of easy jogging or walking to catch your breath. This is very important because your body gets stronger and adapts better in recovery mode.
If you’re a beginner, you’re running intervals may be only 30 seconds and that’s okay as long as you increase the number of sets over time, but not before you’re ready. Doing so before you’re ready runs the risk of injury and loss of form.
As with any intense workout, you should not do interval running everyday. If you don’t allow your body and mind to recover, you can damage your motivation, become to tired, and perhaps injure yourself.
For example, if you’re used to running three days a week, you could set aside one of those runs for an interval training session. Sound good? Looks look at the benefits of interval running!
Before we dive deeper into some of the benefits listed above, let’s discuss an added bonus of interval running. The stop-and-start pattern of interval running trains your body to recover quickly between bursts of faster running. Over time, this will gradually increase your body’s ability to run faster for a longer amount of time.
In addition, to the items listed above practicing interval training in general comes with some exciting health benefits such as; a lower risk of many chronic diseases, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, and some cancers.
Let’s dive a bit deeper into some of the benefits listed above. If you practice interval running on a consistent basis, you will see an increase in your self-esteem and self-motivation level.
You will also notice your body will burn it’s own fat thus leading to losing weight at a faster pace. Not only will this decrease your stress but the act alone of running, resting, and repeating will decrease your stress by releasing endorphins. Endorphins increase your energy and your mood. These all are wonderful benefits aren’t they?
Keep in mind though, doing interval running is hard work on the entire body so let your body adapt at it’s own pace. Don’t push yourself to much.
If you’re not ready to go outside to do interval running out in public, there is another option using a treadmill.
Yes, these machines do allow you to practice a HIIT session inside your own home. This is not only perfect for those not wanting to go outside, but also is good for those who want to start off slow and work your way up, literally.
Withing time you will see a change in your fitness level. This is the time when you can increase the incline to give yourself a good workout as your body is adapting to the stress of the exercise.
No matter if you’re doing interval running outside or inside, just as a pre-workout warm-up is important so is the cool down afterwords. By cooling down, you are naturally letting your heart rate fall by walking it off. This is crucial for avoiding injuries and dehydration.
Interval training is hard work on the entire body, but particularly the heart, lungs, and muscles. If you’re someone that has not exercised in a long time or consider yourself to be out of shape, you need to get the all-clear from your GP before starting.
It is advised to have a good level of overall aerobic fitness before performing high-intensity training of any kind.
Not a runner, but want to try some other interval training exercises. Here are some fun but challenging exercises from verywellfit.com that we thought you should check out.
Keep in mind the calories list will depend on your own personal weight. This is because it takes more energy to lift a heavier amount of weight thus leading to more calories burned.
If you’re not really into exercises that are challenging or require running, look into how you can use interval walking for weight loss purposes.