Intervals for Beginners

Welcome to this week's workout!

If you are new to interval running it can certainly seem a little overwhelming at first, especially if you are running on a treadmill – hold on!!! 

The number one thing to know is it is all about confidence. The faster you feel usually translates into your speed on the machine. Believe you can and you will! When I first started running I was proud of myself for running at a 5.8 mph top speed, now I've pushed it to 14.0 mph! It takes time but this workout works. Interval running changed my body and it also totally strengthened my mind when it comes to all forms of workouts. I love it. It is part of my rountine at least twice a week and dare I say it but if I had to pick a favourite form of exercise this would absolutely be number one.

Why Interval Running ROCKS:

1. In half the time you get twice the workout of your average gym counter part.

2. It teaches your body to move better, stand taller, work at your maximum efficiency. 

3. EPOC (exercise post oxygen consumption):

Basically in a nutshell what this chart describes how interval training essentially "tricks" your body into thinking it's working harder and longer than it actually is. This is how interval running works to get you faster beyond steady state training! SO COOL! Right? When you are full-on sprinting your body takes on an "oxygen deficit" you're breathing hard and working hard to get air in. Once you stop your sprint it takes awhile for your lungs to catch up with your muscles. You create an "oxygen debt" which tricks your body into thinking that it is still working out hard for awhile. As you can see in the chart above this doesn't just last for 30 seconds it can actually last up to 20 minutes post your interval workout. What does it mean? Your body is still working – burning calories – LONG after your workout is over. So so so cool. Sorry for being a massive kin nerd right there. 

4. It makes you a faster runner. When I first started really getting serious with interval training in university my max max max was a 9.0 mph … now that's what I jog at! 

Where to Begin:

The number one thing to learn to do is how to go FAST. 

Most beginners make the mistake of not going nearly as fast as they can on their "on" phase of their interval and going far too fast on the "off" phase of their interval. There should be a distinct difference between your work and rest phase. If you think adding 0.5 mph on to your baseline speed is a sprint then you've got it all wrong! 

First Workout:

Warm-up on a treadmill at a slow jog – at least 4.5 mph for five to ten minutes. 

Then do some dynamic stretches and hop back on!

Aim for just five one minute intervals. These should be no lower than a 7.5 mph and ideally around 8.0 – 9.0 mph. Tell yourself to relax and breathe. You are not going to fall off the treadmill – running is a natural linear motion. Just keep moving forward. You will be fine.

Rest for at least one minute and up to a maximum of two minutes at a slow walk (3.0 – 3.5 mph). Recover. 

Each week try to add at least one interval onto your total. After one month try to increase your interval time to 2 minutes on, 1 minute off x 5. 

Interval running is the boom digity. If you want to change your body for the better this is seriously the workout for you!