WHAT IS INTERVAL TRAINING ?

So, you have made speedy progress these last few months. Congrats! But now you find yourself in a rut. Having a hard time taking things to the next level?

Switch to interval training, and rediscover the joy of making progress! This type of training—well known for its effectiveness—is a must for every athlete.

 

MAS, 30×30, pyramid, 2x8x40-20′... become an interval training expert!

1. WHAT IS INTERVAL TRAINING ?

Interval training is a training method used for endurance sports (running, cycling, swimming, rowing, etc.) where you alternate between periods of acceleration, recovery, and gently picking up speed.

Objective : gradually increase your endurance in order to improve overall performance. By pushing your body to the limit through intense physical activity, your heart and lungs will learn to store increasingly greater quantities of oxygen.

2. THE MANY BENEFITS OF INTERVAL TRAINING

During interval training sessions, your body is shaken up. Your heart, lungs and muscles experience abrupt changes of pace. This takes your body out of its comfort zone and enables you go further, faster.

 

Interval training is suited to beginners and experts alike, and most importantly, helps you stay (or become) motivated. The fact is, interval training helps you improve more than just your endurance. It also works out your physical cardio, respiratory and muscular capabilities. These are all indispensable to making progress. With all these benefits on the menu, all that's left is to give it a try !

3. HOW DO YOU GET STARTED WITH INTERVAL TRAINING, AND WHAT METHOD SHOULD YOU CHOOSE ?

Increasing your speed means increasing your MAS. Your Maximum Aerobic Speed is the speed at which your body uses the most oxygen. Your body can only maintain this speed for about 1 km or 6 minutes. Each person has their own MAS. To find out your MAS, learn how to calculate your MAS.

 

Once you have calculated your MAS, select the interval training exercises to perform regularly.

There are four main types :

Montre connectée montre gps gps randonnée montre cardio GPS montre GPS running comparatif gps meilleur gps altimetre entrainement fractionné gps vtt gps france courir plus vite test gps altimètre cardio GPS montre bluetooth montre altimetre course fractio
30/30: classic and effective

The principle is simple: 30 seconds at a fast pace followed by 30 seconds at a slow pace; repeat several times.

For experienced runners, if you know your MAS, here is a table that can help you define the distance to run in 30 seconds.

Montre connectée montre gps gps randonnée montre cardio GPS montre GPS running comparatif gps meilleur gps altimetre entrainement fractionné gps vtt gps france courir plus vite test gps altimètre cardio GPS montre bluetooth montre altimetre course fractio
Pyramid : a fun way to stay motivated

Alternate periods of exertion and recovery, changing the durations of each in the shape of a pyramid. Crossfit and Cardio Training programmes often use this HIIT method (High Intensity Interval Training).

Here is a sample programme : 60 seconds of jumping jacks, 50 seconds of planking, 40 seconds of squats, 30 seconds of press-ups, 20 seconds of squat jumps, 10 seconds of burpees (recovery phase). Next, reverse the order with another 20 seconds of squat jumps, 30 seconds of press-ups, etc., finishing with 60 seconds of jumping jacks !

Montre connectée montre gps gps randonnée montre cardio GPS montre GPS running comparatif gps meilleur gps altimetre entrainement fractionné gps vtt gps france courir plus vite test gps altimètre cardio GPS montre bluetooth montre altimetre course fractio
Running/cycling up slopes to strengthen your muscles

Designed for both beginners and experienced users, this interval training works out your muscles. The goal is to run or cycle up a slope in several timed sequences at a fast pace.

Recover between each session and descend slowly/easily. Set the duration of the runs based on the incline of the slope.

For cyclists, a session should start with a warm-up, than 5x5 minutes of climbing, 15 min of recovery, 5x5 minutes of climbing, then 15 to 30 minutes of recovery by riding at a leisurely pace.

Montre connectée montre gps gps randonnée montre cardio GPS montre GPS running comparatif gps meilleur gps altimetre entrainement fractionné gps vtt gps france courir plus vite test gps altimètre cardio GPS montre bluetooth montre altimetre course fractio
Long interval sessions, for experienced athletes

Repeat the same distance several times in a row. Each phase is interspersed with a recovery time.

Example of training on an athletic track : 3 x 2 km with a recovery time equal to half the running time between each session.

The challenge here is to maintain the same pace with each session.

Accelerate, recover, accelerate, recover; try interval training to make faster progress !

For a fully-featured watch, consider one with both GPS and heart-rate functions.