Run fast for a short distance, then recover and get your breath back and go again. This is the route to continuous improvement and this is Interval Training.
‘Interval training is going to increase your level of fitness faster than pretty much any other type of running,’ says running coach Jeff Gaudette. Giving yourself a breather between segments of fast running allows you to handle more of it, delivering a greater stimulus to your heart, lungs and muscles.
Running may improve at quicker paces, says Gaudette. Provided that you begin with a fitness base and allow ample time between hard workouts for recovery, ‘short, hard bursts can teach your body a more efficient way to run, which ideally transitions into the rest of your training’, says Gaudette.
Some examples of interval training follow:
Fartlek running “Speed play” – Go for a steady run, and along the run inject bursts of speed of between 30 seconds and 2 minutes, then drop the pace back down to easy running for around the same duration that you just ran hard for. Continue this pattern for between 10 and 20 minutes.
Repetition running – Run bursts of hard running followed by a static or walk recovery. Many ways to do this which include running around a circuit, running around poles, the run could be converting the same distance on the efforts or the distance may change. The fun way to do this is in a team with others.
Hill running – Running up hills (can be short or long, steep or steady) helps to develop running speed, running technique, strength and of course conditioning for hill running. Typically run hard up the hills and easy down the hills to recover. However it is also beneficial to practice running down hills at speed.
Remember, the recovery is just as important as the effort otherwise you will not be able to run the effort with the form, technique and speed that you desire.
Some example session follow
Intervals – only of you feel amazing and able to follow the guidelines issued by the government. Solo running only and you should run from your home.
Warm up / warm down – Run a mile easy, stop for a minute and catch your breath.
Perhaps you might have run to the town fields or cantley park or woodlands park or the TPT trail or a pit top or a nice quiet road or an empty car park. Couple of ideas for your main session, concentrate on strong arm drive and the power will come:
Short Reps – Run hard for 60 seconds, Jog for 2 minutes and repeat 8 Times.
Shorter Reps – Run hard for 30 seconds, Jog for 1 minute and repeat 12 times.
Pyramid Session – Run hard for 2 minutes, 4 minutes, 6 minutes, 4 minutes, 2 minutes. After each effort jog for half the time of the effort (longer if necessary).
How hard you run is up to you, for the Pyramid session I would go at 5k pace. For the shorter reps I would go harder. If its windy try to run the efforts with the wind behind you.