High intensity activity is also called sprint. It can last for as short as 20 seconds or for as long as 15 minutes. For example, you can cycle at full pace for 20 seconds or you can cycle an uphill climb for 15 minutes.
The interval can also be measured in terms of distance. So someone can run a distance of 50 meters at full pace, during their high intensity activity.
Low intensity is the period where the athlete recovers. He/she doesn’t stop activity all together, but transitions to a lower intensity.
The recovery period depends on the level of your fitness and the type of interval training you are doing. In general the recovery period should give you enough rest so that you are able to perform the following high intensity period at your maximum capacity. If the period of recovery is inadequate you will not be able to give your maximum potential and the training will result to be aerobic training.
The intensity depends on the person. It is how hard you can do it in the given time period. It depends on your fitness level and the time or distance involved.
In terms of time, interval training usually has ratios of 1:2 or 1:3. This means one time interval high intensity to two or three intervals of low intensity. For example one minute full pace run to two or three minutes recovery pace.
A relatively new approach to interval training is the Tabata protocol which comprises of 20 seconds of high intensity to 10 seconds recovery. It has a ratio of 2:1.
It is a type of interval that alternates high intensity periods with moderate intensity and it is one of the most demanding forms of training.
With interval training one doesn’t burn calories during the training only, but also for quite a lot of time afterwards. After intense training the body has to recover and replenish its muscles. This happens by drawing energy from its fat reserves, so while you sit or sleep the body actually burns fat to recover from the intense exercise.
Metabolizing fat into energy for the muscles during and after interval training is only part of the benefit of this type of exercise. There is a long term benefit where the body actually gets used to spending fat on muscle power that it actually stops storing it in its fat cells.
All of these are reasons why Interval Training can be a great workout to add to any fitness routine. As a runner, interval training can help get you to a faster pace and goal.
Do you do interval training?
Here are some other posts you might like:
Come back to this post by pinning it for later 👇🏻