By, Martina Spencer, Discovery Learning Assessor
Are you stuck with same old routine and bored out of your mind? Then try interval training! I had been thinking about it for long time and knew all benefits, but have never been brave to apply this type of training in to my cardio workouts.
However, on my holiday last year, I was forced to experience a full on interval training with no warning!!
I was holidaying in Cuba and decided to for 5k run one morning. As you might know, Havana has lots of nice 5* hotels on the outskirts of the town, and each hotel has long driveway from the main road, leading to hotel reception. There is gate on the bottom of the driveway, and there is little cabin near the entrance for security people to keep away from direct sunlight and unbearable heat.
I put my trainers on and off I went, running along main road. When I got to the next hotel, the security guy was smiling at me and I felt so great being outside……life is great
That’s when I saw the little dog getting ready to chase me out of his territory. My face froze in horror. I like dogs, but those cute, nice and fluffy ones….not the vicious hungry Cuban dogs who will bite my heels if they catch me! I started sprinting to save my life!! I knew its only 200 meters until the gate so I put in the effort and escaped from the yappy dog. I could relax, until I reached another security cabin from the next hotel…and guess what…another dog chasing me again so had to run for my life again!! I must say, at the time it was really scary, but I actually enjoyed it because my workout wasn’t so boring.
Not convinced by interval training? Here are few facts which might convince you:
1. Interval training has been the basis for athletic training routines for years. The first forms of interval training, called “fartlek” involved alternating short, fast bursts of intensive exercise with slow, easy activity. Fartlek was casual, unstructured training that perfectly fit its English translation: “speed play.”
2. Interval training works both the aerobic and the anaerobic system.
3. Interval training also helps prevent the injuries often associated with repetitive endurance exercise, and they allow you to increase your training intensity without overtraining or burn-out
4. If you are counting calories burned, high intensity exercise such as intervals are better than long, slow endurance exercise
Next time you go for your run, try interval training and see all benefits yourself!