Rev Up your Cardio with Interval Training

Looking for a simple way to rev up your cardio workout?  Want something to break up the boredom from your everyday treadmill run?  Why use the technique many elite athletes use, why not add some interval training?  Interval training is a simple way to get more out of a cardio session.  Interval training burns more calories than a slow steady run and can quickly help you gain speed and endurance.

What is Interval Training?

What is interval training?  As the name implies, it is just combining intervals of slower training with short bursts of speed.  These short bursts of speed are a great way to increase your overall exercise intensity, but because they are so short they don't tire you out so quickly you can't complete a regular length workout.  In the example graph below, you might warm up for 10 minutes at a steady pace of 6.8 miles per hour, and then increase your speed to 9.0 miles per hour for one minute.  Follow this "sprint" with a minute and a half at 7.0 miles per hour before you start another interval at 8.8 to 9.0 mph and you repeat for several intervals.  Once you have completed five intervals you slow back down to 6.8 mph and cool down for five or six minutes.

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Interval Training for Beginners?

Interval training can work for anyone - from beginners to elite athletes.  It is just a matter of degrees.  A beginner might start interval training by walking for a couple of minutes and then jogging for a minute for three or four iterations, and then gradually as their endurance increases they can increase they can slowly pick up the pace a little or increase the number of intervals they do at a time.  Don't like walking or jogging?  Why not try some interval training on an exercise bike?  Changing just one of your normal slow-and-steady cardio workouts with interval training can increase the numbers of calories you burn and can increase the speed at which you gain cardiovascular endurance. 

Want to Try a Simple Interval Training Routine?

Try walking or jogging at a slow comfortable pace for 5-10  minutes as a warm-up, and then jog or run (or sprint) for 3-5 intervals.  Each of these intervals should consist of jogging or running (or sprinting) for a minute at a pace that is hard (but not impossible) for you to maintain followed by a minute and a half at your walk or slow jog pace.  Once you have completed your 3-5 intervals, continue to walk or jog at a slightly slower pace for five minutes or so to cool down.  Just remember to increase your intensity as you start to gain strength and endurance over time.

Interval training can be a great way to add some intensity and excitement to your workout routine.  This type of training is also great for burning calories and increasing the speed at which you gain strength and endurance.  Interval training allows you to get faster results while spending less time working out.  Why wouldn't you want to add some interval training to your routine?