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If you are interested in improving your aerobic capacity and exercise performance in less time than traditional endurance training , then interval training is just what the exercise physiologist ordered. Research proves that you can improve your endurance and recovery from intense bouts of exercise with just one hour per week of interval training compared with up to five hours per week of traditional endurance training. Interval training is used by athletes all the time to improve their performance, and they know that intervals help speed up recovery time.
Interval (fartlek) training is a method of training where you increase and decrease the intensity of your workout between aerobic and anaerobic training. The method is to push your body past the aerobic threshold for a few moments and then return to your aerobic conditioning level with the objective of improving your performance (speed, strength, and endurance). The aerobic threshold is the intensity where your body switches from burning a greater percentage of fat to a greater percentage of carbohydrate and is generally 85% of your maximum heart rate – below 85% is considered to be aerobic exercise and above 85% and is considered to be anaerobic exercise.
Heart rate is a good indicator of how hard you’re working, and it’s easy to measure and therefore ideal for using in interval training. Establish your maximum heart rate to be able to be abe to monitor your interval training. Find an exercise pace which is comfortable and warm up for 5 minutes. Increase the speed for your work interval to 85%+ of maximum heart rate max for one minute. Reduce your speed to between 65-70% of maximum heart rate for 2-3 minutes and then increase back to 85%+ for another minute. Continue the intervals for approximately 20- 25 minutes. Cool down by running or walking at a comfortable pace for 5 minutes.
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