Do you feel like your long runs are getting boring and monotonous? Switch it up with some interval running. For interval workouts, all you need is a Gymboss timer and space to run. Prior to your workout, figure out the duration and number of intervals you want to complete. This all depends on whether you are a beginner runner or a more advanced runner. Here are some interval tips based on your running experience.
For a true beginner, start interval training with a run walk run regimen. Set each interval for one minute and do 20 minutes total. The first minute will be running followed by a minute of walking. Repeat this for 20 minutes. By the end, you will have run a total of 10 minutes and walked a total of 10 minutes. This should be done on a track, grassy surface, or trail. It is important for beginner runners to stay off hard surfaces as much as possible to avoid shin splints and other injuries. As you begin to gain more comfort with running, increase the duration of the running interval and decrease the time spent walking.
You’ve been running for some time now. You might be able to go on a 30-40-minute run but are still struggling with speed. Interval training can help this type of runner go from slow and steady to quick and swift to improve their race times. An intermediate runner will want to set fast and slow intervals. For example, set an interval where you will run at a faster pace for 3 minutes and then slowly jog to recover for one minute. This set of intervals can be repeated for 20-30 minutes. As you see improvements in your speed, do the same workout but repeat for 40-45 minutes. When deciding how fast to run the quick intervals, a good place to start is at your goal race pace. Think about a race you are training for and aim to run that same pace during your interval running workout. This will get you accustomed to the feeling of running faster so that it will be less of a shock come race day.
Advanced runners use interval training frequently to improve speed and stamina. An advanced runner can increase both the duration and total length of time spent doing intervals. For example, someone who is working to improve their 5K time may set an interval pattern of 15 minutes at race pace and 5 minutes easy jogging. A runner who competes in marathons will want to further increase their interval duration. For example, a marathoner might run at race pace for 30-40 minutes with a 5-10 minute easy jog in between. The Gymboss timer can set intervals anywhere from 2 seconds to 99 minutes so there are many options for the advanced runner looking to do longer intervals.