Thursday, 29 March 2012

Intervals .....

When I first started running a friend of mine asked if I wanted to go and do some sprint training with her (intervals). We ran up to the track, stopped at the bottom of  the hill, this is where she told me we would be sprinting up the hill to the tree stump 8 times!  The idea is your sprint up the hill (maximum effort), then you walk back to where you started (recovery). We were sprinting about 50 metres. The first time I did it was hell on earth! This type of exercise uses completely different muscles, and I couldn't walk for a couple of days. I now incorporate a sprint training run in to my weekly training programme.

The hill we sprint up!



My training programme looks a bit like this:
- 5k quick run (try and run at a faster pace)
- 7-8 k hilly run
- 10- 12k long run
- sprint  training run.
I'm not actually training for anything particular at the moment, but I like to have a bit of structure, and diversity when I'm running. I run every second day, so on average about for times a week. On the days I don't run, I do 40 mins circuit training. I have one rest day a week.

    Yes there are even donkeys that watch!!

Anyhow back to  the matter at hand, interval training is a really valuable part of your training programme. Now I'm no health or sport professional, but what Ive learnt is that interval training is great to build up your speed and endurance. It boosts your metabolism, and aids weight loss. It also gives your muscles a bit of a break from the repetitive nature of running. Sounds pretty good right? I can vouch that it has done wonders for me. I always have the best runs after a sprint session, and I am slowly getting stronger and faster. I do have a tendency to try and avoid these sprint sessions (funny that), but really notice it after a couple of weeks and get back in to it.
The great thing about intervals is that you can do them anywhere, and at what ever level you are at. No matter what you do as long as you are doing short bursts of high intensity, and then a bit of recovery, you will be making a difference.

The last couple of weeks I've had some fairly heavy eating days, with birthdays, dinners out, glasses of wine, you know all the fun stuff! So to compensate I've eaten really clean this week and stuck to a strict calorie count. I find if I do this every so often it balances things out. I have to try extra hard this week as I have a Indian dinner to go to this weekend, and another birthday!!! Basically if you like food as much as I do, but want to be thin, exercise is your friend! Happy running xx

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