Interval training

(15 Posts)
hockeysticks Thu 28-Feb-13 23:18:10

I've been told I need to do some interval training if I'm going to improve my running.

I'm a plodder and struggling to motivate myself.

Any tips? I have the Nike running app but doesn't seem to help with that. Are there any others?

SummerLightning Thu 28-Feb-13 23:26:29

I use runkeeper (free I think?) on my phone.
Usually do 400m on 400m off * 8. It hurts but it does make you faster!

hockeysticks Thu 28-Feb-13 23:47:37

Will look at that, thank you.

Do you pelt it then walk? Or run quickly then run slowly?

SummerLightning Fri 01-Mar-13 00:10:14

Run almost flat out for the fast bit, walk for about 10 secs and then run slowly. I think general consensus is its best to do the slow bits still running if you can.

Belugagrad Fri 01-Mar-13 17:34:33

I find 400m unrealistic, it's hard to measure and further than you think! I think you're better off divide your run into roads or fields and go hard alternately or 1 in 3 roads. I run on fields and go alternately at each kissing gate (they're small fields!) good luck!

SummerLightning Fri 01-Mar-13 18:04:30

That's why I use runkeeper so it tells me when 400m is up. And yes 400m is a long way - too far for a flat out sprint. I suspect that 400m builds up a bit of endurance as well as speed/strength whereas shorter ones probably just make you stronger. If you have enough time for lots of running I would do some sessions with longer intervals and some with short ones.

hockeysticks Fri 01-Mar-13 18:33:22

I've just checked on the Nike app and I can change the settings to notify me every 0.25k.

I might give that a try. Maybe sprint for 1, jog for 2 etc.

monsterchild Fri 01-Mar-13 18:36:20

I trained for a marathon and we started with 1 minute running 5 walking and slowly built it up to 5 min running and 1 walking. It really worked well.

monsterchild Fri 01-Mar-13 18:37:38

we also would stop and run up extremely short hills ten times, as fast as we could then continue running.

I was about to say the same as monster child, find a hill you can run up for about a minute-run up it, walk/gentle jog down. Repeat 8-12 times. Go home. Collapse. HTH grin

Seriously though, you can also start with 20 sec sprints with 1 min recovery (12-20 mins total) and gradually adjust so that your sprint is longer and recovery shorter. Very effective for improving speed and fitness and amazing for fat burning.

There are Tabata apps around too, you can adjust the work/rest periods to suit you. I have Tabata pro which is about £2 but very good.

indiegrrl Sat 02-Mar-13 18:55:58

I found fartlek (where you run fast - maybe beginning at about 80% of your capacity on the fast bits at the start of your run, then aiming for 90-95% toward the end of your run) a good way in as you can just decide to run fast to the next lampost or the traffic lights etc...it gives you a good sense of your capacity. Interval training on a track is good if you have access to one, but it is easy to try to go too fast as I did and lose motivation! If you have done a 5k (like a parkrun) then aim for that pace on the fast 400m, then walk or jog for 200m. I'd start with just 4 * 400m. This is the plan given me by my running club and it seems to work, I've got 2 mins off my 5k time in 2 months, and do interval training once pw.

I use Adidas' mi coach app. It made me a running program (building up to half marathon) which includes some interval training sessions. It's the best app I've tried, out of several.

I now use runkeeper, but before I had a smartphone I used to just sprint flat out for twenty seconds then run at a normal pace for 2 mins, then sprint for twenty seconds agai and keep repeating that. Or I'd give myself goals, like sprint to the lamp-poast or third tree or whatever. I always run in between the sprinting, rather than walk.

I like the hill idea. I am going to do that next.

CoteDAzur Mon 04-Mar-13 11:05:53

I use RunKeeper, too. It is fantastic. You can set your intervals as you like and it tells you to go faster or slower when they are up.

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