Interval training can be best described as bouts of exercise interspersed with short rest intervals. It is based on the concept that more work can be completed at a higher relative intensity compared to continuous-type training. The intensity and duration of the work intervals and the length of the rest periods dictates the training response. Very short, all-out bouts of work coupled with longer rest periods are used for speed and speed endurance development.
Interval Training is Suitable for Many Sports
Nearly all athletes require a basic level of cardiovascular endurance, if for no other reason than recovery between intense bouts of work. Traditionally, coaches have opted for long, slow, distance training at 70-80% maximum heart rate.
The problem with this approach is that is not specific to many sports such as the multi-sprint games and can actually be detrimental to strength and power performance. Research shows that long, slow continuous training can actually decrease anaerobic / glycolytic enzyme activity. For sports such as basketball, soccer, hockey, tennis,football, baseball, rugby and so on, interval training may be more appropriate than continuous running because it can increase aerobic power and improve cardiorespiratory endurance without the associated detrimental effects on anaerobic power.
However, its not only multi-sprint sports that can benefit from interval training. Performance in the more classical endurance-based events such as the 10k run or distance swimming can improved by incorporating higher intensity interval training even if its at the expense of some volume. Below is an example of a Peak One Performance interval training session:
|Interval||Beginner Elliptical Workout 1 – 21 Minutes|
|Warm up||5 Minutes: RPE 3-4: Warm Up at an easy pace|
|Rest Set||3 Minutes: RPE 5: Increase speed from warm up and increase Resistance 1 level. Keep a moderate pace.|
|Work Set||1 Minute: RPE 6 – Increase resistance another 1-3 levels to raise the intensity level. Work harder!|
|Rest Set||3 Minutes: RPE 5 – Decrease speed and resistance to lower your heart rate back to a comfortable level|
|Work Set||1 Minute: RPE 6 – Increase speed 3-5 increments and increase resistance 1-2 levels to raise intensity.|
|Rest Set||3 Minutes: RPE 5 – Decrease speed and incline to lower your heart rate back to a comfortable level|
|Cool down||5 Minutes: RPE 3-5 – Decrease speed/resistance to lower your heart rate back to a comfort level and cool down|