Interval Training…

When I first lost a great deal of weight I lost the last 30 lbs by way of treadmill. I had downloaded a greatmp3 off the apple store. It was an interval training session with Alberto Salazar. Before I started using it I hadn’t noticed much improvement, yet I had been jogging between 20-30 minutes at a time.

It wasn’t until I had that little mp3 file that I began to improve. I quickly learned that interval training is a key tool that athletes use to improve their stamina and speed. The pounds melted away while at the same time I was running faster than I had ever run before… often to the point where I’d draw stares from other gym members.

I am no where near that level anymore. I’m over 200 lbs, but I feel pretty healthy. I have just began a pretty intensive weight training routine and I plan to work in some cardio as well. That’s where the interval training is going to come in.

It’s important to note that before you even begin interval training you should be in decent shape. For example if you’re going to be cycling and doing interval training I’ve read that I should have about 500 kms of road behind me. I’m not exactly sure just how many km you should have when running, but I think it’s fair to say that you should be able to run comfortably for 20 minutes or more before you begin this type of training…. but then again, what do I know? This is just my opinion… I’m not a doctor, nor do I play one on tv.

Interval training is broadly defined as repetitions of high-speed/intensity work followed by periods of rest or low activity.

Do your homework before you begin, you don’t want to do more harm than good. One of the major things I learned is that often people don’t go slow enough after the high intensity period. It’s important that you bring your heart rate back down to a level one… once you’ve achieved that then you can begin the next set. If your heart rate isn’t slowing down after a great deal of time, you’ve overworked yourself and it’s time to hit the showers.

If you’re at the gym, start your interval training on the bike. It’s easier to shift between high and low intensity, and you don’t have to worry about falling off the treadmill and going through any walls.

correction: The file I downloaded wasn’t coached by Alberto, it was Jay Blahnik. I realized I made this mistake this morning when I went out for a run. Please forgive me….

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