How To Get Started With Interval Training

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Cross Training For Runners
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David Dack

Obesity is a global epidemic and it has been on the rise for decades. The World Health Organization estimates that more than 1 in 10 adults across the globe are obese, which means over 600 million people worldwide. Obesity rates have doubled since 1980 and continue to grow at an alarming rate. In America alone, over two-thirds of American adults (approximately 150 million) are either overweight or obese, with about one-third being classified as obese.

This staggering number translates into shockingly high health care costs for both individuals and taxpayers alike; obesity-related medical expenses account for nearly ten percent of all national healthcare expenditures in the United States – roughly $190 billion annually! It’s not just America though: globally, obesity accounts for 2%to 7% of all health care costs. We need to do something about obesity rates. But what can we do?

Exercise is a key part of the solution, and interval training is one of the best types of exercise for weight loss and overall health. Let’s take a closer look at interval training and how you can get started.

What is interval training?


Interval training is a type of exercise that alternates short periods of high-intensity activity with short periods of lower-intensity activity or rest. The high-intensity intervals are typically performed at or near your maximum effort, while the lower-intensity intervals are done at a moderate intensity. This type of training is more effective than traditional steady-state cardio for improving overall health, burning fat, and building muscle. Getting the appropriate running equipment, especially shoes should be your number one priority. Many amazing choices are available online such as on Runner’s Lab where you can compare prices and models so by doing some research beforehand you can find a model that is appropriate for your needs and budget.

How to get started with interval training

If you’re interested in starting interval training, there are a few things you need to know. First, it’s important to start slowly and gradually increase the intensity of your intervals over time. This will help prevent injury and allow your body to adapt to the new demands being placed on it. Second, it’s important to have an appropriate level of fitness before starting interval training. If you’re not in good shape, start with some basic cardio exercises and work your way up.

Start slowly

If you’re new to interval training, start by doing just two or three high-intensity intervals and then rest for an equal amount of time. As you get more comfortable with the routine, gradually increase the number of intervals you do. 

Build your core

To perform interval training safely and effectively, you need a strong core. Core exercises will help you stay stable during your high-intensity intervals and prevent injuries. There are many different core exercises you can do, so find a few that you like and stick with them.

Avoid potential risks

Interval training can be risky if not done correctly. One of the risks is that you can overdo it and end up injured. These injuries can be mild, like a muscle strain, or more serious, like a stress fracture. To avoid these risks, start slowly and gradually increase the intensity and duration of your intervals. If you are new to interval training, start with three minutes of intervals at a moderate intensity and work your way up from there.

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Overtraining syndrome

Another risk of interval training is that you can push yourself so hard that you end up feeling sick or fatigued. This is known as overtraining syndrome, and it can lead to several negative side effects, including decreased performance, fatigue, decreased immunity, and even mental health problems. To avoid overtraining syndrome, always listen to your body and back off when you feel like you’ve pushed yourself too hard. If you’re not feeling well or if your performance starts to suffer, take a break from interval training until you feel better. 

Additional Resource – Here’s how to run faster

Recover between workout intervals

Interval training is intense, and it’s important to get enough rest between workouts. Aim to get at least eight hours of sleep per night and allow yourself plenty of time for recovery between workouts. 

In order to get the most out of your interval training, you need to make sure that you are fully recovered between workouts. This means giving yourself enough time to rest and rebuild your muscles. Depending on how hard you worked during your intervals, you may need up to 48 hours of recovery time. If you’re doing back-to-back interval workouts, make sure you allow for at least one day of rest in between.

Preparation exercises

It’s important to do some preparatory exercises before starting interval training. These exercises will help you get ready for the intense workout and prevent injuries. Some good preparatory exercises include squats, lunges, and hip bridges. Do a few sets of each exercise and rest for about 60 seconds between sets.

If you’re doing intervals on a track, do a light jog for about five minutes before starting your intervals. This will help get your body warm and ready for the intense workout.

End with a cooldown

Finish your interval workout with a few minutes of low-intensity cardio. This will help cool down your body and prevent injuries. Low-intensity cardio exercises include walking and light jogging.

Interval training can be a great way to improve your fitness level and get in better shape. However, it’s important to do it safely and intelligently. Start slowly, build up your core strength, and avoid overtraining syndrome. And be sure to end your workout with a cooldown period. Listen to your body, and take a break if you need it. And don’t forget to cool down after your workout.

As you can see, there are many things to consider before starting interval training. But if you take the time to prepare properly, you can enjoy the many benefits of this intense workout routine.

Remember to take precautions to avoid potential risks, such as overtraining syndrome and injuries. By starting slowly and gradually increasing the intensity and duration of your intervals, you can safely enjoy the benefits of interval training without any negative side effects. By following these tips, you can enjoy all the benefits of interval training while minimizing the risks.


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