Interval training is an important part of any training plan. Whether you practice high intensity interval training (HIIT) in the gym or speed work sessions on the track, interval training has many benefits for any level athlete. Here are 5 reasons you’ll want to include interval training in your event preparation plan.
- You’ll burn more calories. The challenge of a tough interval workout burns more calories than a steady state run but your body will also by busy burning calories to repair damaged muscles for hours following the session.
- Intervals increase lactic acid threshold. Produced by anaerobic activity during high intensity activity, lactic acid needs to be broken down for muscles to function properly. Trading moments of lactic acid build up with lactic acid breakdown teaches the body to become more efficient at breaking lactic acid down. This results in the body adapting to handle higher levels of activity for longer periods of time before becoming fatigued.
- Intervals have been proven to increase fat-free mass, aerobic power, blood sugar regulation and insulin sensitivity. They also provide a massive increase in human growth hormone (HGH) which is responsible for increased caloric burn and can help slow the aging process.
- You’ll break through a barrier. If it’s weight loss, the additional calorie burn from an interval workout can help. If you’re looking to run or cycle faster, the increased rate of turnover during a fast interval can get your body get used to moving those legs fast. If you want to be able to work at a steady state for a longer time, the benefits to your cardiovascular system will make longer, slower efforts easier.
- Intervals are fun! Using varied interval workouts prevents boredom and is a great way to judge progress. You can do high intensity training anywhere, with or without equipment and without a big time commitment. A thirty minute high intensity interval workout will garner the same benefits as a two hour long steady state endurance workout.
Everyone can reap benefits from interval training. Need help adding interval training to your plan? Ask us!