Coopah: how to get started with interval training
What is interval training?
Simply put, the definition of interval training is a type of workout that alternates between periods of higher intensity exercise, and a period of low intensity/recovery periods.
Why do I need to do interval training?
- There are so many benefits to including intervals into your training.
- It can help to improve your cardiovascular health by increasing your heart rate and oxygen consumption (this is what gets you fitter!)
- It helps to improve your endurance (meaning you can run for longer before you get fatigued)
- Its fun! And can be a great way to mix up your training.
- It’s a great way to push yourself out of your comfort zone, and more than likely surprise you of what you are actually capable of!
- How many times a week should I be doing intervals?
This answer will vary from runner to runner, but if you are new to interval training we would suggest including one workout per week to begin with, and ensuring that you have plenty of recovery time and easy runs alongside it.
Once you have built up your confidence and your running experience, you could then look to add a second session to your week, however it's important to gradually increase the intensity and duration of your intervals to avoid injury and ensure proper recovery. You definitely do not want to be doing back to back hard runs as this can end up causing you to burn out, lose motivation or even pick up an injury.
I have never done interval training before, how can I start?
We know it can feel daunting to start with, but this is one reason why we created Coopah, so that we can support and guide runners through their running journey - including introducing them to new types of workouts!
A Coopah Coach favourite is a session we call The Antwerp. It is a really basic interval session but one we think is perfect if you are just getting started.
The workout is simple, it is 8 x 1 minute on/1 minute off, with the idea being that you run hard for one minute, and then you have one minute walk/jog recovery. We also always recommend doing a 10 minute easy run to start with to warm up, and the same at the end to cool down.