Interval running

Interval running

Want to say goodbye to excess weight, while providing the body with a complex full load? Solve the task posed by an interval run. The main thing is to competently approach the preparation of the program and the distribution of the load without compromising the health of the organism.




What is the essence of interval run

The statement that running is one of the most effective ways to lose weight, helping to maintain muscle tone, has long been an axiom. And the most useful for health is interval running. Its main feature is the alternation of intervals, which are overcome then with high, then with a low degree of load.

The indisputable advantage of interval running ahead of a simple one that involves moving at a constant speed is the ability to burn more calories. This effect is achieved by overcoming the aerobic threshold, in which the body begins to draw energy not from carbons, but from fats. They accumulate in the human body in the form of triglycerides.

Interval run for weight loss helps to get rid of excess fat, while retaining muscle mass.

During acceleration, the body experiences a small stress, which stimulates the consumption of calories, but it does not cause harm. At a fast rate of movement, the role of energy make-up is performed by carbohydrates. In conditions of considerable energy inputs, their reserves are rapidly depleted. Simultaneously, the adrenaline hormone is produced. It oxidizes fats, revealing compounds.

When the state of rest comes to replace the intense stresses, another hormone, cortisol, is produced. It also stimulates the consumption of free fatty acids, which is so necessary when losing weight. As a result, after an unusual load of muscle, to begin to recover, begin to consume calories. And since the reserves of glycogen have already been depleted by this time, the body begins to consume fatty tissues to receive the necessary energy.


interval running
Benefit of interval running



Regular physical activity contributes to the production of the body by serotonin. For most people, it is known as the “hormone of happiness.” The benefit of interval running is that it has a complex effect on the body:

  • effectively fights with fat deposits;
  • trains the lungs, accustoming them to process more air;
  • due to the change of loads stimulates metabolism and strengthens the cardiovascular system;
  • increases muscular endurance.

But do not forget that acceleration is a serious load not only on the muscles and joints, but also on the heart and blood vessels. Therefore, beginners should pass to it not earlier than in a couple of months. By this time the body will get used to regular jogging, and a distance of several kilometers for it will not be a burden.


Limitations to interval running are not so many. This type of exercise is contraindicated in people with a sick heart. With caution, they should also be tested for people suffering from joint diseases. Do not exercise when the body is weakened by physical stress at work or colds.

Fundamental rules

To quickly and permanently get rid of extra pounds by performing alternating physical exertion, it is important to strictly follow a number of recommendations. The key rules of interval run:

  • Regularity. Running is necessary at least three times a week, combining training days with the usual regime. Training is better done at the same time.
  • Duration. Each training should last at least half an hour. This is due to the fact that the process fat burning starts only from the 15th minute of intensive training.
  • Warm up. It is an integral part of the lesson and is aimed at preparing the body for intensive workloads. When you hold it, you do not need to save energy for warming up.
  • Compliance with water balance. The average daily drinking regime should be about one and a half liters. Water can be safely drunk both before the start of the race, and after its completion. The exception is only a minute of rest between the intensive sections of the distance. At this time it is better to direct all the forces to restore breathing and heart rate.
  • Control of food intake. Running on an empty stomach, as on a full stomach, is not recommended. For 30-40 minutes before classes in the diet, it is better to focus on foods rich in carbohydrates that have a low glycemic index. This solution is explained by the ability of carbohydrates to be quickly absorbed, giving the body a reserve glycogen, which are converted into energy.

To ensure that the result of interval running does not take long to wait, in addition to well-distributed loads and the formulation of a moderate diet, a full sleep should be added to the schedule.

Types of running and technique of their implementation

There are several variants of interval running, which are divided into three groups. The optimal option is chosen depending on what result you plan to achieve.


interval training running
Variants of interval running



This type of exercise is chosen to overcome medium and long distances within a few kilometers. For its implementation, the planned distance is divided into several equal sections with a length of one to three kilometers so that each part is overcome at the pace optimal for the runner. After passing through each site a short respite is made to normalize the heartbeat. Such a shift allows full saturation of the lungs with oxygen, without overstressing the body.

Interval Sprint

This type of exercise involves more intense workloads. And because it is chosen by physically more trained amateurs and professional athletes. Running is built on a constant alternation of intense and moderate pace. For its implementation, the distance is divided into sections with a length of 100-200 meters. All sites are overcome at the planned pace without stopping. By alternating a slow jog with a quick run, the body has time to recover and prepare for the passage of the next section. To achieve the desired result, at the moment of overcoming fast sections, it is important “to spread the maximum”.

Tempo run

It is considered one of the most complex species. But with its help you can achieve the task as quickly as possible. For its implementation, the distance is also divided into sections with a length of 100-200 meters. The task of the runner is to gradually increase the intensity of the pace when passing each subsequent section. Constant increase of speed at first time very exhausts the body, but due to this increases its endurance. Tempovyj run helps not only to burn fats, but also quickly to increase muscular weight

Training programs

For all the usefulness of interval running, it is a strong load for an unprepared organism. In order to maximize the training, it is important to correctly create an interval run program:

  1. Choose the optimal distance. To do this, at a fast pace, you should run through the specified distance and decide for yourself whether to extend the distance, or, on the contrary, to reduce it by several meters.
  2. Determine a convenient pace for yourself. To enable the body to get used to the loads waiting for it, the first runs should be performed, setting the average tempo, alternating it with a leisurely run.
  3. When planning to use interval run for fat burning as the main load, during training it is necessary to change the length of the covered segments from time to time in order to resume the fading zeal for jogging.

In this case, even with decreasing speed at certain stages of the path, the energy will be consumed with the same intensity as in the sections assuming maximum loads. In addition, with this approach, because of the inertness of metabolism in the body, fats will be burned for two to three hours after completion of the exercises.


interval running plan
Interval running is the best way to get rid of cellulite and balance weight


Standard training should include three main steps:

  1. Warm up for 2-5 minutes.
  2. The main set of exercises: alternation of intense running with a leisurely run. Ideally, this ratio should be 1: 3. At time division, this ratio is 10/30 seconds or 15/45 seconds. When dividing a distance by distance, the ratio will look like 15/45 meters or 25/75 meters.
  3. End of training: slow walking with exercises for 2-5 minutes, aimed at restoring breathing.

How exactly will be broken intersecting sections of interval running on the treadmill depends only on the trainee: does he plan to only lose extra pounds or wants to develop endurance. Setting ourselves more challenging tasks, training can be done in one of two scenarios:

  • 100 meters of light jogging, 100 meters of running at medium speed, 100 meters of running at maximum speed;
  • 150 meters of fast walking, then 150 meters of unhurried jogging, the next 150 meters at an intense speed.

At the first training session, two or three sections will suffice. As the body becomes accustomed to their number must be increased. To simplify the task in the preparation of the program, one can take as a basis the following table of interval run for weight loss. It is designed for a 10-week course.


A week Jogging plan  Total duration (minutes)
1  1 min – running,

2 min walking

2 2 minutes – running,

2 min walking

3 3 minutes – running,

2 min walking

4 5 minutes – running,

2 min walking

5 6 minutes – running,

1.5 min walking

6th 8 minutes – running,

1.5 min walking

7th 10 minutes – running,

2 min walking

8 12 minutes – running,

1 min walking

8 minutes – running

9 15 minutes – running,

2 min walking

5 minutes – running

10 20 minutes – running,

without walking


If desired, at the stage of overcoming the intensive interval, the load can be increased by overwhelming shins back or by raising the knees.


See also: Crossfit at home – high-intensity training


Helpful Tips

Running in the fresh air is much more useful than indoors. The park and the forest park are the best place for training. Their complicated terrain will increase the effectiveness of training, and the clean air that surrounds the area will saturate the body with oxygen, which is so necessary during intensive loads.

Training intervals in a stadium with a marked track are conveniently measured by distance. If training is conducted in the park or on the street, it is much more convenient to count the intervals, being guided by time.

Prefer to conduct training in the gym? Use the treadmill for this. Such a solution is convenient because the equipment itself will control the intensity and duration of the intervals, and also determine the amount of calories consumed.


running interval training
Most useful for health is interval running


Regardless of the location during the run, you should not wear heavy sneakers or use weighting agents. On weight reduction, this is not significantly affected, but problems with joints can arise. During training, it is worth remembering that the exercises are built on the alternation of the intensity of the load. So, on slow segments, allocate enough time, allowing your body to recover so much that it can “without breaking” to overcome the next section.

It is important to monitor the pulse using a heart rate monitor for these purposes. In the absence of such a number of strokes can be determined by placing fingers on the carotid artery on the neck. To get the result, the number of beats in 15 seconds is multiplied by 4. The pulse rate will tell you when to increase, or, conversely, reduce the intensity of the load:

  • During warm-up, the heart rate should be 60% of the maximum;
  • When performing the basic training complex – up to 80% of the maximum value.

If the rhythm of the heart rate reaches a mark of 90% or higher, the load must be gradually reduced so as not to harm yourself.

In general, interval running is the best way to get rid of cellulite and balance weight. But this can only be achieved by showing perseverance and demonstrating discipline.

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