This variation of interval training is perfect for urban areas since you can use different landmarks — like bus stops, benches, or the length of a city block — to set the distance of your sprints. Pick a spot ahead of you and increase your speed as you run toward it. Simple no? Keep reading for a sample workout after the break.
I know many runners and cyclists, who though tempted by the lure of mixing it up in a triathlon, ultimately skip these races because they're intimidated by the swim. Not only is swimming in open water scary, unlike running, it is also considered a skill sport, similar to tennis or golf because technique is so important. If you feel less than confident in the pool, taking lessons to hone your stroke is helpful; I did it and learned so much. Do know that long sessions of laps might not necessarily be the best way to train. Many tri coaches recommend sprint interval training in the pool to challenge your speed, before tiring and losing your hard earned technique.
Here's a workout I have been doing lately. It is mostly freestyle, but I like to add a little backstroke to work the opposing muscles.
I'll admit, intervals on a treadmill are convenient. The clock is right there for timing, and you can easily adjust the pace with a push of a button. But nothing beats an outdoor workout in my book. Plus it's excuse-proof; you have to make it back to your starting point — no hopping off the treadmill and calling it quits.Similarly, running at one pace can get a little dull, even when the birds are singing, so add some speed work into your running routine.
Here's a fartlek (no snickering, it's Swedish for speed play) workout compliments of Equinox trainer Lauren Fairbanks. She's been around the track a few times and knows the drill. Lauren calls this workout the three-two-one and if you keep reading, you will find out why.
Interval training is key for torching calories and increasing your speed. Intervals are tough, but they work your body and prepare you well for the races ahead — it is racing season, after all.
Even if you don't like to race, intervals are a great way to add spark to your running routine and help you move past a weight-loss plateau. I wish I could say that I love this workout, but that would be a lie. Just ask my running buddy to tell you how I curse when doing this interval sprint. I can, however, easily admit that I love how I feel afterward, and I love that I burn over 450 calories while doing it.
This interval training involves sprinting, so run as fast as you can. But this workout can be a little confusing, so before you start, mentally divide the track into four equal quarters since you will be running 100-yard sprints at different points around the track. This is not a beginner workout and you should have a strong running/aerobic fitness level before doing this workout.
Four slow laps around the track
- 20 high-knee marching steps
- 20 booty kicks
- Skip 20 steps
- Skip with kick 20 steps
- 20 heel walks
- 20 toe walks
Jog 400 yards (one lap at most tracks)
Sprint 100 yards
Recover* 400 yards
Sprint 100 yards
Recover 300 yards
Sprint 100 yards
Recover 200 yards
Sprint 100 yards
Recover 100 yards
Sprint 100 yards
Recover 400 to 800 yards
Repeat workout one more time!
Jog two laps
*You can walk or jog slowly during the recovery period
Try the workout and let me know what you think. Running intervals like this has definitely made my steady-paced, longer runs feel dreamy.
At my gym, the StepMill is usually vacant. You know — the cardio machine that resembles a mini-escalator. It is large and intimidating; plus, it's hard to cheat when working out on a StepMill. Still, using this machine is a great way to get your legs ready for the short shorts of Summer. You can also try this interval pyramid routine as an alternative to running hills. Begin by selecting "manual" on the machine setup.
Take a gander at the workout when you read more
I have said it before and no doubt I will say it again: If pressed for time, don't skip the gym altogether — just shorten your workout.
When you're pressed for time, use this quick elliptical workout I created. It's only 22 minutes long including warm up and cool down, and features really short and effective intervals. Using quick intervals makes the workout intense and is great for burning calories. Remember to work honestly within your rate of perceived exertion (RPE) and work between easy (1-3), medium (4-7), and hard (8-10) amounts of exertion.
There are a thousand and one ways to work out on a treadmill, but my favorite is intervals. Once you set your pace on the treadmill, you can't really cheat and slow down since the speed is constant. The set speed helps me push myself out of comfort zone, which is one of the elements of interval training. I like the following workout because the recovery time of a minute, at a slow speed, is just enough for my heart rate to go down and for me to rev myself for the next interval. We all know that interval training can help you lose belly fat.
To check out the treadmill workout, just read more
Many of us are starting to move our workouts indoors. Temperatures are cooling off and daylight is becoming increasingly limited; the days are going to get even shorter. One way to move your cardio inside is swimming and here is a fun workout to try. Sprinting intervals are not just for running; they're great for the pool too. I suggest adding some sprints into your swimming workouts to keep things fresh and challenging. Check out this simple workout and try it next time you head to the pool. Better yet, print it out and use it as your excuse to head to the pool. I have even added some kicking sprints to target your legs too.
To see the workout, just read more
The NYC gym Peak Performance is where celebs like Claire Danes, who trains with gym owner Joe Dowdell, get their sweat on. I just tried this anaerobic interval sprint workout for the treadmill created by Peak Performance trainer Kaitlin Kay. Let me just remind you that interval training is a great way to dramatically improve your cardiovascular fitness while also increasing your body’s potential to burn fat, making this a great workout if you are training for a race or trying to lose weight. You should, however, have a strong running base before adding sprinting intervals into your workouts.
To see this killer workout that Kaitlin dreamed up for all you Sugar users, just read more
|00:00-05:00||Warm up with a brisk walk/slow jog||2-3|
|08:30-30:00||Repeat the previous two steps six times||6-9|
|30:00-35:00||Cool down with a brisk walk/slow jog||2-3|
Gym goers can also use this program on the treadmill, just adjust the speed accordingly. Also, if you liked this workout then be sure to check out all my great cardio workouts.