When you prepare for a race, couple of various types of training will help you to use all your potential and reach the top. Those are: long runs, fast runs and intervals. Interval training is very important and presents a set of high and low intensive repetitions (measured in time or distance) followed by rest period in between represented with walking or light running. 

In ideal conditions the speed of running in the intervals should raise and the rest should become shorter. However, the beginners need more time to recover and it will shorten gradually.

Example of an interval training: 5 x 1km, 4 minutes per km, 2 minutes rest after each kilometer. As you progress you can shorten your rest period to 1 minute.

The interval training improves both aerobic and anaerobic condition. During high intensity exercises the anaerobic system uses the energy in the muscles (glycogen) for the short but intensive activities. The anaerobic metabolism uses no oxygen, during which lactic acid is released. As the amount of lactic acid increases, the lack of oxygen also increases and because of that the heart and the lungs work together to complement it. In this phase the aerobic system uses the oxygen to transform the stored carbohydrates into energy. 

During high intensity intervals the body adapts and more efficiently consumes thee lactic acid during the training sessions. 

When you first start with intervals, the rest period between them should be longer so you could recover. As you progress you should gradually make this period last shorter. This type of training will make your legs, lungs and mind more durable during longer activities with greater effort. 

  • Try not to make longer rests
  • The training session should look more like a real race so instead of 3-4 min rest period, make it last 2 min, which is your secret weapon.
  • The exercises in the interval training make you train harder, start not so hard in the first couple of training sessions. 
  • Don’t forget to warm up 10min before the interval training and cool down 10min after finishing.

Starter interval training:
2-3 x 1km and 3min rest period (walking / easy running)
2-3 x 5min effort and 4min rest period (walking / light running)

Basic interval training:
3-5 x 1km and 90-120sec rest period (light running)
3-4 x 5min effort and 3min rest period (light running)

Advanced interval training:
5-6 x 1km and 60-90sec rest period ( light running) 
4-5 x 5min effort and 2min rest period (light running)