Q and A: Can you help explain the interval training regimen to me? - NikeRunning.com
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Apr 19th 2012, 8:51pm | 1452 views
Hi Coach Jay,
Can you help explain the interval training regimen to me? I’m not sure what it means when it says "run 4 x 2 minutes at tempo effort with 1-3 minutes of easy running between intervals."
Thanks for the question Sherri. No doubt others have the same question when they read the instructions for interval training.
I think the easiest way to explain this is to write out each segment of running — each portion of tempo effort running, followed by each portion of easy running. Written that way, the workout looks like this:
1. Run 2 minutes at tempo effort, then run for 1-3 minutes easy as your recovery.
2. Run another 2 minutes at tempo effort, followed by 1-3 minutes of easy running.
3. Run 2 minutes at tempo effort, again followed by 1-3 minutes of easy running.
4. Run 2 minutes at tempo effort to finish the workout.
As you can see, you'll run a total of 8 minutes at tempo effort in this workout. And now it's probably easier to see that 4 x 2 minutes = 8 minutes of total running.
When reading workouts, the first number is the number of repetitions (i.e. reps) that you run, so in this case it’s 4. The next number is the duration of the repetition, in this case it’s 2. However, this number can vary. For instance a marathoner might run 4 x 10 minutes at half marathon pace for their repetitions. Or, the repetition could be a distance on the track, say 4 x 1,600m. But in the workout you referred to, the main takeaway is that you run 4 times for 2 minutes, and the recovery is up to you. You can take as little as 1 minute or as long as 3 minutes.
I hope this is clear Sherri and again, I really appreciate your willingness to write in, as no doubt others have the same question.
*Coach Jay's advice is provided as general training information. Use at your own risk. Always consult with your own heath care provider for questions relating to your specific training and nutrition.