Brisk Intervals Explained
Why do we do brisk intervals? Why can't you just run steadily? Well, you can... but you're not as likely to improve your rhythm and fitness as effectively. Interval training is a combination of increased effort and recovery periods – this week we are doing 2 minute efforts with 2 minute recoveries. In order to increase your body's capacity to carry oxygen and improve your muscle endurance, you need to elevate your heart rate and muscular effort. When you teach your body and mind to run briskly, you'll adapt so that it feels more comfortable and relaxed when you settle back down to your personal talking pace. The intervals also add variety to your training and helps prevent overuse injuries because you're constantly changing the way your body makes contact with the ground.
Be careful not to start off too fast on your brisk intervals. It's not a sprint! Always try to think "progressive" (i.e. Start easier and try to finish stronger, just above a talking pace). You should be running fast enough that you need the 2-minute recovery, but you aren't huffin' and puffin' like you are in a sprint.
It's a longer steady effort and you should always feel like you could do more. The 2-minute efforts this week may seem long because you're not used to interval training. It helps to focus on your arm action! Pump those arms forward and back during those intervals and your legs will follow. Relax and slow your arm action, and your pace will ease off comfortably as you recover. It takes time to learn what you can handle.
Good stuff! You're all set.
When you've caught up on the detailed advice for this week, you're ready to get running.