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Better performance in a shorter time - that promise sounds pretty good. This is exactly what interval running achieves. Interval running is said to help us get faster and stronger and increase our endurance . This may sound easy, but that is not the case. This kind of training is actually quite tough. However, this should not put you off. With the right technique and a suitable training plan, interval training can even be really good fun. The main benefit: you see results quite quickly.

It's all a question of technique

Jogging is healthy - provided you use the right technique and avoid putting your body under too much strain. Another big advantage is that you can do it almost anywhere and it is suitable for beginners. After all, you can adapt each training session to your personal needs. You can practise the correct breathing technique while jogging, and your running style will also improve after a few weeks. The disadvantage: your body often becomes accustomed to your running, and you feel like you are not making much improvement - yet it is precisely this sense of achievement which motivates a lot of people. Interval training is the perfect solution to this since it steadily increases performance by challenging the body but not overtaxing it. 

How exactly does interval running work?

Interval running focuses on high-energy sprints combined with recovery phases of slow, comfortable jogging. Distance, time, speed and heart rate are closely monitored and coordinated. The high-intensity phases challenge all parts of the body and drive them to peak performance; the recovery periods allow the body to recuperate and get ready for the next phase. The body prepares itself for the forthcoming high-intensity phase by accumulating more energy, which allows us to perform better in the long run. 

The speed phases are measured either by time or by distance. You can look online or ask a coach to work out the best combinations for your body and fitness level. Beginners usually start with high-intensity phases of 400 to 600 metres followed by recovery phases lasting one-and-a-half to two minutes. It is important to follow this plan to the letter in order to stay in control - after all, you are trying to push your body to its limits by regularly repeating the high-intensity phases. However, these should never be exceeded due to the risk of injury. This is also why it is so important to integrate warm-up and cool-down phases into your training.

An example of an interval training session for beginners:

  • Warm-up
    15 minutes
  • Running
    Four 400-metre high-intensity phases followed by recovery phases lasting one-and-a-half to two minutes each. The number and length of the high-intensity phases can be increased over time.
  • Cool-down
    15 minutes of light jogging and stretching the leg muscles 

Interval training is suitable for all runners, including beginners, because the intervals can be individually adjusted to your personal plan. In general, however, your running technique should be good and you should have a basic level of endurance. If you can easily run five to ten kilometres without developing problems in your joints and ligaments, you can start interval training and improve your performance step by step.

Collecting steps pays off!

TK-Fit lets you turn every one of your steps into hard cash - not just those you accumulate when running. Alternatively, you can reward yourself with vouchers from our partners, for example the hiking and navigation app Komoot. How does it work?

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