Simple Time-based Drills
Simple yes. Easy…no.
I especially love intervals in the winter because all my workouts move indoors. Intervals seem to make time go faster because keeping track of what interval I am on, how many I have left, how much longer I have for this specific interval, etc., etc., distracts my mind from the dullness of the dreaded treadmill workout.
Keep changing it up! Your mind and your body will thank you!
Our bodies are very efficient! Studies show that the body adapts to a workout after just the second time you do it, and you will therefore burn less calories/ burn less fat. So keep your body guessing! Never do the same workout twice!
Guidelines: For each option, do a 5-10 minute warm-up and cool down at a slow to medium pace. The average total length of your workout should be about 30-45 minutes. Repeat the intervals as needed to make your time goal. On a treadmill, be sure to set the incline at 1.0-2.0 to make it more comparable to an outdoor run, accounting for some wind resistance and road incline variation.
1. Pick-a-ratio. I love this because the possibilities are endless! Simply pick a time ratio, 1 to 2, 3 to 2, whatever! and repeat until you reach your goal time. Even the same ratio can be altered to give you more variety. So for a 2:1 ratio, the first session you could do 30 seconds hard to 15 seconds recover and the second session do 4 minutes hard to 2 minutes recover. There you have two completely different workouts based on the same ratio. Simple yet effective.
Here are some other examples…
1:1 Ratio – 2 minutes hard, 2 minutes easy; 1 minute hard, 1 minute easy; etc.
1:2 Ratio – 1 minute sprint, 2 minutes recover pace; 2 minutes hard run, 4 minute recovery pace; etc.
1:3 Ratio – 15 second all out sprint, 45 second recovery walk
2:1 Ratio – 4 minutes 5K pace, 2 minutes recovery jog
3:1 Ratio – 6 minutes 10K race pace, 2 minutes recovery jog
2. Count down – You would think that as the time gets shorter the interval gets easier. Not so, because as the time gets shorter your pace gets faster. Based on the amount of total run time you have, start with more or less than 5 minutes. You may also alter your recover time.
Run hard 5 minutes, jog 4 minutes, run hard 4 minutes, jog 3 minutes, run hard 3 minutes, jog 2 minutes, run hard 2 minutes, jog 1 minute, run hard 1 minute. Each ‘run’ should be a bit faster than the previous, since each ‘run’ is a bit shorter.
3. Increasing Speed Repeats – On a treadmill, increase your speed by 0.1 every minute for 10 minutes, then return back to your beginning speed and repeat the interval as needed.
4. The Speed Mountain – On a treadmill, increase your speed by 0.2 every minute for 5 minutes then decrease the speed by 0.2 every minute for 5 minutes. Repeat as needed.
*For all intervals, elliptical, bike, stair master, or incline walking can be substituted for running.
RUN = Fast pace
JOG = medium pace
WALK = slow recovery pace