Let’s face it: training inside sucks! Treadmill and trainer workouts do have their benefits, not simply to avoid the winter elements or getting in a run/ride at home while the kids are sleeping, you can also do key workouts to boost performance. Interval workouts are perfect if you find treadmill running and indoor cycling boring!
Interval training is simply short, hard bursts of speed (work) followed by a brief period of recovery (rest). Changing the work and rest period improves both the aerobic and the anaerobic system, and it is thought that interval training helps to adapt our bodies to handle longer and harder workouts more efficiently. A recent study found that intervals ranging from 3 to 5 minutes were most effective, though I've done sessions ranging the work from 1 min to 12 min long. I use interval training to practice running at my ideal race pace, without the stress of doing an actual race. The best thing is that interval sessions can be done in a short amount of time with significant benefits. When pressed for time, I can squeeze in a 35 minute interval session (10 min warm-up, 3 x 5 min with 1 min rest, cool-down for time remaining). Interval training increases aerobic and anaerobic capacity, improves running/cycling form, increases speed and endurance, and can boost your training confidence.
To enjoy good health, to bring true happiness to one's family, to bring peace to all, one must first discipline and control one's own mind. If a man can control his mind he can find the way to Enlightenment, and all wisdom and virtue will naturally come to him - Buddha
When I first got serious about running and triathlon, I wanted to get faster but didn't really know how. I made the common assumption that if I train more, especially with more intensity, this would be easily accomplished. Not so much! There are numerous training programs available online, so this is not a "training program" post. Regardless of the program, you will have to learn how to make effective training decisions based on your current situation and fitness level, past experience and current goal. Instead, I'll try to give you a detailed look into how I plan to train this season, essentially my training framework or mindset, many of these conceptual practices of how to train come from both the science of training and lessons in planning that I've learnt in my experiences. The best part of training is discovering yourself.
I feel like in some ways, I don't have any secrets, I don't have anything to hide. I have strong opinions, but it comes out of love for the sport. I think I am at the point in my life where I love what I do and I'm just happy. When you're at a happy point, it's easier to open up a bit. ~ Sarah Groff
In the next 12 weeks I will be posting training tips with examples from my training experiences, but first I want to address the foundation of all training programs: confidence. I generally end a talk on How to Training Effectively, Smarter with a statement that "the most important thing is that you trust in your program, and believe in yourself". I realize how vague of a statement that is, how odd it might seem that I describe the physiological principles of training, the hard science of performance, and end with such a subjective or abstract idea. I get some nods and smiles from people in the crowd, so I know some of you have learned this lesson, but I also realize I am doing something in making that statement that frustrates me when I am an audience member and the speaker offers incomplete advice: "just write down your goals and you will achieve them" is the common advice given on goal setting. I've written my goals down, but it didn't boost my ability to believe I can achieve them - I just end up with a piece of paper reminding me, taunting me.