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.
Here is an example of an indoor brick interval workout
Duration: 1.5 h bike and 30 min run
Intervals: 6 x 3 min increasing intensity 1-3 on bike trainer and 4-6 x 2 min on treadmill
Goal Race: 70.3
Purpose: At this stage in training, I am aiming for my intervals to be at ~85% of my max heart rate or an 8/10 on a perceived effort scale. Later in the season, I will include cadence and power on the bike and stride rate and speed on the run. I included a tempo set on the bike (will post tempo sessions soon). For now, I am trying to get comfortable with the workouts, deliberately focusing on form, and gaining fitness to perform at a higher intensity going forward in the 12-week training program.
Do you include interval training? What is your favorite interval workout?