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Interval Training

Quick revise

This involves alternating periods of high intensity work with rest periods. 

Each repetition of the pattern is called a rep, and you must finish a set before you can rest.

During rest periods the sportsperson may be inactive - their body stops moving – or they may work at a low intensity. Rest periods allow for recovery from oxygen debt.

To overload, increase reps or sets, or spend less time resting between sets. 

Examples of interval training are:

  • swimming 10 x 50 m sprints with a 20 second rest between each leg
  • running 10 x 100 m sprints with a 300 m jog between each sprint

With this type of training there are four ways in which the stress level can be increased. These are to:

  • increase the speed of the sprint
  • increase the number of sprints
  • increase the distance sprinted
  • decrease the rest periods

These are examples of overload.

The advantage of interval training is that:

  • it is easy to measure progress and improvement.
  • can mix aerobic and anaerobic exercise
  • it's easy to see when athlete isn’t trying.

The disadvantage of interval training is that it is:

  • hard to keep going
  • can be a bit boring.