Sprint Intervals are great for a few reasons: they mix up your routine (change usually goes hand-in-hand with progression), they can be fun, and they challenge your pace. Whether you’re looking to get faster, gain endurance, or just change up your boring-old run routine, trying out a sprint interval is a great way to do all three.
While there are many ways to set up your sprint intervals, these are the times I consistantly use:
- :35 of jogging (55-60% effort)
- :15 SPRINT (90-95% effort)
- :10 walk (10% effort)
One of the nice things about this set-up is it is sixty-seconds long. So, if you want to go out for a 3.0 mile or 30 minute run, your routine could look something like this:
- 10 minute / 1 mile warm-up
- 10 Sprint Intervals
- 10 minute / 1 mile (or whatever you have left after your intervals) cool-down
Your warm-up and cool-down should consist of building up your pace and then decreasing it, and most importantly listening to your body (which feels differently about running everyday).
I use my Tabata timer for iPhone app to set up my intervals. It should look like this:
The prepare time is your jog, work is sprint, and rest is walk. In order to get the preparation time during all ten Tabatas, you must set the Cycles to “1” and the Tabatas to “10” or maybe “15” if you’re feeling frisky.
If you’re in training for a run and have a plan, stick to your plan. If you are the master of your own routine, I’d say putting sprint intervals into your routine every week or every-other week is sufficient. After a few weeks, you can up your “Tabatas”. Maybe setting out for a 4.0 mile run that includes 15 sprint intervals. Also try a “Fartlek” as another fun way to mix up your pace. Most importantly: Listen to your body.