Benefits of Interval Training
Running has recently become one of my obsessions but as an obsession I just can’t run, that becomes too boring. I need to run to compete. I mostly compete against myself but nonetheless it’s a competition.
At first, I was always trying to run farther and farther. It started at 1 mile, and then up to 3.1 miles (5K). When I ran my first 3.1 miles continuously I was so excited and felt that there was no way I could ever run the full 6.2 miles (10K). I worked at it and worked at it until one day, I just kept running and running and when it was all done, I had run 6.2 miles. What is most interesting is that once I ran my first 6.2 miles continuously I never went back to not running the full 6.2 miles continuously.
It was like a trigger in my mind. Prior to the full 6.2 miles, my mind kept telling me that 6.2 miles was a long way and every time I would stop running before the 6.2 miles was just more evidence that my mind was right. Not until I could tell my mind, NO … I can do this, did my mind accept the realization that I was capable of running the full 6.2 miles and from then forward, my mind was never able to convince me otherwise.
Besides, it had a new target. 13.1 miles (Half Marathon), I can never run 13.1 miles continuous. This time I learned from my 6.2 miles experience. I wasn’t going to let me mind telling me what I was capable of doing. I set the date, the time and just told myself no matter what I was going to keep running until I was all done. Boom, it happen much like the 6.2 miles goal. I just kept running and running until I was done. I had run 13.1 miles continuously. I was completely surprised and elated.
Once I knew that I could run longer than my mind ever wanted me to complete. I turned to the question, “How fast can I run?” Over the months of running longer my time had gotten a little better, but I was having trouble breaking the 30 minutes and 1 hour barriers for the 5K and 10K respectively. I knew I could do it, just like running longer, but how?
This time I did some research and found that interval training is a great way to increase your speed. So, this is what I did. I started running as fast and hard as I could for quarter mile intervals and only walk when I was completely exhausted. Over time I got faster and faster.
All of the interval training paid off when I participated in the 2019 runDisney Star Wars Rival Run where I set personal bests for 5K, 10K and Half Marathon.
Do you have any experiences with interval training? What helps you to run longer or faster? Share your experiences in the comments below.