Training Ideas: Workout Interval Recovery

One of the struggles of track running is it becoming monotonous. It’s tough, exhausting, and eventually it just doesn’t spark your interest anymore. Like with anything in life, you need to break the monotony for it to stay interesting. This is where our workout interval recovery idea comes into play. Trail running comes out on top when people think of their favourite place to train on. This is because every day there is something new, something to catch your eye that you haven’t seen before, something that draws your attention.

In fact, we did a study and found that roughly 4 out of 5 runners preferred trail running over track running:

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So how do we make track running become interesting for runners again? Change it up.

Cool page jumps:

Our Running Idea:

Why treat every interval training session the same? Track running involves a ton of interval training, and this is where it becomes boring. Every session ends up being treated the same. There is progression, but the general idea never changes. Run, rest, run, rest, on and on.

What if instead of coming to a full rest, you spend the time doing a workout as your recovery? The first question that comes to mind is: how is this supposed to let me recover? Well, in weight training you target a muscle group with one workout, then move onto a different muscle group to allow the first group to recover before coming back to it. By applying this basic idea to running, you can recover while at the same time work hard.

The Workout Interval Recovery:

Try this: run 200 metres, then do 25 sit-ups, then run another 200 metres. Your core is working hard while your legs and cardiovascular system are resting. Keep in mind that because running requires the core, the next 200 metres will be harder than the previous. As you repeat this exercise, your core will be working harder and harder to keep up.

One of the problems runners tend to have is a weak core. This will train your abdominals, obliques, and back muscles harder than you normally could, leading to faster growth in strength, and therefore, improved running ability.

Along with developing your core, you will have distracted your mind from the next 200 metres as you count up the reps. The beauty of this is you don’t have to do only sit-ups, you could do a plank after the second 200, and a set of push-ups after the third. By switching it up and working on a variety of muscle groups, you also use time more efficiently when training.

Take Note:

The workout interval recovery doesn’t leave you feeling like you’re recovering because you’re constantly working yourself. However, it always keeps you distracted and focused on something new.

This idea will leave you very sore the day after. Having tried this a few times, I can confirm that you will need to take it easy or run a recovery run after this type of workout. Make sure to get plenty of stretching in and to listen to your body. One way to turn a good idea into a very bad idea is to push yourself too hard – then all of the training is for naught.

The workout can be any body weight exercise. The goal is to take roughly the same amount of time between each interval. So, if you take 40 seconds to run 200m, take 40 seconds to do a body weight exercise. If you’re strong at planking and 40 seconds doesn’t cut it for you, try pushing it to 400m where the intervals are longer. This is tougher on the body, so be careful.

Bonus Idea:

This exercise can be made into something even more interesting with a partner. Grab someone you know and work together to push each other. When one of you is doing an interval, the other does a workout. The longer someone takes to run, the harder the other person will have to work. Then switch roles.

By doing this, you’re at the mercy of the person currently running – but after they’re done, they’re at the mercy of you. This means that you’ll both be pushing hard so that the other doesn’t make you do a bodyweight workout for a very long period of time. It takes a lot of trust, and builds it as well.

Final Notes:

It’s grueling, tough, yet can make for a very fun¬†workout. It grows you as a runner very quickly and efficiently. This can be done with or without a partner, and can last for as long or as little as you want. Try the workout interval recovery, and always remember to push yourself, but never push yourself too far.

Summary Infographic:

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Caleb Thompson is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, and other Amazon stores worldwide.

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