A Brief Discussion of Running Intervals

Running intervals are a useful part of most running and triathlon training programs. Athletes training for shorter, fast races will spend more time at higher intensities than athletes training for long races. Intervals serve a number of different functions train athletes to run at race pace; improve biomechanical efficiency at race pace; improve lactate threshold and lactate buffering capacity; keep the anaerobic system from going stale; and break up training monotony.

A few sample running interval workouts (always warm up and cooldown at least 10 minutes):

Short (2 mile to 5k)

Mid distance (10k to half-marathon)

Distance (marathon)

Note: New athletes and athletes with repetitive injuries or heart conditions should avoid most types of intervals until cleared by their doctor.

Marty Gaal