Get fun with interval training and speed play
How many times have you heard that the best (and only) way to improve fitness is to do intervals?
Being close to the world's best cross-country skiers means that we too in many cases have recommended different intervals to get in better shape.
The problem with intervals, however, is that if you don't have some experience, you usually won't know how much your body can take. It's easy to get anxious about performing at your peak and thus you won't get the full benefit of your training. Or you can do the exact opposite; Go way too hard from the start, and already halfway through the 2nd grade. Recognize that you need to adjust down the speed.
Experience is the key to running better intervals. The challenge lies in being able to push yourself optimally – not the maximum. For many, therefore, interval training becomes a stew of too hard, too little hard, too monotonous and boring.
But remember that in all endurance training – whether it's cross-country skiing, running or cycling – it's about being consistent if you want improvement. Choose not to back down. Even if there is a storm in the throws. Then it's just a matter of dressing appropriately.
If you give these tips a chance the next time the doorstep mile feels insurmountable, the speed game can be both more fun and different. And so you get the motivation to go the extra mile, another session.
Instead of running fixed lengths per interval, you can swap out off-road length for length on your favorite song. Most songs last about 3 minutes, so – depending on how fast you run – it will equate to about 600-1000 meters.
This way, you let the rhythm of the song propel you forward, and don't have to focus on how far or long you've run. Find songs that you can keep the beat of, with a relatively high cadence. If you are training for a long race, after each song you can walk for a minute – using the Galloway method that we have explained here – to build yourself up to withstand longer distances.
Call a friend
Another option is to run fixed intervals with a friend. This can be done both outdoors and inside (each their) treadmill. Whoever runs the fastest can give the other a slight head start and you will both benefit from the drag when you eventually run next to each other. There's nothing like sharing the pain you feel with others.
Prepare the reward
Sometimes what comes next can be motivation enough to give it your all. Prepare a reward you like before your workout. If you run interval sessions twice a week, you can set some rules for yourself that you are only allowed to treat yourself to your favorite snack only after the intervals have been completed.
If you have a fixed running route, it can be finished in a place where you can immediately collect the reward. Whether it's in the form of the world's best cinnamon bun at the neighborhood café or anything else you like.
If you run indoors on a treadmill, you can prepare your reward in advance. For example, a delicious smoothie that will wait in the fridge when you're done. Then it's even easier to look forward to the end of the final drag. But first, it's a matter of actually executing the last drag then. Decent.
Good luck with your training!