A way to improve an athlete’s cardiovascular fitness is through interval training. Interval training consists of alternating high intensity to low intensity parts of the workout or training session. It improves speed and cardiovascular fitness by combining high intensity periods with anaerobic programs with low intensity periods for recovery. This helps improve the athlete’s capability to perform and exercise longer at varying intensities. It also improves the lactate threshold of one’s body that enhances their capability in running long distance events.
Another plus factor is that it is not only for athletes, but also for those who want to effectively lose weight. The high intensity intervals incorporate metabolism-boosting activities and is sometimes more effective than the consistent training at moderate intensity.
It is necessary to build up stamina and maintain a regular training exercise routing during the first training sessions. Doing so helps develop a cardiovascular fitness level that can be built upon. At this point, you can add interval training at different threshold levels based on the advancement levels of individuals or the team as a whole.
Sports Utilizing Interval Training
Interval training is used in different sports which include basketball, baseball, softball, running, soccer, football, and boxing among others. The type of interval training depends on the fitness level of an athlete and needs to be tailored according to the sport or achievement goal of the athlete. All this in order to develop muscles that will be used and the endurance level in a particular sport.
Types of Interval Training
Shuttle runs – athletes line up and sprint to various marked lines or cones then bend down touching the line then return to the starting line. From here they then go back to another marked line, touching the line then returning to the starting line. Other types of shuttle runs may include running to a marked distance and back to the starting line. Distances may vary from 5 -yards to 20-yards, mid-field, and vice versa. Again, this type of program will be tailored to the fitness level of an athlete by the trainer or coach.
Sprints – includes running short distances from part of the court or field, running for 2 minutes, jogging for 30 seconds, and alternating between running, jogging, and walking with varying duration.
Swimming aerobics– contains a variety of exercises such as running, kicking, scissors, walking, rocking, and jumping among others. The goal is to have a 15-set exercises and repeat until the muscles are fatigued. During this training make sure that the core is stabilized and the form is correct. If something causes too much pain, discontinue activity as it might cause injury. Always, “listen to your body”.
Interval training comes in different forms. Interval training helps build the fundamental skills needed by the athlete in order to prepare for variables such as speed, agility, and endurance. These variables will help the athlete in optimizing performance and reducing the risk of injury.