Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Interval training - magic in 30 minutes!

I'm eager to do more backpacking after my 5 day trip in the Olympics recently. I definitely feel the need to be in better shape, though. The friends I hiked with had been training a lot, and it really showed, although I made up for it a little bit by being really anal about pack weight, so I was carrying a lot less than them.

The problem is, I'm not really that excited about exercising. More bluntly - I hate to really work out hard, unlike some of my friends, who love it, and get the famous "runner's high". Not me. I like walking, and I exercise (almost) every day, but it's generally just a brisk walk on the treadmill, about half an hour, while I watch some of my favorite shows on HGTV (currently House Hunter International). And very occasionally, I motivate myself enough do a few push-ups and sit-ups. Yep, I need to kick it up a notch!

So I decided to try interval training. In a nutshell, interval training is working out very hard, but just for a short time, and then going back to a regular pace. Rinse, then repeat. Here's how I did this, training on the treadmill:

  • 5 minutes walking at a regular pace
  • 5 minutes at a regular pace, but a 11 degree incline - very steep! And tiring.
  • Repeat, for about 30 minutes total

The magic to interval training is how very speedily it increases your aerobic capacity!  I could really tell the difference yesterday, on a local hilly walk in the neighborhood. Previously, I got a bit winded on it. And now it's not a problem at all, I was powering up the hilly section. And this is all with only 4 sessions of interval training over the course of a week.

The key to making this work is that the strenuous part of the workout is very tolerable, because you only have 5 minutes to do!


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