How to apply interval running correctly if you want to lose weight

How to apply interval running correctly if you want to lose weight

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How does this type of aerobic load differ from regular jogging. Its purpose and advantages. Possible contraindications and principles of training.

Losing weight is one of the main tasks for most people. At the same time, a wide variety of techniques are used – diets, active physical activity and special drugs. However, few people know that an excellent way to get rid of excess weight is interval running for weight loss. Using this technique, you can develop endurance, strengthen the muscles of the body and finally lose weight. How to organize training? What exercises to focus on first? We will deal with the main issues in detail.

What is it?

Interval running for weight loss is an unusual kind of jogging, which involves alternating the load. In particular, one part of the path runs in a calm rhythm, and the other with acceleration to the maximum. It is believed that this approach is used only by professional athletes. But this is not so. Similar trainings can be used by amateurs in their practice.

What are the advantages?

As practice shows, interval running for weight loss has a lot of advantages (when compared to regular running). The main advantages include:

  • efficiency. Such training is an opportunity to learn fast and high-quality running. For example, there is a chance to improve your results both in the sprint (at a distance of up to 60 meters), and in jogging over long distances. The experience of alternating intervals can be very useful in running practice;
  • fast weight loss. Interval running is an effective way to burn calories. Changing the load allows you to spend a lot more energy (almost twice);
  • acceleration of metabolic processes. Non-standard load is a big plus for the whole body, which is under stress and develops against this background. Each workout draws the maximum out of the body, which forces the body to expend the available fat reserves. As a result, metabolism is also accelerated;
  • preservation of muscle mass. Even active workouts help preserve existing muscles. Moreover, with proper exercise, muscle building is possible. A great option – sprint runs with acceleration at various distances of 50-400 meters.
running basics


Acceleration while running imposes a large load on the muscles and the cardiovascular system. That is why interval athletes are not recommended for beginners. Such training is not allowed immediately, but only after gaining certain experience and development of the main muscle groups. As a rule, interval running is allowed 5-6 months after the start of runs.

READ  Types of running: base run

There is one more criterion by which it is possible to determine the body’s readiness for increased loads. So, the average speed of one circle (0.5 km) at a distance of 7-10 kilometers should be about 3-3.3 minutes.

If the above criteria are met, you can safely proceed to interval runs, while solving the following tasks:

  • increase the speed of runs;
  • make an ideal figure, give the muscles a bump.

The optimal number of workouts is no more than twice a week. The rest of the time you need to pay attention to regular running and other types of fitness.

running technique

The average training time is about 20 minutes. To make the session longer and more effective, you can add a warm-up. At the same time, keep in mind that you can switch to high-speed running only after the body gets used to the loads.


It is important to understand that interval training is not suitable for everyone, because this is a very serious load. Contraindications include flat feet, exacerbation of arthrosis, spinal diseases, muscle sprains and tears, heart disease, and so on. In the presence of such problems, it is better to postpone training or make them as simple as possible.

Basic principles

If you decide to do interval running, it is important to know exactly how and what to do. There are two options here:

  1. Distance running. This method is suitable for people who organize jogging in the forest or at the stadium in a circle with a known length. In the role of assistants, you can use special applications in the phone or a heart rate monitor with a gps receiver. The training process itself is as follows. A warm-up is being held. After you run one lap with acceleration. Next – two circles of rest and two circles of acceleration, one circle of rest and again two circles of acceleration, two circles of rest and one circle of acceleration. The alternation of fast and slow running can be different. It all depends on the goals and features of the training itself.
  2. Running on time. This type of training is good for athletes who like running with a watch on their hands. The advantage of the method is that the runner does not need to know the exact length of the distance. The principle of training is similar. The only thing that the starting point will be not circles (distance), but time. The scheme itself may look like this – warm-up, acceleration (1 minute), slow run (2 minutes), acceleration (2 minutes), slow run (3 minutes) and again acceleration for three minutes. Next, the cycle goes down.
READ  Types of running: base run

Thus, in the first and second cases, the lesson is built on the principle of the pyramid. First, the intervals go in the direction of increase, and after – decrease. The rest time in the middle can be the same or a little shorter.

training principles

Is there an alternative?

There are separate workouts for people who do not know how to count. This method is called fartlek. There are no special programs provided, and the athlete himself decides when and how many accelerations to do. If you have strength, you are accelerating, and if not, run slower.

This training method has several nuances. Firstly, it is not suitable for lazy people who find it difficult to force themselves to do something. Secondly, inexperienced athletes often do not calculate their strength and give all the best after the first run. In this case, further training becomes impossible.


Interval training is a great way to strengthen your leg muscles, achieve better running results and lose weight. The main thing is to strictly observe the technique and prepare the body for such loads in advance.