Why do we do intervals in training?

One of the main reasons for interval training is to help build endurance.  Interval training actually will help you burn more calories as well because the low intensity helps your body recover.  Like most people the just don't have the strength or endurance to last for long peroids of time at such a high intensity.  Interval training helps break this.  Interval training is also a nice change from your regular routine as well.
Training each of our energy systems allows us to utilize energy more efficiently and expands our cardiovascular capabilities. Without getting too deep in the physiology of it all, there are three energy systems that our body utilizes during exercise: aerobic, anaerobic and ATP-CP. The aerobic energy system is the most efficient and responsible for exercise durations over three minutes, which is most of what we do as endurance athletes. The anaerobic system kicks in for bouts of ten seconds to three minutes and the ATP-CP system is responsible for the first ten seconds of exercise. Since we rely so heavily on the aerobic system for most of what we do, the focus of training is building this system. However, we do create our training plans to target each energy system in order to produce optimal results. Picture the aerobic system as the base of a pyramid. In order to build the highest and strongest pyramid, we must build a solid base. The base of a pyramid is made of stone, an athlete’s base is the body’s ability to transport and use oxygen. In order to build the strongest and fastest athlete, we must build the strongest base for the athlete. For this reason, we spend the majority of the time training this system. Additionally, not all athletes can tolerate repeated bouts of lactate threshold training. First, this type of training is very hard on the body. It is so physically demanding it can cause the body to shut-down and ultimately rely on the aerobic energy system. Second, if an athlete is not prepared physically for the demands of lactate threshold training, they may incur an injury, which could limit their training significantly. We take this all into account when working with our athletes. We use the time we have to first build the solid foundation of aerobic work, then to improve the lactate threshold of the athlete when they are ready and then to ultimately train the athlete above their lactate threshold to improve their ability to use oxygen.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.