Interval Training for Improving Cardiorespiratory Endurance

Unlike continuous training, interval training involves more intermittent activities. Interval training consists of alternating periods of relatively intense work and active recovery. It allows for performance of much more work at a more intense workload over a longer period of time than if working continuously?

It is most desirable in continuous training to work at an intensity of about 60% to 80% of maximal heart rate, Obviously, sustaining activity at a relatively high intensity over a 20 - minute period would be extremely difficult. The advantage of interval training is that it allows work at this 80% or higher level for a short period of time followed by an active period of recovery during which an individual may be working at only 30% to 45% of maximum heart rate. 13 Thus the intensity of the workout and its duration can be greater than with continuous training.

Most sports are anaerobic, involving short bursts of intense activity followed by a sort of active recovery period (for example, football, basketball, soccer, or tennis) . Training with the interval technique allows the athlete to be more sport specific during the workout, with interval training the overload principle is applied by making the training period much more intense.

There are several important considerations in interval training. "The training period is the amount of time that continuous activity is actually being performed, and the recovery period is the time between training periods. A set is a group of combined training and recovery periods, and a repetition is the number of training and recovery periods per set. Training time or distance refers to the rate or distance of the training period. The training - recovery ratio indicates a time ratio for training versus recovery.

An example of interval training would be a soccer player running sprints. An interval workout would involve running two sets of four 400meter dashes in under 70 seconds, with a 2 minute 20 second walking recovery period between each dash. During this training session the soccer player s heart rate would probably increase to 85% to 90% of maximal level during the dash and should probably fall to the 30% to 45% level during the recovery period.
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