My Favorite Interval Run (And Why It Should Be Yours Too)
Let me introduce you to my good friend, Sprint8.
Sprint8 is my favorite interval workout. This routine was designed by an athlete (surprise, surprise), while attempting to re-create the anabolic steroid commonly used by athletes. This is a male hormone also known as testosterone (which, btw, women have some as well) that builds muscles while burning fat. Since this steroid is really only a shot of a hormone, naturally created in your body, he reasoned that there must be a way to activate it without the help of steroids. And so we have Sprint8.
Sprint8 – 5-10minute comfortable jog, 30sec all out sprint, followed by a 90sec recovery (we usually speed walk our recovery, but the hope is to get into an easy jog). Repeat the interval 7 times—thus sprint8. Finally, end with about a 1 mile easy jog (This workout consistently takes us right around 30 minutes to complete).
One of the best things about this workout is its flexibility!
- Quick – Shorten your warm-up and cool-down; the original workout only required a 3-5 minute warm-up and cool-down. Potentially, you can get your run down to 20-25minutes.
- Short – Start with 4 sprints at first. This is a particularly good idea if you have not been in a regular routine of intervals, lately.
- Intensify – Forget about the recovery walk. Jog the recovery instead (someday I’ll be there)!
- Indoors – You can even do this work-out on the treadmill. Obviously you can up the speed as if you would outside. But, why be boring? Try an incline for the 30sec interval and level out for the recovery (don’t forget to repeat until you reach 8 reps).
- Bike – Biker’s aren’t left out either! Although easily be accomplished on a bike, I would encourage you to increase your sprint to 45-60sec (almost doubling) and your recovery to 2min. Personally, I would go with 60sec and 2min, simply because it’s easier to track.
- Surprise – Think outside the box…roller blades, jump rope, wiggle board…the possibilities are endless. What athletic activity do you enjoy? Try modifying and applying Sprint8. You never know what might happen!
Timing and Watches:
When it comes to timing I use a cheap WalMart watch that has a stopwatch. We used to stop the watch at 30sec, restart for 90sec, and repeat. Unfortunately, we found that we were adding quite a few seconds to our recovery. Thus, my advice: “don’t start and stop your watch. Once you start it, let it run :) .”
Following this interval make sure you stretch your legs out well. And, don’t be surprised to notice muscles, in the morning, that you never thought existed. I have found it to be common to have sore stomach muscles, arm muscles, and back muscles, as well as normal soreness. Talk about multi-tasking! (As a side note, I am not mentioning all this soreness to intimidate you. Soreness is my inspiration. When exercising, I try to do whatever possible so that I am sore the next day).
Finally, thank you for allowing me to introduce Sprint8 to you; I have only known him for about a year, but we have quickly become fast friends. Feel free to take him on a run whenever you would like! We normally run together on Thursdays (even though the recommendation is three times a week), so you might consider another day…