Intervals or Tempo

While we wait for the next instalment about Maria’s fabulous achievement last weekend, here’s an article about whether intervals are better than tempo running for improving general fitness and performance. 

The result of research at the University of Texas Southwestern Human Performance Center which compared the results of tempo and interval training in a group of athletes. Although the tempo running group ostensibly did more “quality” running than the interval runners, the latter achieved more significant gains in fitness and performance than the interval runners. As the article states:

A key lesson to be learned here is that intensity is always the most-potent producer of fitness; it is a much-stronger stimulus for improvement than training volume and workout frequency.  When you conduct your intervals at 90 to 100 percent of VO2max (and at higher intensities, too), the amount of fitness gained per minute will always be greater, compared with the running capacity accrued at lower intensities.

Here’s an alternative link to the article.

So, if you are short of time and want a good work out, do intervals rather than a tempo run. But don’t over do it because it is relatively easy to get a minor injury from the hard, fast running that interval training requires.

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One Response to “Intervals or Tempo”

  1. Sofia Says:

    Totally agree!!!
    Intervals can achieve such a great progress on endurance n prolong your time running capacity!plus, it is a kind of challenging torture

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