To Your Health
June, 2014 (Vol. 08, Issue 06)
Train Your Body to Move
By Editorial Staff
It's been said that movement is life, and when it comes to preventing disease and maximizing fitness results, nothing seems to beat good old-fashioned movement in any form. But now let's take movement to the next level with interval training – a great way to train your body to move with speed, quickness and power when you need to, as often as you need to.
We like to think of interval training as "situational" training – exercises / movements that train your body and mind to react optimally to whatever situation it's faced with. Interval sprints may be the most comprehensive way to accomplish this because it can be done just about anywhere at anytime (no gym required), is effective for any athlete participating in any sport, and never gets old (because you decide when and how to vary the intervals).
Let's consider your next one-mile run. You could run the entire mile at the same pace and get a decent cardiovascular, core and lower body workout. Or you could add interval sprints at predetermined and/or random points and reap considerably more benefits.
For example, if you can run an easy mile in 10 minutes, break the run into five sections and sprint for 15 seconds every 2 minutes. After every sprint, return to your normal pace, take a few slow, deep breaths in and out, and keep running. Try to re-establish your original pace and breathing pattern as soon as possible, particularly as you improve.
You can also pick landmarks on your favorite runs and do intervals. Designate an upcoming tree or street light and tell yourself, I'm going to sprint from that tree / light to the next tree / pole (in many communities, they're at a fairly set distance on streets).
Keep in mind that interval training is all about mixing things up so your body is continually required to react – and thus adapt – to improve. So don't get locked into the "every 2 minutes" or "every other street light" scenario; as you progress, accelerate into a sprint randomly and for varying time durations, depending on your mood and goal. In fact, don't get locked into the "sprint" mode, either; do intervals at different speeds / intensities, but always with the same goal: completing the interval with power and returning to your original pace smoothly.
Before you know it, you'll be able to run as fast as you want for as long as you want – when you want. Now that's training your body to move!