Increase Endurance With Interval Training

1 min intervals, 5 min intervals with zone 3 training.

Interval training is one of my favorite ways to exercise. It’s great for improving endurance and I always feel so good both physically and mentally. Intervals break up the monotony of routine exercising, too. Recently, I had an enjoyable workout on my Spinner bike. My goal was to use both short bursts and climbing to push up my heart rate, recover and repeat. I reached my maxHR three times during this ride but quickly recovered. My heart chart to the right reflects my workout. You can see short intervals for the first half followed by longer, climbing intervals.

I spent 45% of my workout in Zone 3 (Endurance Zone).

It wasn’t an accident that I spent 45% of my workout in Zone 3, the Endurance Zone. The combination of intervals with dedicated time in Zone 3 is a great way to increase my endurance, burn calories while avoiding the muscle fatigue that usually accompanies workouts spent in high heart zones. I felt refreshed and energized!

Cadence chart with interval training.

My cadence chart reflects that I added/removed resistance to create the intervals. The cadence chart is opposite of the heart chart meaning when my heart rate is high on the heart chart, my cadence is actually low on the cadence chart. Lower cadence is achieved by adding on resistance to reflect hill climbing and higher cadence is achieved by removing the resistance to reflect a flat road. At the highest point, my cadence was just over 100 RPMs (flat road) and at its lowest, my cadence was around 60 RPMs (heavy climbing).

You can try this kind of workout on a treadmill, too by increasing speed and/or elevation during a timed interval. You can also use custom routines to create a workout ahead of time which will guide you through your set intervals. Be sure to check with your doctor before any rigorous exercise and always pay attention to how you are feeling. If the workout feels too much, back off and recover. Do you have a favorite workout? Email it to me at kelly @digifit.com. Have a great workout everyone!

The Workout
5 minute warmup (Zone 1 or 2)
7 one minute intervals with one minute recovery (add resistance and increase speed if you can, then back off for both during recovery)
5 minutes Zone 3
3 five minute intervals, increasing resistance every 1 minute, sprint for the last minute to get to your target heart rate. Recover with 5 minutes in Zone 3 during first two intervals then 5 minutes in Zone 4 for the last interval.
5 minute cool down

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