"I love running. I love to compete and I love to test myself. I enjoy the variety of different running sessions because they help keep me motivated, whether that be a long slow run, an interval session or a tempo run. Consistently building in all three to my training programme helps improves my over all performance.

Out of all three sessions, intervals can be a challenge and feel complex, especially if you are new to running. It can be difficult to know what session to do and why it matters. So, to help get you off the blocks I’ve explained some of the benefits of interval training along with a few of my favourite interval sessions so that you can give them a go and build them in to your weekly schedule.

First things first, here’s why interval training is important and is for everyone, not just elite athletes;

Interval training in running is a great way to improve your overall fitness and your performance. By changing between intense bursts of high-speed running and periods of active recovery, interval training pushes the body to adapt and become stronger. This type of training increases your cardiovascular capacity, your speed, and helps improves your endurance. Interval training also supports the development of fast-twitch muscle fibers, which are important for sprinting and explosive movements.

What’s great is that interval training can be adapted to fit different goals and fitness levels, making it suitable for both beginners and experienced runners. Much as it is a tough session, building interval training into your running routine can, as I said above, bring many benefits and help you reach new levels of speed and endurance.

Last thing, before you embark on an interval session, because it is physically demanding, you need to listen to your body and move at a pace that is right for your fitness level. I would recommend that you speak with a running coach or healthcare professional especially if you have any underlying health conditions before building in interval training to your schedule.

Ok, so here's a few tips to prepare and do an interval session along with a few of my favourites …give them a go and let the team at YMR Track Club know how you get on"

1. Preparation is key. Have a drink with you – it’s important you keep hydrated before, during and after the session.

2. Warm up for about 10 minutes. This can be a light jog, some dynamic stretches and mobility exercises so that your body ready for the session ahead.

3. Choose your interval distance or time – start with shorter intervals and build as your fitness improves.

4. Set your intensity for each interval. Intervals should be challenging but they must be sustainable for the duration of each repetition – consistency is important.

5. Recover: After completing each interval, take a recovery period – but make sure it is active, the temptation is to stand still but it is better to do some light jogging or walking so that you allow your heart rate to decrease and your breathing to recover.

6. Repeat: Repeat the interval and recovery cycle for the number of repetitions. If you are just starting our then begin with a few repetitions and gradually increase over time.

7. Cool down – this is really important. When you have completed your last interval, finish with a proper cool-down. Slow down your pace and build in some gentle stretching exercises to help your muscles recover.


10 x 2 minutes with 1 minute recovery.
3 x (3-2-1 minutes) with 1 minute recovery.
4 x (1 x 4 minutes followed by 4 x 30 seconds). Recovery is 1 minute after and before the 4 minute interval and 30 seconds recovery between each of the the 30 seconds.
6 minutes – 4 x 2 minutes – 4 x 1 minute.
6 x (90 – 60 – 30 seconds) with 1 minute recovery.