This involves alternating periods of high intensity work with rest periods.
Each repetition of the pattern is called a rep, and you must finish a set before you can rest.
During rest periods the sportsperson may be inactive - their body stops moving – or they may work at a low intensity. Rest periods allow for recovery from oxygen debt.
To overload, increase reps or sets, or spend less time resting between sets.
Examples of interval training are:
- swimming 10 x 50 m sprints with a 20 second rest between each leg
- running 10 x 100 m sprints with a 300 m jog between each sprint
With this type of training there are four ways in which the stress level can be increased. These are to:
- increase the speed of the sprint
- increase the number of sprints
- increase the distance sprinted
- decrease the rest periods
These are examples of overload.
The advantage of interval training is that:
- it is easy to measure progress and improvement.
- can mix aerobic and anaerobic exercise
- it's easy to see when athlete isn’t trying.
The disadvantage of interval training is that it is:
- hard to keep going
- can be a bit boring.