Why Interval Workouts Work

Whether you choose to do your runs indoors on a treadmill or outdoors on a trail or simply running around block, I think we call all agree Running Is Good for You. Yet with the weather becoming increasing colder and colder, we may not all have the availability to do our runs where we prefer and may be having to resort to running indoors.

Running Intervals on a TreadmillNow many are big fans of the treadmill as they reduce the pressure it places on your joints while also allowing you to run any time of year any time of day. Many aren’t as sold. While we don’t exactly understand why anyone would not like the treadmill, as it is one of our favorite pieces of exercise equipment, we know this is not the case and many dread this time of year for that reason alone.

Whatever your reason may be for loving or hating the treadmill, we all have to turn to them from time to time in order to get our runs in when weather may not permit. So what’s the best way to battle through and prevent boredom yet still receive great results from your treadmill workout?! Incorporate intervals of course!

We’ve mentioned how interval training helps pass the time in How Not To Die of Boredom on the Treadmill, yet we only merely touched on the topic not exactly went over the many benefits interval workouts have, other than make your workout go by quickly.

An article from DailySpark.com attempts to do just that. Here are a few of the benefits of interval workouts that they listed in their article:

  • Burn more calories every 10 minutes. While the calories burned will not be the same for every person due to other factors such as weight, every personal will burn more calories completing intervals than if they were to simply walk at the same speed for the same amount of time. DailySpark suggests that if you’re not up for or don’t have time for a full 50-minute workout (as the one we’ll share below from them), “start with just one or two sets of intervals. You’ll burn 100 calories per set – not too shabby!”
  • Intervals Maximize Fat Burning. According to an article from LiveStrong, Why Does Interval Training Burn More Fat? “when you alternate between short bouts of very-high-intensity exercise with lower-intensity exercise, your body is able to process lactic acid build-up, therefore reducing fatigue. You are then able to burn calories and fat at a faster rate compared to less intense, longer aerobic exercise…When you consistently train at high intensities using these systems, you increase your capacity to work harder, thereby more calories and fat at a faster rate.” Best part is, you’ll actually continue burning those high amount of calories and fat well after your workout.
  • Incline Boosts. Whether you are doing a walking workout or a High-Intensity-Interval workout, you should always be changing up that incline on your treadmill, it’s “one of its greatest features” as DailySpark puts it. They go on to explain how the incline “will push your heart rate higher and challenge you aerobically – and it’s what helps you burn more calories in less time.” If you want to really jump that calorie burn, check out the NordicTrack X7i Incline Trainer that can incline you up to 40% incline, and 6% decline to work and strengthen just about every muscle in your legs. Combining these kinds of incline into your interval workout will make your calorie burn skyrocket!
  • The walk-run combo works. The great thing about interval workouts is you can be at just about any running level to be able to incorporate them into your workouts. You can switch between a walk and a slow jog, or a walk and a run at smaller time frames. Either way, you’ll be burning more calories than if you were to simply walk alone. Check out this Walking Treadmill Interval Workout from blogger Sweet Tooth Sweet Life, this one is a double bonus as it also incorporates incline as we mentioned above.

For those of you looking for more of higher speed interval run, below is the 500-Calorie Treadmill Workout Daily Spark suggested you try:

“Be sure to warm up for about 3-5 minutes (I suggest a 3 to 3.5 mph pace at 0% incline) and to cool down the same way when it is over.”