Operation Goddess - Interval Training

I'm a good few weeks into my interval training.  This was something I originally started in 2009 when I saw a trainer at my (then) gym, who created an interval running program for me to get my fitness up, help me shift some extra weight and as a way to get me running more.

I started slowly; walking for 3 minutes, running at a steady pace for 3 minutes, sprinting for 1 minute - eat, sleep, rave, repeat. By a couple of months in I was able to negate the walking, just run and sprint. I was fit, very fit, between that and Zumba I felt at the peak of my fitness. 

Then I got married and it all stopped. Sigh. Marriage is so bad for my health!

As losing a little weight is in the plans of Operation Goddess, I figured now might be a good time to start interval training again. Couldn't hurt, right? I can run 5km easily now, I can run continuously for 40 minutes and not die quite happily however I do not feel fit. Hence the addition of intervals, put a little more exertion and recovery into my sessions and see if it has an impact.

Adapting my old plan (thank you Virgin Gym Trainer circa 2009) I thought I'd do a 3 minute walking warm up, run at a steady pace for 2 minutes and sprint for 1 minute, back to running at a steady pace for 2 minutes to recover and then sprint again. Eat, sleep, rave, repeat.

In 30 minutes I got though 6 of these intervals (including warm up and cool down walks). I know that doesn't add up, that's because treadmills take a little time to hit the right speed, so I only counted a minute of sprinting from when the belt hit the right speed. It's a bit hit and miss but you get the idea. 

Here's what one of my normal runs look like:

and here's an interval:

On my first session that 5th peak was a killer. You forget how long you've been running for as you only think in three minute periods at a time. It's also funny how quickly you adapt pace; my steady running pace felt so relaxing after a mad sprint. Never thought that would happen!

In tandem with this I've been doing a lot of dancing. Zumba is a great interval training system but I had seriously forgotten how hard it can be. Latin dance is an ass-kicker. I used to be able to do 60- 90 minute classes without blinking and now 45 minutes is an absolute killer. I know it's going to get easier as I get fitter, the steps and full choreography came back to me instantly (ever the dancer!), I wish my fitness would follow suit! The unique selling point for Zumba will always be the same thing - if you love dance then it never feels like a chore to do, and it never does. I love dancing, it taps into a part of me that I forget is in me; the performer in me will never die quietly!

Dancing is hot work. Very hot work.

So I'm fighting to get fitter. And I'm getting there. Now I just have to be consistent and keep it up! 
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  1. Love the pic! The interval training looks good too, I keep reading about it and pinning interval workouts for the equipment we have...but I have't tried one yet. This is making me think I should just bite the bullet and do one on the bike tonight.

    I'm a Zumba fan too, though I can't get out to classes any more. But I have a DVD set that I can't wait to unearth when/if we move house. I was never the sort of kid that went to dance classes, but dancing is my favourite way to exercise...I think I probably missed a trick there!

  2. I really need to do more interval training again. Im feeling so unfit despite still working out. I need to get back to circuit classes!!

  3. You started this on 2009? You’d definitely been through a lot in this journey. Your marriage may have stopped you, but I’m glad that you came back. For some, when they stop for a while they tend to never go back. But that's definitely not the case for you! It’s good to see that you’re trying different routines – running, Zumba, and so on. There’s no doubt that you’ll achieve your goals soon. Enjoy!

    Divina @ PersonalTrainerChagrinFalls.com

  4. The important thing is you finally decided to start again. I agree, our body burns energy more efficiently when you do interval training, and the best part is that you don’t need expensive equipment for it. In fact, some people lose weight faster and develop their stamina just by doing alternating relaxed and fast paced walks for 20 minutes per day. Couple that with Zumba, I can see you’ll be having a fabulous body in no time! Good luck!

    Dun Wood