A balanced approach to your Sun Run training is always best and as a part of your program, Run Theory recommends including Interval training.  Interval training is an exercise strategy that alternates short periods of intense anaerobic exercise with less intense periods of recovery.

Interval training is a common training technique used by both sprint and distance runners and can help build your endurance and speed.  It’s also a perfect training session when you have limited time.

Interval training improves endurance

For an athlete to compete successfully in an endurance event, a high VO2 Max is a must.  Interval training works both the aerobic and anaerobic energy systems and this alternation of intensity can help increase your VO2 max.

Maximal oxygen consumption or VO2 max is the amount of oxygen your body can use, per kilogram of body weight, per minute.  It’s a little like measuring how efficient your engine is.  The more efficient your engine, the further you can travel at high speeds.

Oxygen consumption is dependent, not only on your lung volume (how much air your lungs hold), but also how well your body moves that oxygen into your blood and delivers it to the right areas for efficient use.  The higher your V02 max, the more likely you are to be able to do more strenuous activity for a longer period of time.

Research published on noted that runners undertaking interval training achieved up to a 9% VO2 max gain.

Interval training builds speed

According to the NHS, interval training is one of the most effective forms of training for improving speed.  The alternating pace of the intervals challenges the muscles to work more efficiently, more economically and strengthens the cardiovascular system by promoting oxygen flow through the blood.

The stronger the muscles become and the more efficiently they can perform, the faster you are able to move.

It’s also not just the high intensity component of interval training that’s important.  The recovery between intervals is also beneficial as the stop-start routine helps train your body to recover quicker between bursts.  Over time, this increases your ability to run further and faster.

Interval training is efficient

Interval training is often performed as a short, sharp session which makes it perfect for time poor athletes.  According to an article in Science News, regular interval training can begin to produce performance improvements within two weeks, whilst longer term gains can be seen within two months.

Run Theory’s intelligent running and recovery coach utilises a variety of high intensity, interval based training sessions to help athletes run faster, faster.  Each session is personalised to each athlete to ensure the maximum return on training effort.

You can download Run Theory’s intelligent running and recovery coach on iOS and Android, or find out more at