Two weeks of interval training makes athletes faster

Many people know that interval training is an effective training method. Short interval training has an amazing effect on health and performance. And interval training has an effect in a surprisingly short time. After two weeks of interval training, athletes significantly improved their performance, according to Spanish researchers from the Catholic University of Valencia in the journal Strength & Conditioning Research.

Research of the influence of interval training on the performance of athletes-runners
The researchers experimented with 16 well-prepared students. Students ran for at least three years, trained 3-5 times a week and covered at least 50 kilometers during this time. According to the experiment, they added a little interval load of 14-28 minutes to their main training sessions for 2 weeks, 3 times a week.

Each training session consisted of a warm-up session and a series of 30-second sprints. Students ran back and forth for those 30 seconds between two cones that were 5 meters apart. Between sprints, they rested for 4 minutes. With each training session, the number of sprints and, accordingly, the load time and total training time increased linearly.

More detailed information about the interval training schedule is provided below.

Results: the aerobic growth rate and reducing the time of passing the distance
The researchers determined the subjects ' maximum aerobic speed [MAS] before and after two weeks of the experiment. At maximum aerobic speed, your body uses as much oxygen as it can absorb. At the bottom right, you can see that interval training increased this maximum aerobic speed by almost 3 percent.

Before and after these two weeks, the researchers tested subjects in a 3-kilometer run. Interval training reduced the time to complete the distance by almost 6 percent.

Although muscle biopsies have not been studied, it is assumed that rapid improvement was mainly due to an increase in the enzymatic activity of the aerobic system, which was demonstrated in several earlier studies. For example, it has been shown that sprint interval training performed over relatively short periods, from weeks to several months, leads to important changes at the level of the musculoskeletal system, causing enzymatic adaptations in energy systems. In addition, there was an increase in the activity of glycolytic enzymes (hexokinase and phosphofructokinase) and an increase in markers of aerobic metabolism (citrate synthase, 3-hydroxyacyl-COA dehydrogenase and malate dehydrogenase). Significant improvements were also found in the activity of creatine kinase, pyruvate kinase, and lactate dehydrogenase. (*)

Conclusion: two-week interval training significantly increased the speed and endurance of athletes
"Modern coaches often deal with an increasing number of competitions during the competition season, which subsequently reduces the available training time," the researchers write. "The results of the current study show that very short-term low-volume sprint interval training in athletics is an effective means of improving both endurance and anaerobic performance."

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