Try these short intervals to boost VO2 max
Your VO2 max, the maximum amount of oxygen your body can use during dynamic exercise, is an important measure of aerobic fitness. While it’s only one of many factors that determine athletic performance, improving your VO2 max can help you get faster. Short interval sessions are an effective way for runners of any level to target VO2 max and boost speed.
When running short VO2 max intervals, being familiar with running by effort can be useful, especially if you’re using a watch (rather than a chest strap) to monitor heart rate. The lag on your watch won’t accurately report your heart rate during the interval, so focus on running at a hard effort–as fast as you can while maintaining the same effort throughout the entire interval session.
This takes practice, so don’t worry if you find it challenging to find the right pace at first. You can run these intervals on a track, road or trail.
Short interval workouts
While longer intervals and sprint intervals can also be used to boost VO2 max, these short intervals are a simple, fast way to get into the zone. The recovery time (try to keep moving) will probably feel slightly too short.
Warm up with 10 minutes easy running, and try one of the following, adjusting the number of intervals according to your ability:
30 x 30 seconds hard with a 15-second break
20 x 40 seconds hard with a 20-second break
15 x 60 seconds hard with a 30-second break
Cool down with 10 minutes easy running.
These workouts are all made up of short intervals with very short active recoveries to keep oxygen consumption high throughout the entire session. The first few intervals likely won’t feel too taxing, but the intervals will quickly start to add up, so you’ll feel spent by the time it’s complete.
posted Wednesday November 23rd
by Keeley Milne