Teleoanticipation: The new way to run intervals
Every seasoned runner knows the benefits of intervals - increased V02 max, higher calorie burn, and one of the most efficient ways to improve speed. Interval workouts are often the staple of training plans from milers to marathoners, but how do you know if your workout is well, working for you? Different coaches recommend different interval lengths, paces, and recovery times. However, a new approach based on self-perception has recently been heralded as the most effective.
Andrew Edwards, a former track star and exercise physiologist, recently published a paper in the Journal of Pyschophysiology entitled “Self-pacing in interval training: A teleoanticpatory approach”. Edwards’ study divided track runners into three groups – Group A completed 5 x 1000m @ 90% effort and then recovered until there heart rate returned to 13- bpm. Group B completed the workout and then recovered for the same amount of time as it took to run the 1,000m (~3:18) and Group C ran the workout and then rested until they felt recovered enough to run at 90% effort. The results showed that Group A had not recovered enough and subsequently slowed on the later intervals. Groups B and C were both able to finish the workout at expected times, however the runners that recovered “by feel” (Group C) actually took less recovery time, thus completing a more efficient workout.
The take-away from this study? Adjusting your workout to how you feel can help you to become a better, more attuned runner. Depending on the weather, the amount of sleep you’ve been getting, and your training schedule you may need more or less recovery during your workouts.
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