What is interval training and how can it make you a better player? Back in 2006 I answered that question with a post about the best way to run to cricket success. To summarise my stance then (and now): I love interval running for the following reasons:
It's cricket specific because it reflects the stop-start nature of the game. You can the same fitness results in less time.
You can integrate it with fielding drills.
It speeds up your metabolism which is good for fat burning.
It's a flexible system that can be adapted to your needs.
It's less boring than running round the streets for hours.
Interval training comes in quite a few different formats that are designed to train different energy systems (something I talk about more here). In order to best use the method you need to know how it fits your needs.
How much interval training do I need?
If your goal is improved endurance above all other factors (speed, strength, power and the like) then you will do more interval training than if you are simply trying to maintain your current levels. Already fit players looking to improve further can do energy system work almost every day (alternating between interval runs and other methods).
You can maintain current levels with 1-2 interval runs per week. If you are unfit I would still advise 2-3 interval sessions a week but start at a slow pace and build up the intensity. The disclaimer is, as always, that you should consult your doctor before embarking on a training program.
It's best to do some kind of interval work all year round whatever your goal. Simply change the number and length of sessions depending on your goals.
What does an interval training session look like?
The basic structure of an interval training session is always the same:
Warm up beforehand.
Run for distance or time then rest for time. Repeat.
Cool down and stretch afterwards.
The interesting part is how much you should run, how much you should rest and how hard you...
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