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How should I use intervals? By Marathon Physio Lucy Macdonald


Is interval training suitable for me?

Interval training is not suitable for anyone who has heart problems or other medical conditions. Speak to Lucy and her team or contact your GP if you are not sure.


How many interval vs continuous runs should I do each week?

Most of your runs should be intervals, you only need to aim to do one continuous run a week.


How fast should I run?

Make sure you don’t sprint or run faster than your normal rate because this will increase your chance of injury.


How should I interval train?

There are lots of different ways of interval training, it doesn’t matter which one you choose, as long as you are repeatedly dropping your heart rate down and then raising it up again.


How do I know if I am doing interval training correctly?

Breathlessness is a good indicator of whether you are achieving this. Make sure you walk for long enough so that your breathing rate recovers to the extent that you can comfortably have a conversation using long sentences without needing to gasp for breath.


Where do I begin?

Start with warming up and then repeat about five blocks of three minutes consisting of running two minutes and walking for one. Then you can build up slowly by adding three-minute blocks.



Remember to include more recovery measures to reflect the additional strain you have put on your body.


Need more help?

Get in touch with Lucy and her physio team if you would like more details on how to best incorporate intervals into your training programme.


More marathon physio advice 

Follow @octopusclinic on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and/or Lucy Macdonald on YouTube to access our latest free videos on marathon training and injury prevention. If you would like our marathon handbook and are running for charity please contact Lucy Macdonald directly on lucymacdonaldphysio@hotmail.co.uk or if you would like to get the video course Your Marathon: Your Physio please click on the link. 

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