Get to Know Running Intervals

May 25, 2022

Interval running (walk/jog or jog/run) is a great exercise option to support your personal fitness goals. This style of running helps condition the cardiovascular system while improving muscular endurance over time. Below are a few key tips to keep in mind while building building interval running into an exercise regimen.

Keep Time

Get your stopwatch

After warming up, start your timer. Some smart watches allow you to pre-set intervals so that you receive alerts of when to run and when to walk. Others may require that you manually calculate your intervals, i.e. walk 0-30 seconds, run 30-60 seconds and repeat.

Play some music 

Many music platforms like YouTube, Spotify, and iTunes have songs and playlists that pace you through the beat, or have an installed countdown timer that alerts you when to recover and when to work. Music is your friend!

Measure your Success


Distance for time measures how far you have traveled over time. Time for distance measures how long it takes for you to travel a certain distance. No matter if your goal is distance, time, or both, try keeping a log of your distance and time each run so that you can see your improvement from workout to workout.

Heart rate recovery

The more intense the activity, the higher your heart rate. Make note of your heart rate during the most intense phase of your run. Check your heart rate again at one minute of cessation of exercise, then again at two minutes. A recovery heart rate of 25 to 30 beats in one minute is a good score, and 50 to 60 beats in one minute is considered excellent. Monitor your heart rate recovery a few times a week to compare as you progress.


Like most exercise programs, improved vitals like blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, and BMI can point to the continued success of your fitness program. Blood pressure and blood sugar can be monitored at home with proper equipment. BMI is calculated based on height, weight, and age. Cholesterol requires a lab panel through your physician. 

Body Measurements

Taking a baseline measure of your body weight, percent body fat, and body part(s) in inches can help you see where you started your exercise journey and how you have progressed. It is recommended that these measurements be performed at the beginning of your exercise journey, then weekly or monthly for historical reference. 

Program Properly

Warm Up 

Taking time to warm up before any workout can prep and prime the muscles for movement and prevent injury. Interval running is no exception.

Cool Down

Just like a warmup is important to your workout, so is your cool down. Allowing your heart rate to recover and stretching out your muscles can help prevent post run aches and pains, as well as keep your joints and muscles happy moving forward. 

Cross Train

Your body can naturally move through three different planes of motion: sagittal, frontal, and transverse. As running is a continuous, yet dynamic forward movement, it is important that you build in workouts that complement your runs by training to stabilize and strengthen your other, lesser utilized muscles.

Rest and Recovery

Any high intensity and impact workout should include days for recovery and/or rest. Be sure your weekly plan builds in time for mobility, stretching, and resting the body. 

With the use of the above tips, Interval Running can be an excellent addition to your workout regimen. If you would like additional information on creating a more custom workout plan that includes interval running, please feel free to reach out to our concierge team at to schedule an appointment with one of our experts today.

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– Casey Edmonds, MPH, CHWC, CMS, CPT, CILC

Health Advisor | Email Casey

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