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Interval running

Interval running

Interval running programs ensure we get the most out of running and we progressively develop in to stronger athletes.

Just like weight training & boxing - running requires a serious training plan - running the same course day-after-day without striving for a faster time or a more intense workout is a waste of your time. Interval running incorporates the use of timed intervals (using a stopwatch) so you know exactly when to push yourself to the limit and when to rest.

Using an interval running plan will ensure every minute of your time spent outside running will help you progress as an athlete.

How will interval running help me?

An example interval running plan

Let's look at how we could use an interval running program to prepare for an amateur MMA fight. Let's say the duration of the amateur bout will be 2 rounds of 5 minutes. The break between rounds will be 1 minute.

To avoid burning out at the end of the 2nd round we will train for 3 rounds. I always suggest training for one extra round, just incase it goes the full distance. Therfore our interval running program will consist of 3 intense periods with 2 rest periods.

Intense interval period:

Run at the highest intensity you can for the duration of 5 minutes. This doesn't mean sprint for 20 seconds and then drag your ass round the course for the next 4 minutes. Hold a steady, high intense pace - you'll struggle to find this at first but with experience you will be able to time your pace to near perfection.


Catch your breath and grab a drink. Keep your composure and focus on your next intense period - envision yourself fighting fit and strong in the cage.

The interval running plan

Interval 1 - 5 minutes of intense running.

- 1 minute rest -

Interval 2 - 5 minutes of intense running.

- 1 minute rest -

Interval 3 - 5 minutes of intense running.

Warm-up: Before any training you must ensure you are warmed up, loose and ready to go. An example warm-up can be to jog for 2-3 minutes followed by some light stretching.

Adjusting the interval running program

The above is only an example of an amateur MMA fight. Keep in mind that some boxing matches only last for a couple of minutes, some professional MMA fights can last up to ten minutes long - all with different rest periods. Street fights can last only a couple of seconds so you may want to train for high intense explosive power and stamina.

Always think about what you want to achieve from your training. You may want to be extremely specific with your goals or you may want to be an all rounder and be prepared for all types of aerobic and anaerobic encounters - either way your training should reflect your goals.

By adjusting your interval running programs you will ensure you have continuous progression and don't just run the though motions.

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