Improve running ability with interval training | SierraSun.com
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Improve running ability with interval training

There are many runners who get stuck in a rut or a routine that prevents them from improving. A common mistake is to go for the same or similar run day in and day out without changing the intensity. This is where interval training comes in. By no means is this just for the avid runner; this is for anyone wanting to improve his or her ability as a runner. Intervals can be done by either distance or time. I prefer distance. That keeps you from having to look down at your watch (unless you have it set to be every 5 minutes or so). Because you will be running faster than you normally do, youandamp;#8217;re going to want to find a trail that youandamp;#8217;re comfortable with. Two weeks ago I mentioned linking some of the cool trails around Donner Lake and Coldstream. If you had a chance to run them, youandamp;#8217;ll easily be able to give this a shot.Here we go: Park wherever and warm up to the dam. Your first section is about 1 mile from the dam to China Cove. Once there, walk jog over to the trailhead that zigs through the tree line. Wait until your breathing has become normal again. You can go by heart rate or time. I choose to go by how I feel. Next, run three-quarters of a mile to the ponds, then jog to Coldstream. Get to the singletrack and charge the very small hill (weandamp;#8217;re talking 45-second surge, then lightly jog all the way to the beginning of the JP Trail climb. The climb is 0.6 miles. Once at the top, take a little extra time to catch your breath. Jog all the way down to the main fire road via the smaller fire road that crosses the tracks. Once in Coldstream, again youandamp;#8217;ll tackle your longest section andamp;#8212; about 2 miles around Merrils pond. This is a loop and youandamp;#8217;ll end up right where you started the interval. And thatandamp;#8217;s it. Take it nice and slow back to your car. Two things: If you can talk while running intervals, youandamp;#8217;re not running hard enough, and take some time to stretch afterwards, because you may get a bit stiff from pushing yourself. Oh, and keep it fun, thatandamp;#8217;s the point. andamp;#8212; Peter Fain is a local trail runner who competes regularly in regional trail races and snowshoe runs in the winter. He may be contacted at runondirt@gmail.com.


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