Give me what you got. 20 or 40 Minute Interval Challenge!

Interval training has been used by athletes and fitness enthusiasts for years to build fitness. Interval training combines short, high intensity bursts of speed, with slow, recovery phases, repeated during one exercise session. Today, exercisers use more structured interval training workouts and High Intensity Interval Training to build speed, endurance, or lose weight. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, more calories are burned during short, high intensity exercise.  If you are looking to lose or maintain your weight, high intensity exercise is a better choice than long, slow endurance exercise.

Interval training can be used in any sport from cycling and swimming to walking or dance. This week’s challenge was designed for a WALK OR RUN but can be altered to meet your cardio preference. When I walk into the gym – I typically see exercisers plodding  along on the treadmill. They set a time, zone out, and finish when the desired time is up. Sure they are running…. but their workout isn’t going ANYWHERE. By adding intervals to your treadmill time, you’ll challenge your heart, increase your performance (speed/endurance) and burn more calories than a steady state workout. That sounds MUCH more effective than 30 minutes sleep walking (or running) on a treadmill doesn’t it? When working out on the treadmill do you make your time COUNT or do you distract yourself? Next time you hit up the treadmill for a workout, I want you to try this challenge. If you are short on time, just do the first half for a quick workout…. but if you’re feeling good, put your NIKES to the belt and JUST DO IT!

Heres where the CHALLENGE part comes in…. After you’ve completed the workout, I want you to leave a comment at the end of this post and tell everyone you DID it. I want to keep you accountable… and hear if you liked the intervals! Ill randomly choose ONE of the comments below and reward that successful exerciser with a little “GREAT JOB” gift. Take the challenge. Leave a comment below with your accomplishment. Make your time at the gym count. I can’t WAIT to read what you think!

Give me what you got. 20 or 40 Minute Interval Workout!

You can power-walk OR run the below challenge. It is sectioned into 2 parts. If you are short on time work through the first 23 minutes. If you have a bit longer, try out the whole routine. Remember, always check with your doctor before making any fitness or nutrition changes. The workout should feel challenging and strong, but NOT cause any pain. Modify or intensify the below to meet YOUR needs, challenge yourself and most importantly, have FUN with it!!

Warm up 0:00 – 5:00. Incline at 6.0. Power walk (fast!) up the incline with strong athletic arms and an elbow drive.

5:00 – 8:00: Incline at 1.0. Strong run or walk. It’s challenging, but not too uncomfortable. Lets call this place your “BASE PACE”.

8:00 – 11:00: Incline at 1.0. Run/walk HARD. This should be about 80% of your max. You can sustain the speed for about 3 minutes… But that’s about it. Challenging and uncomfortable speed, we will call this place your “RACE PACE”. At the end of this push, you should feel WINDED.

11:00-14:00: Incline at 1.0. Return to your original run/ walk BASE PACE and keep a challenging speed. Easier than your sprint, but still a strong speed. Connect to your breath and get ready for the next round of intensity.

14:00-16:00: Incline at 1.0. Back to race pace for 2 minutes. Push yourself at a pace you can’t hold any longer than 2 minutes. Challenge yourself to go a little faster on this second interval.

16:00 – 18:00: Incline at 1.0. Return to your strong run/ walk BASE PACE for 2 minutes.

18:00-19:00: Incline at 1.0. RACE PACE for 1 minute. Really PUSH it – its only for 60 seconds!

19:00 – 23:00: Incline at 1.0. If you are in for a shorter workout, use this interval as your cooldown and end at 23 minutes. If you’re in for the full 40, return to your original run/ walk BASE PACE for 4 minutes and focus on your breathing.

23:00 – 26:00 : Incline at 4.0. RACE PACE for 3 minutes. This is your last round of intervals, time to stay committed and step it up a notch. The added incline is there to really challenge you. Can you keep your original race pace up the first climb? Are you sure your race pace isnt a bit faster? Time to step outside your comfort zone.

26:00 – 28:00: Incline at 1.0. Take the incline back down. Base Pace for 2 minutes. Keep it challenging and mentally prepare for the next interval.

28:00 – 30:00: Incline at 6.0. RACE PACE 2 minutes up the next hill. You should feel your legs burning and your heart beating HARD. Try to maintain your speed.

30:00 – 31:00: Incline at 6.0 . Back off to your base pace but keep the incline for 1 min. Try to resist the urge to go slower than your original base pace. This is a quick turn around, stay alert and keep your mind calm. With the right mindset you can tackle ANYTHING. Find your BREATHING and get ready to RUN!

31:00 – 32:00: Incline at 10.0. FINAL SPRINT. This is your last minute to push it and you are running UP a hill!  GO FOR IT. Time to step outside your comfort zone.

32:00 – 36:00: Incline back 1.0. Bring it back down to a comfortable walk/jog. Keep your body moving at a steady pace for the next 4 minutes. This speed feels slow but comfortable. Keep your arms loose and your breath steady – your workouts almost over.

36:00 – 40:00: Incline at 0.0. Walk it out. Remember the cool-down is IMPORTANT in preventing lactic acid build up and unneccessary soreness. Take time to steady your breath and bring your heart rate back to a comfortable place.

When you have completed the workout, take a few minutes to stretch, foam roll, and HYDRATE. Its WORTH the time, trust me. Try out the below video and let me know how you feel after:

Don’t forget to LEAVE A COMMENT and tell me you DID it. Can’t wait read your comments and hear about your success. Enjoy and I’ll see you soon for another great class or training session 🙂


Other things to check out this week:

4 thoughts on “Give me what you got. 20 or 40 Minute Interval Challenge!

  • By Naomi - Reply

    Wow, it was very challenge. My legs are sore from yesterday’s workout, so I finished my 40 mins interval with run, jog, and walk. I’ll try again wed.

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  • By Sarah T. - Reply

    I did it!
    To set the scene:
    I am indeed guilty of zombie-ing through cardio workouts. I put my headphones on, possibly tune into Real Housewives of NJ, throw my towel over the time screen, and zone out until it’s over. I work at a challenging pace/intensity, but it’s the same pace/intensity the entire time. I knew I wasn’t making a whole lot of progress – just feel like I’m ‘at least doing something.’
    I’m now a night nurse at UCSD med center, so I have to find ways to stay awake and active on my nights off. I finally understand the purpose of 24 Hour Fitness! Thank goodness for that place. 24 Hour is NOT the classiest, but it’s a block from me and, therefore, a perfect place to kill time at odd, odd hours.
    Therefore: it’s a perfect place to do Caroline’s random workout challenges at odd hours!
    So, there I go with my little index card of intervals on the treadmill at 10:15pm.
    It felt perfectly challenging-yet-maintainable until those damned *race pace at incline* intervals arrived. Those *killed*. I could not maintain race pace at high incline… so either my base pace was too fast, I am simply not strong enough yet, or both.
    I finished 45 minutes, but had to do less than race pace for the 6-10.0 inclines. At least it’s something to work for! Thanks for a challenge I wouldn’t have given myself if I didn’t have that little index card yelling at me (;
    I’ll try it on the elliptical next.

    • By carichic - Reply

      Sarah! THANK YOU for trying the challenge and for your feedback! Miss having you in class – but ill keep the challenges coming your way so we can “workout” virtually! Hope all is well and sending you smiles 🙂

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