Apologies to those who don't give a crap about intervals.
A second post in two days?
Readers who feel aggrieved may want to just skim through this one (but don't miss the Important Website Recommendation), and then hurry off to a better blog. Or just plop down comfortably into the comments section without absorbing any of this. Interval Training is not a required subject of conversation down there; we'll come up with something better by the end of the post.
So late yesterday morning, Crabby took her own advice and climbed onto the treadmill to actually test out this interval thing. As she mentioned, she already does "interval training," but in a random, haphazard manner. She usually goes extra hard for a couple of minutes during some of her weekly workouts, but she probably only does it two or three times during a session. She isn't really doing it the way the experts advise.
(For more on Crabby's most common form of exercise and why you might not want to be caught dead doing it in public, go here.)
To correct this haphazardness problem, Crabby resolved to be more formal about her interval training. She decided to start with the easiest amount that the experts said would be helpful: thirty second bursts of intense activity, followed by four minutes of moderate activity, repeated four to six times. For her intense phase, she cranked up the treadmill incline to the max and ran as fast as she could uphill. (And she hoped not to fly off the treadmill smack into the wall behind her). For the moderate phase, she walked more slowly uphill.
Here are some things she found:
Thirty seconds felt too short, even for running uphill, so Crabby made it 45 seconds instead.
Four minutes in between was too long and boring, so Crabby just started up again when she felt like it.
Forty five seconds was still short enough that Crabby felt encouraged to do eight repetitions instead of 4-6. She does not necessarily think this will happen next time, and she reserves the right to go back to 4-6.
Crabby's knees were a bit sore when she was done. (This was not a surprise; she has trashed her knees through years of running and it's why she doesn't run very often anymore).
The intervals were fun and the whole workout was over really quickly. (This was a surprise).
It probably wouldn't be fun done more than once a week. (Probably not after the novelty wears off either).
Thirty to forty-five second intervals aren't nearly as exhausting as two minute ones, and so if the experts say you can do them this way, Crabby is all for it. Plus, by the end you still feel good and exercised, with all the kick-ass endorphins that accompany this state.
Bottom line: Crabby likes interval training!
Now for the second part: the blog that rocks.
Crabby is embarrassed to say that she found it once before, thought it was great, may have even commented on it, then forgot to bookmark it. Result: gone entirely from her little crab brain.
But fortunately, Kelly over at Fitness Fixation is smarter, probably because she works out harder and eats fewer cupcakes, so she found Crabby instead. She very generously linked here and reminded Crabby what a great blog Fitness Fixation is.
It's sort of like Cranky Fitness, only better. (But Crabby hopes that you will find room in your heart and on your Favorites for both of us).
These girls (Kelly seems to be the ringleader, but here's also, for example, a great post by Tsan) are funny. Plus they're hardcore (in a good way). They could probably explain this interval thing a lot better than Crabby can.
(Plus, lurking behind the blog is something called the "Ice Chamber." Doesn't it sound sort of medieval and scary, yet at the same time irresistible?)
As promised, Comments will likely veer away from Interval Training as there is only so much one can say about it. So feel free to take a break today, or weigh in on Trying New Things, or Blogs That You've Just Discovered, or Why Exercise Sucks, or Any Old Thing You Can Think Of.