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Interval Training and Catching Your Breath

You Asked: Hard Time Catching Breath Between Intervals

Dear Fit,
I'm trying to get rid of belly fat and I've read that the best way to do that is by doing intervals. I've been jogging slowly for two minutes, and then I sprint for a minute, but by the next time the next sprinting interval comes around, I'm still huffing and puffing. Sometimes, I even have to stop running altogether. How can I recover faster between intervals?
—Catching My Breath

Interval training is a great way to get rid of overall body fat, especially the tire around your belly. But it's not going to work very well if you can't keep up. I have some suggestions, so


Sounds to me like you're doing too much too soon and overdoing it with your sprint intervals. Intervals are tough, and you need to give your body time to adjust to the new challenges you're placing on it. Make sure you have a solid cardio/running base before doing interval work. Keep in mind that when doing your sprint intervals, you should be moving at a moderate pace, but it shouldn't be so vigorous that you feel like you need to stop running. So change how you're doing your fast intervals by either slowing down the pace of your sprints or by sprinting for less time, like 30 seconds instead of one minute. You may also need more time to recover, so lengthen your slower-paced recovery intervals to three minutes instead of two.

Once you've built up your endurance and your body can recover quickly with this routine, gradually increase the intensity by either running your sprint intervals at a faster pace, lengthening the time of each sprint interval, or shortening your recovery intervals. And remember, not all your runs should be interval workouts. It may take some time to work out a way of interval training that best suits you. Be patient and remember the number one rule to follow: never begin the next sprint interval until you've stopped huffing and puffing, and feel strong enough to increase the intensity. Good luck!

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