Going Anaerobic, Part 1

I get asked fairly often when someone should incorporate anaerobic training into his or her conditioning regimen.

By “anaerobic” training I basically mean sprints and interval training – where you go hard and fast for a relatively short period of time. Going for a 40 minute jog is NOT anaerobic training – running up stairs as fast as you can IS anaerobic training.

So when should you incorporate sprints and intervals into your conditioning regimen? Well it depends on several factors. Here are some of the things I like to consider when trying to answer this question for someone:

1 – General fitness: has this person just rolled off the couch or have they been training consistently for a period of time. If they have been sedentary then sprints and interval training will probably lead to injury very quickly.

2 – Aerobic base: I believe that it is impossible to develop a good aerobic structure on an inferior anaerobic base. If you can’t jog for 40 minutes then you shouldn’t be doing repeated 400-meter sprints.

3 – Timing: when do you want to reach your peak fitness? The closer you get to your peaking time, (e.g. a competition) the more aerobic training should dominate your conditioning

In the next few weeks I will give you some concrete examples of anaerobic routines that you can use.

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