What different methods are there for cardio training? (7 of 10)

If you have been performing LSD (Long Slow Distance) cardio for a while now, chances are you are ready for a change! There are a number of different methods you can use to liven up your exercise routine and we’ve outlined a few below. Note that for simplicity the term “running” has been used in conjunction with the training methods described but any form of cardio e.g. rowing, cycling etc can be used.

Fartlek – literally meaning speed play in Swedish, Fartlek is a funny word but a great training method. Instead of running at your usual pace for the entire duration of your workout, Fartlek training requires you to mix up your speed randomly – you may for example choose to jog for 3 minutes, sprint for 1 minute, walk for 30 seconds, jog backwards up a steep hill, run fast for 4 minutes, walk again for 1 minute…it’s up to you. The idea is to be as random as possible and as a result keep your workout fresh and interesting. The main benefit of Fartlek is that is very individual and can be tailored to suit your personal fitness levels.

FCR – short for Fast Continuous Running, FCR is the opposite of LSD. FCR requires you to run at your fastest sustainable aerobic speed (around 85-90% MHR) and can be thought of as race pace training. This type of workout is hard but sustainable – albeit only just! There will be plenty of lactic acid in your muscles and you’ll be breathing hard – it may well be a mental battle to keep going but you should be able to sustain this fast pace for around 20 minutes before needing to stop. FCR teaches your body to work at its anaerobic threshold and is a training method which results in both plenty of calories being burned and significant high-end fitness improvements. If you chose to do FCR training, build up the duration gradually and always precede it with a thorough warm up.

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