So, how do you crank up your intervals? Or at least get some interval training in that doesn't feel like the 'same old, same old'?
Intervals don't have to be limited to just running but if running is your sport of choice, you can incorporate different kinds of intervals into your training. Try finding a big hill and doing hillsprints, or finding a sandy beach and doing your sprint training in the unstable sand or better yet, the resistance adding waves. Or you can find a big field and sprint to one end and do a slow jog back to the other side (and repeat ad nauseum).
BUT, if you're looking to liven it up with different kinds of intervals besides running, then there's also lots you can do. Intervals can be done with almost every kind of cardio exercise imaginable.
Hop on your mountain bike and find a good hilly trail to cycle. Hills add intervals to your training naturally. Every up hill is your work interval and every trip down is your rest interval. You don't even have to time it. Just keep finding hills and giving it your all on every trip up.
I have a little trick when I'm short on time and need a quick interval workout without leaving home. Luckily I live in a highrise building in the city with a huge stairwell, so I head to the bottom of the stairwell and climb 20 storeys as my work interval, until I hit the top. Then I punch the elevator button and take a quick ride to the bottom as my rest interval and hit that stairwell again for another work interval climbing to the top. Eight times doing this takes me 45 minutes and it's a heck of a great workout. It worksy my glutes, hip flexors, quads, hamstrings, and calves thoroughly and gives my cardiovascular system a major boost in the process.
Another cool alternative for Interval Training is to SWIM it out! Yes, you can do interval training swimming too. And, believe it or not, there's lots of ways to 'time' your intervals when you're underwater. A cool gadget that's available now is an underwater mp3 player and there are lots of different brands making these now. So you can either load in a timed interval mp3 and use that to time your swim intervals or just pick a few songs that have a definite 'chorus' and 'non-chorus' parts to the songs and swim hard for the chorus and swim easy for the non-chorus parts.
Or, if you don't have the budget for a swimming mp3 player, just time your intervals by counting your strokes. Swim hard for 50 strokes and easy for 50 strokes. Or change your strokes. Swim hard for 50 meters of front crawl and 50 meters of breast stroke at a slower pace. This is easier to accomplish in a swimming pool where you hit the wall and turn around for the next 50 meters (for example). If you're in a lake or ocean you might try swimming from buoy to buoy.
Another great and extremely easy way to do intervals that you can also do pretty much anywhere is to make sure you've got a jump rope with you and just start jumping. Jump at regular pace for your rest interval and double pace for your work interval. Count turns of the rope to time it out. 100 fast jumps for the work interval, 50 slow jumps for rest interval.
There ya go. Intervals options to keep you interested and motivated with your interval training for weeks to come. Enjoy the benefits you're sure to see from all your hard work.
And don't forget to have fun.