In addition to strength training we also do some running. Running is something that we find even more boring and tedious than the strength workout, but it is indeed healthy to do some intervals every now and then to keep the mitochondria healthy. Rather than doing four or five jogging runs each week we try to do some intervals once a week at maximum or every tenth day.
Previously we have done the intervals on flat ground, but this time we found this awesome steep path in the woods.
Rather than having a perfect and flat surface to run on we now have to be attentive to where we put our feet which also means that they have to work a bit more and we will thus build on not only our heart and leg strength but also strengthening our feet.
The idea of the intervals is that we get a peak in heart rate each run and keep it there for a few seconds and thus challenge the mitochondria to increase their biogenesis. Between each run we allow ourselves to recover to the same heart rate that one would have during a quick walk. By doing that we can challenge the mitochondria maximally without straining the heart unnecessarily.
This is probably one of our most controversial and also the thing we have discussed the most with our training. Namely, the benefits or risks of chronic cardio. We think that there are very few real benefits to doing long runs or other endurance training other than the endorphins that are released and the additional increase in mitochondira biogenesis. But if those are the only benefits, why not just do intervals or some strength training? Further we believe that doing long runs several times a week and in that way wearing down the heart muscle without letting it rest between the sessions can actually be directly harmful. Some occasional longer run won’t harm you, but it is essential to allow the heart muscle to recover and rebuild between the sessions.
The real danger, especially for non-athletes, is that we by doing frequent cardio workouts keep a high level of inflammation in our body due to the heart never being allowed to really recover. Different people will of course have different recovery time, but we prefer to be on the safe side and do our intervals once a week, strength training twice a week and possibly a longer run in the woods once a month, whenever we feel the urge to. It should be fun to run, so no need to do it while it is raining or if you don’t feel like it since the main benefit will be the endorphins anyways.
In addition to strength training and intervals we do a lot of yoga. Since this is a workout for both mind and body we view it slightly differently and do not adhere to the same recovery concepts…
Live long and enjoy life,
Cecilia & Magnus