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How to do 4x4 intervals

How to do 4x4 intervals

If you're able to train 30 minutes couple of times a week 4x4 intervals will give good results.

One of the most efficient ways to get in better running shape is interval training. 4x4 intervals is popular and efficient for beginners, and also used by athletes.

What is interval training?

Interval training is where you run with high intensity in defined time frame. During the brakes you're able to catch your breath again and lower your heart rate.

4x4 interval

Most training programs that contain interval training has two numbers, set up as a calculation like 2x4, 3x6 and so on. The first number in the calculation tells you how many series you should do, and the second number tells you how many repetitions or how long you should go.

Therefore, a 4x4 interval is 4 series of 4 minutes.

4x4 interval – step by step

  • 10 minutes warm-up
  • 4 minutes with high intensity
  • 3 minutes break
  • 4 minutes with high intensity
  • 3 minutes break
  • 4 minutes with high intensity
  • 3 minutes break
  • 4 minutes with high intensity
  • 5 minutes break

Breaks, speed and running uphill

You can choose to reduce the breaks to two or one minute. During the breaks, you must slow down, but do not stop completely. Keep your body moving at a low intensity.

A good tip is to start a little more slowly on the first stroke and rather increase the speed during the interval. This is called progressive interval training and ensures that you are able to stand the whole session without stiffening or becoming too tired to finish it.

After the last move, you should be quite tired, but feel that you could have managed one more move. There's no point in increasing the pace further on the last stretch just to wear yourself out. Then it is better to hold back a little, so that you can recover more quickly for the next session.

4x4 can be run uphill, so you have to work even harder with your heart rate. Find a semi-steep hill outside or set the mill on a 5% incline.

This is how you get started with 4x4 intervals

Running, cycling, cross-country skiing and swimming are good options when it comes to training fitness, because of their ability to maintain the same intensity over time without compromising technique.

If you have little experience with interval training, we recommend that you start on a treadmill. Then you can adjust the pace of the device until you find the right intensity zone that you can maintain for four minutes.

How often can I train 4×4 interval?

If you carry out 4x4 two or three times a week, you will quickly notice progress. Make sure you get at least one day off between sessions, so your body has time to recover.

The harder you go out, the longer your body takes to recover.

Are there other interval sessions?

4x4 interval is a heavy session for the vast majority, but there is nothing to prevent you from playing with the length and number of each of the kites. Many professional skiers often resort to 8x8, but this may be a bit too brutal for those just starting out with 4x4.

Variation is important to keep training motivation up, and it is therefore entirely possible to do other intervals as well. After all, it can get boring with the same kites at every training session. The effect also improves the longer you can pull with a high heart rate.