Mud Run Training TOTW: How to Use the Interval Timer iPhone App

A great way to get yourself in-shape for your next mud run in half the time is to incorporate interval training  into your mud run training schedule, such as the Tabata method. A typical Tabata set consists of a 20-second interval of high-intensity activity or sprints followed by 10-seconds of low or no activity. The intervals are repeated 8 times so that each set lasts 4 minutes total.  A complete Tabata session may last between 4 and 20 minutes depending on how many different exercises and sets are included.

While interval training is a fantastic way to get in shape, it’s also a bit tedious to keep track of without a stop-watch or interval timer. The free Interval Timer iPhone app is one of the best that I’ve found for three reasons: 1. it works perfect. 2. you can play your own music throughout the workout. 3. it’s free!

The only downside to the app is the initial set-up, which is a bit clunky and difficult to get used to at first. But you’re in luck, I’ve already mapped it out for you!

Here’s your quick-n-easy guide to using the Interval Timer iPhone App:

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Download: Get the free iPhone App: Interval Timer – For Fitness and Workouts by Deltaworks Limited.

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Settings: Tap the small white “info” icon to get to the Interval Timer App settings screen.

Number of Sets: Choose your number of total sets. This example shows 4 sets, which will produce a 22-minute workout (16 minutes of intervals + 6 minutes of rest period)

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Countdown Time: This refers to the period prior to when your workout actually begins. For example, if you need to get setup with kettle bells or you want to stretch or jog in place for 30 seconds. Here, I have it set for 5 seconds so I hit start and 5 seconds later I’m in my workout.

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Set Time: Your set time is the total time it will take to complete each tabata set. 4 minutes consisting of 20-seconds on/10-seconds rest is customary. Also, select your tone to signify the start of your tabata set here. I like to use the “Bell” setting, which sounds like the boxing bell that rings at the start of each round.

Interval-Timer-6Low Interval Time: This is your rest period time. Set this for 10 seconds. I use the
“Warning” sound effect, which sounds like knocking on a door. Also, notice that the clock is yellow. During this interval, the screen will turn yellow as well.

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High Interval Time: This is your all-or-nothing interval period, when you will sprint or push as hard as you can. Set this for 20 seconds. I use the “HighTone” sound effect here. The screen is a green for each high interval.

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Rest Time: This refers to the rest period between each Tabata set. Typically, rest periods should be about 2 minutes.

Interval-Timer-10General Settings: These are really up to you, but I would suggest setting your first interval as a high interval, using the timer sounds, and the vibrate function if you plan to workout with your iPhone in your pocket or strapped to your arm.

Here’s a look a few screen shots of the High Interval, Low Interval and Rest Period.

There’s also some nice social media integration with Facebook and Twitter that you can use to share your interval training with your friends. Enjoy!

Download the free Interval Timer app here and don’t forget to check out my 10 Essential iPhone Apps for Mud Run Training.

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