There's plenty of opportunities during a cardio workout to make it a lot easier than it should be. Here's a few tips that you can use to ensure that you're getting the most out of your workouts.
Hard vs Easy
Many of our workouts have a mix of easy and hard segments. When you're doing these it's important to keep the difference in mind. The hard sections are meant to be just that, hard. Obviously, the goal is to complete the workout, but almost as important is the idea of really pushing the hard segments. Regardless if the workout says jog or sprint for the hard segments you should be tired. If the hard segments are the part that wears you out the easy sections should build you back up. The easy sections are designed to be rest so that by the end you're ready to dive into the next hard segment.
The cardio workouts we've designed include lots of easy, or rest segments. This doesn't mean that the time is spent stationary. There are many reasons why staying moving is beneficial even during rest periods. You'll be less likely to cramp or experience injury if you keep moving, you'll continue burning calories and building endurance, heck if it's cold you'll stay warm. So take your time to recover, but please keep moving.
Starting with week two, we introduce the concept of endurance days. Endurance days are designed to fill the gap in the other workouts and increase your overall level of endurance. On these days the goal is to maintain an increased level of exertion for a longer period of time, building as we go. Your goal when doing these workouts should be to maintain as consistent a pace as possible through out the whole workout, pushing your self to the limit by the end of the exercise. Endurance days will also provide a great way to keep track of your progress since many of our other cardio sets don't lend them selves to direct comparison.
If there's a school track near your house head on over there. If you don't have a track you can get a pedometer or even the nifty iPod addon Apple Nike to help you track your runs. You can also use Google Maps to plot a route. Right click on the map and place a "from" and "to" location then look on the left column to see how far the route is.
Cardio exercise provides all the balance to our workouts. Simply focusing on the strength exercises will get you good results, but you'll get a lot better results if you follow the cardio plan as well. Again working out in a group can provide great incentive to keep to the plan, and push yourself every stride. These workouts are a great opportunity for a little friendly competition.