Mixing Spacing with Interleaved Training

One aspect of Interleaved training you should add separately is spacing. One of the theories of Interleaved training is that it resets the mind back to the original state. Or put another way, every repetition of practice that we do is more like a, “Cold” run. Putting a space of time between repetitions does a similar function. Adding a space of time and then shooting a different course is even better.

While I like shooting, I don’t like wasting my time by putting endless breaks between courses of fire. I will usually shoot a course of fire, critique any errors and write them in my training journal. I will then pick up my brass. This puts a space of time between courses by doing something that I will have to do anyway. After picking up my brass I will look at my training plan for the day to see what different course of fire I am shooting next.

Mixing these two ideas also offers variety to training. It’s not as boring. But more importantly is that it is more efficient. That means I can learn and improve in an hour what used to take me an hour and a half. I can also expect improvement sooner or put another way, with less bullets.

Using less time and bullets per training session allows us to do something very important, train more sessions over a fixed time. We as trainers have known for decades that because we can only put so much stuff into our brains at one time it is better to have shorter sessions more often.

Example: It is better to shoot one, one hour training session per week with 50 rounds than shooting one, two-hour session every other week with 100 rounds. The same ideas work for dry fire training. More, shorter sessions is better than less, longer sessions.

The last thing I would like to mention about Interleaved training is what courses of fire to mix into a training plan. I often mix like and then unlike courses of fire during my various sessions. An example is to interleave ABC where A is the draw to full presentation, B is a draw to retention and C is a two-handed draw to retention. This type of training goes well when using decision-making tools such as shoot/don’t shoot targets.

I will often mix totally different movements together. Such as draw to presentation from 7 yards and shooting a Bill drill. Then walking to 25 yards and shooting 5 rounds no time for accuracy, then shooting with movement from 5 yards. The variety is endless. The only idea is that some training is best done in an order depending on student development. I’ll write more about that next time.

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