As fall approaches (the unofficial season begins Labor Day weekend–next week!), you may want to start thinking about shaking up your workout routine. Back in school, you may have access to a track after class lets out or maybe if you aren’t a student, the track is finally open and not under lock and key. Below describes a new trend in workouts.
A popular acronym found in the running world is HIIT. Although the running industry seems filled with odd vocabulary words such as FARTLEK, tempo and bonk, we generally don’t see as many acronyms. This new one stands for High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)—meaning, performing short speed workouts for various time periods.
If you’re training for a marathon, for example, you do most of your training at a level of 5 or 6—tough, but not high exertion. In HIIT, you go all out—running up your heart rate to the point it feels like it’ll pound outside of your chest. You sprint and give the interval your all. They are performed at a level of 7 or higher and vary from 30 seconds to 3 minutes, which is about all your body should be able to handle. If you can go for longer, you aren’t trying hard enough.
You then recover with the equal amount of time, or longer if necessary, (which it is often.)
It is a good idea to incorporate a HIIT into one running session a week. You may not look forward to it, but it’ll help you with speed and endurance all at once. You’ll strengthen your heart and find yourself getting stronger in your running. It also increases both your anaerobic and aerobic fitness levels, decreases fasting including and increased insulin sensitivity—great for a pre-diabetic like me, and reduces abdominal fat—also good for your overall heart heath.
It’s a win-win situation. It’s just hard work.
Warm up for 5 minutes
Run at tempo for 4 minutes
Run at high intensity for 1 minute
Walk for 1 minute
Repeat four times: 4 minute tempo run, 1 minute high intensity, walk 1 minute
Cool down 5 minutes
This workout works on a treadmill or track best.
Good luck with your training!