Have you been trying to lose weight or improve your running performance? The HIIT running workout might be all you need. Now confused on where to start from or what interval running plan to follow? Relax; this article will take you through the importance of HIIT running workouts and the HIIT running plan you can follow for both indoor and outdoor running activities.
Interval running, also known as interval training is the running strategy that alternates short periods of high-intensity bursts with equal or longer less intense recovery periods. For instance, alternating periods of intense 2 minutes run with 2 to 3 minutes of walking or easy jogging to catch your breath. The recovery is to ensure that you start the next interval strong and complete the whole exercise fatigued but not completely exhausted.
HIIT, what does it mean?
High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) also known as Sprint Interval Training (SIT) or High-Intensity Intermittent Exercise (HIIE) is a cardiovascular exercise technique that alternates short periods of high-intensity bursts with less intense recovery periods. This interval running concept is simple: just push yourself as hard as you possibly can and then back off to recover. And then repeat until you are too exhausted to continue.
If there is such a thing as a magic bullet that kills fat, improve endurance, speed, and VO2 max, then the HIIT probably come closest to that! The HIIT strategy is fantastic for anyone looking to improve their running performances, lose weight or stay physically fit. They are known for their efficiency in burning a large number of calories within a short period.
HIIT running is more efficient than the Low-Intensity Steady State (LISS) running. Research shows that you can make more progress and burn more fat and calories with just 15 minutes of interval training than a person jogging on a treadmill for 60 minutes. The shorter intervals of the HIIT made it a better workout option for busy schedules.
Apart from the increased calorie burn, HIIT running stimulates the production of Human Growth Hormone (HGH), which slows down the aging process. This is great news since this will make you younger both inside and out! It requires no equipment to perform so if you don’t have a treadmill, you can simply hit the track.
Are you an experienced runner? The HIIT running workout will help you condition your muscles in different ways. Or a beginner? HIIT workout can improve your speed and accustom you to the level of effort you need to put in to start running for a longer period of time.
HIIT running workout
HIIT running workout can be carried out both indoor on a treadmill or stationary bike and outdoor on the trail. The hill work is one of the best HIIT workouts you can do. However, the HIIT workout has some guidelines that must be followed for safety and effectiveness. These guidelines are:
- Warm up properly before you start
- Evaluate your current fitness level and set reasonable training goals within your capacity
- Begin slowly (for instance, 1 minutes walk and 1 minutes run)· Maintain a constant but challenging speed throughout the interval
- Gradually increase the number of repetitions as you proceed
- During the rest interval, bring your heart rate down to something between 100-110 bpm.
- To improve, increase the duration or the intensity, but not both at the same time.
- If any changes must be made, it should be a gradual process
- The training should be completed within 12 – 20 minutes without the inclusion of the time spent on warming up and cooling down.
Note that before you embark on an HIIT running workout or any other physical activity, it is advisable for you to see and discuss with your doctor first. Then you’ll need to fashion your HIIT running plan according to your fitness level. Be free to experiment! You also need to understand the ratings of perceived exertion (PRE), your Target Heart Rate (THR) or probably employ the heart rate calculator for convenience. The HIIT running plan below shows an example.
|0 – 5||Level 4||Low||Warm-up|
|5:00 – 5:30||Level 9||High||75||Speed interval|
|5:30 – 6:00||Level 5||Low||50||Recover|
|6:00 – 6:45||Level 9||High||75||Speed interval|
|6:45 – 7:15||Level 5||Low||50||Recover|
|7:15 – 8:15||Level 9||High||75||Speed interval|
|8:15 – 8:45||Level 5||Low||50||Recover|
|8:45 – 10:15||Level 9||High||75||Speed interval|
|10:15 – 10:45||Level 5||Low||50||Recover|
|10:45 – 11:45||Level 9||High||75||Speed interval|
|11:45 – 12:15||Level 5||Low||50||Recover|
|12:15 – 13:15||Level 9||High||75||Speed interval|
|13:15 – 13:45||Level 5||Low||50||Recover|
|13:45 – 14:45||Level 9||High||75||Speed interval|
|14:45 – 15:15||Level 5||Low||50||Recover|
|15:15 – 17:00||Level 9||High||75||Speed interval|
|17:00 – 20:00||Level 4||Low||Recover & cool down|
For indoor interval running, this basic HIIT Treadmill workout will help get you started:
- Warm-up. Begin with a brisk walk and work your way up to a light jog for about 10 minutes
- Run at a speed of 10 mph for 30 seconds to 1 minute
- Then walk at 3.5-4 mph pace for 2 minutes
- Repeat this exercise 7 more times (making eight cycles total)
- If the work interval is not challenging enough, add a slight incline to your treadmill
- Perform a cool-down walk for 5 minutes before stretching and drinking plenty of water
Do not do the same intervals all the time; you need to be creative enough to mix long and short intervals to get the best fitness result. If you are running outside, you can hit the hills, run as fast as you can up the hill and take double that time to walk down. Running very fast does increase the risk of injury; you, therefore, have to be strong enough and have a good base of both speedwork and mileage to do this training safely.
If you have been trying to touch up your stubborn body fat or you are new runner trying to improve mileage and running efficiency, the HIIT running is for you. It is a proven form of Interval running for performance improvement and fat burns. So what are you waiting for? Why not start investing on HIIT workouts now that you can and start enjoying its great benefits? Always remember, with HIIT running, you get out what you put in.