November 16 2017
Coach Hillary Kigar shares a tip she picked up while listening to a lecture delivered by esteemed distance running coach Jack Daniels.
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is one of the most effective ways to work out—period. By incorporating a HIIT session once or twice a week (on top of your normal running), you’ll see your cardiovascular fitness improve dramatically and your athletic capacity increase. A study published in Sports Medicine showed that HIIT was superior to endurance training at improving oxygen capacity during exercise (otherwise known as VO2 max), and there’s plenty of anecdotal evidence indicating that it’s the secret sauce to nailing a PR.
So what is HIIT exactly? Also known as sprint interval training, HIIT workouts alternate between short bursts of intense exercise intended to increase your heart rate and periods of recovery. The intervals can take the form of running, cycling, strength-training moves, rowing, elliptical—you name it. Best of all, you don’t need a lot of time!
The workouts here are all under 20 minutes and designed specifically with runners in mind. You can choose from a running-only workout, a body-weight workout (perfect for traveling!) and a kettlebell workout (warning: you will be sore the next day). Be sure to really push yourself during each interval and then fully recover to be able to go as hard as you can again.
Here we offer three options to get your heart rate pumping and reap the benefits of HIIT. Before doing the following workouts, perform a 10-minute warm-up, including light jogging or fast walking to increasing your body temperature and a few dynamic stretches to improve range of motion.
Tip: While these workouts use time as a measurement for your exercise and rest periods, using a heart-rate monitor (HRM) is even more effective. If you have access to an HRM, perform the “sprint” or kettlebell/active intervals until your heart rate is 85 percent of your max and rest until it drops to 65 percent of your max. The more in shape you are, the longer it will take to achieve 85 percent and the shorter you will need to rest. This will guarantee you are getting the absolute most effective HIIT workout you can.