Get fitter faster with high-intensity interval training (HIIT) for runners
Running

Get fitter faster with high-intensity interval training (HIIT) for runners

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Numerous studies has found that runners who supplement their training with high-intensity interval workouts get fitter faster than those who don’t. One such study, which was conducted by researchers at the University of Jyvaskyla in Finland, found that runners who did two or three sessions of high intensity interval training (HIIT) per week for eight weeks improved their VO2 max – a measure of aerobic fitness – by four percent.

What is HIIT?

HIIT, which stands for high-intensity interval training is a type of interval training that alternates between short bursts of high-intensity exercises and periods of rest or low-intensity exercises. The HIIT formula involves alternating between intense bursts of activity and recovery periods. The intensity of the activity should be 80-95% of your maximum heart rate, while the recovery periods should be at 40-50% of your maximum heart rate.

However, HIIT workouts can vary greatly in terms of intensity and duration. For example, some HIIT workouts may consist of 15 seconds of all-out effort, while others may last for nine minutes with moderate intensity intervals. Despite the differences in these workouts, they all share one commonality: the intervals are designed to be challenging.

The goal of HIIT is to help you achieve maximum calorie burn in a short amount of time. Workouts typically last for 30 minutes or less and can be done anywhere, anytime. All you need is a timer and some space to move. HIIT is a great way to improve your speed and endurance, and it can be done with any type of cardio exercise, including running.

Reasons to try HIIT

1. It’s home-friendly – You don’t need a lot of equipment or space to do a HIIT workout. All you need is some open space to move around in. That makes HIIT workouts perfect for people who don’t have access to a gym or who don’t want to spend money on a gym membership.

2. It zaps calories – HIIT workouts are incredibly effective at burning calories. In fact, you can burn more calories in a shorter amount of time with HIIT than you can with traditional cardio. And, since HIIT workouts keep your metabolism revved up for hours after you finish working out, you’ll continue to burn calories long after your workout is over.

3. It’s time efficient – As we mentioned before, HIIT workouts are very time-efficient. You can get a great workout in a fraction of the time it would take to do a traditional cardio workout. That makes HIIT perfect for busy people who don’t have a lot of time to spare for working out.

If you’re a runner, we highly recommend adding HIIT workouts to your training regimen. They’re a great way to get in shape and improve your performance.

The benefits of HIIT for runners

HIIT can be performed with any type of activity, but it is often used with running because it is an effective way to improve speed muscle strength and endurance, increased calorie burn, and reduced risk of injury. It can also help improve your running form by teaching your body to recruit more muscle groups, including your glutes, which can help you run faster and with better form.

HIIT is also a great way to get a workout in when you don’t have a lot of time as well as a great way to improve running performance. A typical HIIT workout can be done in 30 minutes or less.

Incorporating HIIT into your routine

1. Get fit first:

HIIT has been shown to be an effective way to improve cardiorespiratory fitness and can be done in less time than traditional endurance training. However, before you start doing HIIT, it’s important to get in shape first. If you haven’t been exercising regularly, it’s best to start with some basic fitness activities like walking or jogging. Make sure you can for at least 30 minutes at a time. Once you’ve built up your fitness level, you can start adding HIIT workouts to your routine.

HIIT is not for everyone. When you’re first starting out, it’s important to talk to your doctor before beginning any new exercise program. This is especially true if you have any medical conditions or injuries that could be aggravated by high-intensity exercise. Once you get the green light from your doctor, you can start incorporating HIIT into your running workouts.

2. Start slow:

When you first start doing HIIT, it’s important to go slowly and gradually increase the intensity of your workouts. If you try to do too much too soon, you may end up overtraining or injuring yourself. Just like running, HIIT can be tough on your body, so it’s important to listen to your body and take breaks when you need to.

It’s also important to find a balance between pushing yourself hard enough to see results and not pushing yourself too hard, which can lead to injury. If you’re feeling fatigued or sore, take a break or cut back on the intensity of your workouts.

3. Focus on form:

Good form and technique are essential for any runner, but they are even more important when doing HIIT. That’s because the high-intensity effort can put a lot of strain on your body, and if your form is off, you could end up injured. So, what are some things to keep in mind when doing HIIT?

First, focus on your breathing. It’s important to keep your breathing under control during the high-intensity intervals. If you start to feel like you’re gasping for air, slow down or take a break.

Second, focus on your form. Make sure your whole body is moving in unison and that your arms and legs are working together. Third, focus on your technique. Remember to keep your feet pointed forward and your strides even.

4. Maximise Recovery:

Recovery is an important part of any runner’s training plan. Following a hard HIIT workout with a light exercise or recovery day can help maximise recovery and repair. Light exercise helps to flush out the muscles and replenish glycogen stores. Recovery days allow the body to repair any damage caused by the HIIT workout. Make sure you are also staying hydrated, eating a balanced diet, and getting enough sleep each night.

5. Keep an eye on the intensity:

HIIT is meant to be done at a high intensity, so you need to make sure you’re not going too hard or too easy. One way to do that is to use a heart rate monitor. A heart rate monitor will help you keep track of how hard your heart is working and make sure you’re in the right intensity zone.

Traditionally, high-intensity effort is measured on a Perceived Effort scale of 7-9 out of 10, which equates to above 80% of your maximum heart rate (MHR or 220 minus your age). The point, however, is that the workout feels challenging and your heart rate drops back down during the rest period.

6. Warm up and cool down:

Be sure to warm up before you start your HIIT workout and cool down afterwards. This will help your body transition safely between the high-intensity activity and rest periods. Start with a slow jog or walk to get your muscles loose and get your heart rate up. Then, gradually increase your pace until you’re moving at a comfortable, but challenging, pace. Once you’re warmed up, it’s time to start the HIIT intervals.

Six-Week Beginner HIIT Workouts

This six-week fitness plan has been designed especially for HIIT beginners. For each workout, spend two circuits getting to grips with the moves before upping the pace.

LEVEL 1

Do each exercise for 20 seconds. Follow with a 60-second rest. Repeat the circuit 4-5 times.

WORKOUT 1

  • Squat with Side Lift
  • Fast Feet
  • Laydown Push-Up
  • Plank with Wide-Arm Row
  • Knee Plank
  • Bent Knee Side Plank

WORKOUT 2

  • Alternating Lunge
  • Over-the-Rope Jump
  • Glute Bridge
  • Bench Dip
  • Plank with Wide-Arm Row
  • Up & Overs
  • Spider Lunges

WORKOUT 3

  • Plié Squat and Calf Raise
  • Fast Feet
  • Down-Dog Push-Up
  • Upright Row
  • Boat Pose
  • Bird-Dog

WORKOUT 4

  • Squat with Side Lift
  • Squat Hold
  • Lateral Step-Up
  • 25 Punches
  • Upright Row
  • Bicycle Crunches
  • Reverse Crunch

LEVEL 2

Do each exercise for 20 seconds. Follow with a 40-second rest. Repeat the circuit 4-5 times.

WORKOUT 1

WORKOUT 2

WORKOUT 2

  • Lunge Jump
  • Skipping
  • Band Glute Bridge
  • Bench Dip with Extended Legs
  • Sumo squat Row
HIIT for runners

HIIT Workouts for Runners #1 – Bodyweight Exercise Routine

One popular HIIT workout for runners is bodyweight exercises. This routine can be done with no equipment other than your bodyweight.

The bodyweight routine is a great for runners because it is very versatile. You can do this workout indoors or outdoors. You can also do this workout at any time of day.

The bodyweight routine consists of eight exercises. These exercises are:

1. Jumping jacks

2. Squats

3. Push-ups

4. Lunges

5. Sit-ups

6. Burpees

7. Jumping squats

8. Mountain climbers

Each of these exercises is to be done for 30 seconds followed by a 10 second rest. Once you have completed all eight exercises, you will have completed one set. You should aim to complete three sets of this HIIT workout.

This HIIT workout is a great way to improve your running performance. It is also a great way to burn fat. If you are looking for a workout that is both effective and efficient, HIIT for runners is the way to go.

HIIT Workouts for Runners #2 – Tabata Protocol

The Tabata Protocol is a type of HIIT workout that is perfect for runners. It involves short, intense bursts of exercise followed by short periods of rest. This makes it a great workout for runners who want to improve their speed and endurance.

This HIIT workout is named after Japanese researcher Dr. Izumi Tabata, who found that this type of interval training is one of the most effective ways to improve both aerobic and anaerobic fitness.

The Tabata Protocol has been shown to be an effective HIIT workout for runners because it helps to improve both speed and endurance.

Here’s how the Tabata Protocol works:

You will need a timer for this workout. Set it for 8 rounds of 20 seconds of work followed by 10 seconds of rest.

Choose a running exercise that you can do for 20 seconds at a high intensity. This could be sprinting, hill sprints, or even treadmill sprints.

Start with a light jog or walk to warm up and get your heart rate up. Then, do some dynamic stretches, such as leg swings, arm swings, and butt kickers.

Once you’re warmed up, it’s time to begin your HIIT for runners workout, you will work at maximum effort for 20 seconds, followed by 10 seconds of rest. You will do this 8 times, for a total of 4 minutes.

Make sure that you are working at your absolute maximum effort for those 20 seconds. You should be breathless and your heart should be pounding.

After the 4 minutes is up, take a 1-2 minute break, and then repeat the cycle 2-3 more times.

Once you have completed your HIIT for runners workout, it’s important to cool down. This will help your muscles to recover and prevent injury. Start by walking for 5 minutes to bring your heart rate down. Then, do some static stretches, such as hamstring stretches, quad stretches, and calf stretches. Finish up with some deep breathing exercises to help you relax.

HIIT Workouts for Runners #3 – Plyometric HIIT Workout

This workout consists of four rounds of 30 seconds of work followed by 30 seconds of rest. The exercises in each round are designed to help you build explosive power and improve your running economy.

The first round of this plyometric HIIT workout consists of four exercises:

1. Squat jumps

2. Lateral hops

3. Power skaters

4. High knees

For each of these exercises, you’ll want to perform as many reps as possible in the 30 second work period. Once the 30 seconds is up, rest for 30 seconds before moving on to the next exercise.

The second round of this workout consists of four more exercises:

1. Burpees

2. Mountain climbers

3. Jumping lunges

4. Sprinting in place

Again, aim to perform as many reps as possible of each exercise in the 30 second work period. Once the 30 seconds is up, rest for 30 seconds before moving on to the next exercise.

The third round of this workout consists of four more exercises:

1. Squat Thrusts

2. Push-ups

3. Sit-ups

4. Running in place

As before, try to perform as many reps as possible of each exercise in the 30 second work period. Once the 30 seconds is up, rest for 30 seconds before moving on to the next exercise.

The fourth and final round of this workout consists of four more exercises:

1. Jumping jacks

2. Power cleans

3. Squat jumps

4. High knees

Once again, aim to perform as many reps as possible of each exercise in the 30 second work period. Once the 30 seconds is up, that’s it – you’re done!

This plyometric HIIT workout is a great way to improve your running performance. It will help you build explosive power and improve your running economy. Give it a try and see how it goes!

hiit for runners

Conclusion

If you are a runner who is looking to improve your speed and endurance, HIIT may be a good training method for you to consider. HIIT can help you to run faster and for longer periods of time, without tiring as quickly. However, it is important to listen to your body and to not overdo it with HIIT, as it is a high-intensity form of exercise. If you are new to HIIT, it may be best to start with shorter intervals and gradually increase the intensity and duration of your workouts.

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