High Intensity Interval Training for Runners
HIIT, or High intensity interval training workouts are short, high-intensity efforts of exercise followed by equal or slightly longer periods of recovery or rest. The intensity should be close to or at your anaerobic threshold which, when compared with continuous intensity exercise, studies have showed burn more calories and improve aerobic capacity.
High intensity interval training can be effective in enhancing your lactate threshold as well, which has been shown to be a key factor in determining performance for runners.
For example, after a warm-up, run two minutes at a hard effort, followed by two to three minutes of easy jogging or walking to catch your breath. Unlike tempo workouts, with interval training you’re running above your red line and at an effort where you are reaching hard for air and counting the seconds until you can stop—a controlled fast effort followed by a truly easy jog.
The secret to high intensity interval training is in the recovery as patience and discipline while you’re running easy allows you to run the next interval strong and finish the entire workout fatigued but not completely spent. Just like rest, your body adapts and gets stronger in the recovery mode.