Running is one of the best ways to train with high intensity interval training. As human beings, we have all evolved to run. If you observe young kids, you will notice that they are always running. They are full of energy and cannot wait to get from one point to another.
As we get older, we run less… and when we do try running as a form of exercise, we hate it. The panting, the exhaustion, the sweaty nature of the exercise, etc. Yet, it is without a doubt one of the best ways to burn calories and fat. Your body was designed to run.
In a HIIT session, you will be sprinting as fast as you can. There is no jogging here. In fact, jogging is not recommended at all. You are better off walking.
That said, sprinting/running is not for everybody too. If you have knee problems, or you are severely overweight, running is a high impact activity that will place immense stress on your knees and is best avoided.
Once you have lost a lot of your excess pounds, you can give running a try to burn off the rest of the fat. This is a form of exercise that is great if you are already in shape… or you are not in shape yet, but you are also not totally out of shape either.
Before starting to run, you need to take note of a few points:
You need the correct footwear. It is the most important piece of equipment you need. The shoes you wear should support you well. Ideally, you should wear the shoes and walk in them for a while so that they fit better to the shape of your feet.
Do not immediately run in a new pair of shoes without breaking it in. The shoes you pick should be running shoes and not those made for cross-training, etc. After all, you are going to be running.
If you are flat-footed, make sure you get shoes with a high arch, and if you’ve any other issues, get the right shoe to compensate for them.
Running technique is particularly important and becomes even more important when you are exhausted during a HIIT workout. Watch your stride and maintain an erect torso while running.
The weight of your body should be on the front of your foot. Your legs and arms must be synchronized and move contralaterally.
How you decide to run during your HIIT will depend on your level of fitness. A normal HIIT workout can last about 15 minutes. If you are running hard, even 10 minutes will do.
Sprint for 45 seconds, rest 15 seconds
Sprint for 30 seconds, rest 30 seconds
(Repeat 5X for a 10-minute workout)
Sprint for 20 seconds, rest 10 seconds
(Repeat 8X for a 4-minute workout)
Example 2 is a Tabata workout and it may not seem like much, but if you are going at maximum intensity, by the 6th sprint, you will be gasping and struggling. It is that tough. Do not knock it till you have tried it.
You can always make your running workouts more challenging by finding hills. Running uphill is a fantastic way to challenge yourself. Another way to up your intensity level will be to wear ankle weights or carry a haversack on your shoulders with some weights in them and run.
The added weight will make for a very arduous workout. Your aerobic and anaerobic fitness levels will skyrocket in 3 to 4 weeks and you will notice how much fitter and stronger you become.
Stamina improves relatively fast. So, make running a part of your training regimen. When your legs get tired, run with your heart.