It seems everyone is talking about High Intensity Interval Training, or HIIT, a the moment. This ‘new’ fad has really taken the fitness world by storm. Well. Not really. HIIT or more simply ‘intervals’ have been around since God was a boy, during the 1880s English distance runner Walter George was using High Intensity Interval Training in preparation for his 4:12 mile (in 1886!!!). Not to pontificate nor give you a history lesson, let’s investigate how HIIT it can help you, no matter what what went you’re training for.
Your fitness level – wherever it lies right now – sits at what’s known as your Lactate Threshold. Your Lactate Threshold is the rate (or intensity) at which you can exercise and your body is able to remove lactic acid from your working muscles, preventing build up. Basically, how hard you can go without blowing your fufu valve. Can your body satisfy the desired outcome? If not, you need to train to increase your Lactate Threshold (aka your fitness).
For example, to run one kilometre in 6 minutes is easy. My body is able to achieve that with fufu valve in tact, therefore it’s below my Lactate Threshold. My fitness level satisfies the desired outcome. Now to run two kilometres in 6 minutes is above my threshold, so my current fitness couldn’t satisfy the demand and fufu would blow (right around the halfway point).
Let’s say your goal was – the aforementioned – run 2 kilometres in 6 minutes. You will need to train at speeds faster than your desired time, train above your current Lactate Threshold, thereby driving your threshold higher. Over shorter distances (or intervals) with rest in between you should run faster than your desired race pace. For 2kms in 6:00, I’d recommend 10 x 300m @51 seconds, with 1 minute rest.
Basically, run shorter but faster, multiple times.
By making you fitter, in general, this method is suitable for any event and any sport. It’s pretty much improves every other aspect of you life too.
At the bottom of this email click the link to download my FREE PDF download – 4 High Intensity Interval Training Sessions for Marathon and Half Marathon. All of these workouts can be run and done in under an hour and are suitable for any location or runner.
As mentioned above, remember the core principle of ‘interval training’ – run shorter but faster, repeat. The sessions I’ve included below are easy to follow and you can do them anywhere. Use my High Intensity Running Training guide to pace yourself through the sessions:
1st half – 75-80% of maximum effort, save some juice in the barrel.
3rd quarter – 90% building to 100%.
4th quarter – hang on!!!
Even though HIIT gives huge fitness gains, it’s only part of your training week (or microcycle), do these sessions once-a-week only. Too much high intensity training will have you breaking down more often than a secondhand motorbike.
Run it and let me know how it goes! Please! I’m really interested to see what runners experience when they trial my sessions. A good way to get clarity on your fitness increase is to ‘bookend’ the month’s training with a time trial. Let’s say, 6km at the start/end of the month, with these sessions in between and all of your other training remaining constant. I’ll be interested to see your improvement. Also, let me know if you changed the sessions up, were they too hard/too easy, did you increase/reduce the rest times? Tell me all about it.
High Intensity Interval Training is the most fun and efficient way to increase your fitness level. It allows for so much variation, you’ll never get bored. I hope these sessions provide you with inspiration to pull your shoes on today and have a gallop. Remember, nothing is sacred, if your environment means a tweak to the program then do it. Remember the overarching principle of High Intensity Interval Training, to improve your threshold you must train above it. Run shorter but faster, repeat.
Click this link to for access to my FREE – 4 High Intensity Intervals Training Sessions for Marathon and Half Marathon.