How many of you have heard of HIIT? High Intensity Interval Training. Have you tried it? Do you do it? Until a week ago, I had not. I was reading something recently and the author mentioned that kids unknowingly perform HIIT when they play. I watched my boys closely this past week and realized how right this author is. If they can do it, why can’t I?
Any exercise is great, but I am quickly closing in on 40. My body, despite regular exercise, hasn’t changed much lately. I worry more these days about what is happening inside rather than outside, but a little more arm tone would still be nice, right?
Could HIIT help?
I did some research and here is what I learned about HIIT:
You aren’t only burning calories.
You burn more fat.
You raise your metabolism.
You give your heart an incredible workout.
This can be accomplished if as few as 15 minutes if necessary!
I decided to give it a try.
Instead of my normal 3-6 mile morning run, I planned to do a few HIIT runs. I would sprint for 1 minute, walk for 2 minutes and repeat. My goal was to do this 5 times over 15 minutes.
So what happened?
I managed to go 3 miles in 31 minutes using the sprint/walk/sprint/walk theory! My 1 minute sprints were fast enough that my first mile was completed in 9 minutes and 47 seconds!
I was SO sore! I planned a 3 mile run, but was secretly OK with a 2 mile walk. I still managed 3 miles though. The most interesting part, my breakdown was this: 10:20, 9:59, 9:52. My FIRST run where my miles were progressively faster rather than slowing down!
3 miles in 31 minutes again! My sprints (at least the first 5) felt easier. My muscles, while sore, feel great!
1.8 mile trail run with my son and a 1 mile trail power walk.
3 mile run because I was in a hurry.
1 mile run, 5 sprint HIIT workout, run the rest of the way home for a total of 4 miles.
What I learned
HIIT works! I felt it! I was sweating like crazy, but for the first time in a long time I saw improvement in my running times. I also noticed that by day 7, the sprints weren’t as difficult. I was stretching my legs, pumping my arms and I was 100% IN. Instead of glancing at my watch and feeling sad that I was only 30 seconds in, I was noticing that 1 minute was already over! A pro-runner would have left me in the dust… but… this is me. And I ONLY compete against myself.
If you haven’t already tried HIIT, you should! It is incredible!