HIIT training

A HIIT training routine that helps you be a better runner

High intensity interval training or HIIT has proven to be a good tool to increase performance in both amateur and advanced people. In this article we explain how and why and we teach you how to design a routine so you can include it in your workouts.

Why take into account high-intensity interval training?

Training improves your performance, we all know that. Resistance training is not an exception and increases the maximum oxygen uptake, Hypertrophy of the left ventricle, increases the resistance of the respiratory muscles and bone density as well as increasing the capillary density oxidative enzymatic activity and plasma volume.

But this does not happen in people already trained. The adaptations and improvements observed in untrained people are not observed in trained athletes when they increase the volume of training below maximum intensities, that is, with submaximal and long duration continuous running.

Although it is true that this is observed in high performance athletes, it is not unreasonable to think that as the level of a person increases, the classic continuous career training gives a smaller margin of improvement, both for the increase in its own performance as well as the stimulus it implies.

Thus, the inclusion of HIIT in the training program can be a valuable tool to increase performance, especially in those people who are increasingly leaving behind the amateur phase.

HIIT training

What should I take into account to design a high intensity interval training?

There are several factors involved in designing a HIIT, including the sport, the category, the level of the athlete and their current training.

There are basically four types of high intensity interval training …

  • Short intervals
  • Long intervals
  • Repeated sprints (RST)
  • Interval Sprints (SIT)

Long or short intervals with longer work times than rest, are more recommended to spend more time over 90% of VO2max. In contrast, short intervals with recovery times equal to or greater than those of work do not improve the VO2max. But if ventilatory thresholds (VT) 1 and 2, that is, aerobic (VT1) and aerobic-anaerobic (VT2) work zones.

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The RST are repeated sprint workouts of about 10 seconds in length and short breaks. They are used a lot in team sports that require sudden acceleration.

The SIT are training at the maximum possible speed of about 30 seconds duration with longer breaks than in the previous case. Although in cycling, especially in time trials yes that has shown benefits, in long runners has not been widely studied.

HIIT with long intervals

  • Duration: more than 2-3 minutes.
  • Intensity: greater than or equal to 95% of VO2max.
  • Passive rest: 2 minutes or less.
  • Active rest: between 4 and 5 minutes.
  • Work proposal: 6-10 series of 2 minutes.

HIIT with short intervals

  • Duration: equal to or greater than 15 seconds.
  • Intensity: between 100% and 120% of VO2max. Only for high performance athletes.
  • Passive rest: equal to or less than 15 seconds.
  • Active rest: equal to or greater than 15 seconds.
  • Work proposal: 2-3 series of 8 or more minutes.

Repeated sprints (RST)

  • Duration: more than 4 seconds or more than 30 meters
  • Intensity: maximum (all out). Only for high performance athletes.
  • Rest: less than 20 seconds.
  • Work proposal: 2-3 sets of 6 sprints and up.

Interval Sprints (SIT)

  • Duration: more than 20 seconds.
  • Intensity: maximum (all out). Only for high performance athletes.
  • Rest: 2 minutes or more passively.
  • Work proposal: from 6 to 10 repetitions.

Some things that we must keep in mind is that if we want to take active breaks, that is, jog quietly for example, we must increase the total rest time.

Do not try to perform your HIIT consecutively throughout the week. Peripheral and central fatigue can be very high in some cases, so try to separate the sessions at least 48 hours.

Finally, if we want a greater focus on improving VO2max, long or short intervals work better than sprints.

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