I am far from a good runner or even a runner at all….. i used to run alot more than I currently do and even ran a half marathon once. However those days of running 21km like it was ‘nothing’ and running 40-50+km in a week are over, and they have been over for a long time. Both lack of motivation to run and injury have been the cause for that and it has been more than a year since i ran more seriously, or ran with a goal!
I’ve always loved running, i’ve loved the freedom of it and being able to see new areas and be out in nature and once you get into ‘the zone’ of running it is very therapeutic and not as hard as it seems. Of course once you begin pushing yourself and trying to get faster and better it can take away the relaxing and therapeutic part of running – but to get better it also means doing something new and pushing yourself a little more.
Recently i have been getting back into running again, mostly because i missed it and because i wanted to get my fitness level back up. The hard part about running right now is that 1) i keep comparing myself to how i was before and i feel like if i can’t run 10km in one go then why run at all, not to mention that 2) when i begin liking some form of exercise i wan’t to give it 110% because i find it so fun and that’s when my injuries can flame up because i dont increase the workouts or intensity gradually. So my goal now is to run 1-3 times a week and no more even if i want to, that is because if i do more i will end up with a hip inflammation again or with knee pain, so by gradually increasing my pace and time spent running hopefully i will be able to run more and longer with lower risk for injury!
What i have been doing is intervals as i find that helps the most with getting back into running and increasing my pace and endurance! I thought i would share 3 forms of HIIT/intervals which i do incase you need some inspiration 🙂
First off… warm up!!! Make sure that you are warmed up properly so that you don’t stretch a muscle or injure yourself.
First form of Interval. This is the fastest one:
20 second sprint all you can (at 80-90% of max) and 10 second rest (stand on the side of the treadmill). This form of interval i repeat 8-16 times i.e 4-8 minutes. In the past i used to do these intervals for c.a 16 minutes i.e 32 intervals, but at the moment its enough with just 8-16 intervals.
Second form of interval:
30 seconds at c.a 75% of your max speed and 30 seconds rest. This form of interval i can often do for 15+ minutes as the 30 seconds of rest after the interval gives a little more time to recover!
Third form of interval (and my favourite at the moment!): More slow/endurance.
90 seconds at a speed which is fast and you can only just about manage 90 seconds with (i.e the last 10 seconds you feel like collapsing). And then 60 seconds walk (lower the speed on the treadmill.) As one interval is 2,5 minutes i can do this form of interval training for roughly 25 minutes, and by the end i am doing 90 seconds fast running and need 90 seconds rest to recover properly as well. I find that this form of interval is best for me right now as it tires me out but also requires me to run at a pace which is above my normal and comfortable running pace so that has helped me improve/get quicker in just 2 weeks!
Interval training has so many benefits. On the heart, on your metabolism, on energy levels, on performance and many other functions in the body. It is also quick to do and you don’t even need a treadmill to perform the intervals, you just need running shoes and some place to run! You can also do HIIT training with body weight or strength training where you do something very fast/intense for a certain period of time, then rest and repeat and try to keep your heartbeat up all the time! It is also a workout form that is “quick” but gives you alot of results so if you are short on time they are perfect.
However it is also important to remember that if you don’t workout regularly then running intervals maybe too intense and can lead to injury or in worst case even heart attack if your body is not used to that form of workout intensity! So ease into it! Also…. resting between the HIIT workout days. Every second or third day or 1-3 times a week, no more is recommended because it is such a strenuous form of exercise and you need to recover properly!