High-Intensity Interval Training for Runners. Unlocking Massive Gains.

High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is often associated with some form of “4-minute fat burner” workout, which IS NOT what I am talking about.

HIIT workouts consist of repeated bouts of high-intensity work performed above the lactate threshold (a perceived effort of “hard” or greater) or critical speed/power, interspersed by periods of low-intensity exercise or complete rest.

HIIT has the benefit of adding speed to your training without adding much fatigue when compared to traditional interval training.

Research shows that completing a workout of 3x {13x 30sec ‘fast’ - 15 sec ‘easy’} can increase your workout time above VO2max by an average of 54% when compared to traditional long intervals (4 x 5 min work-intervals, 2.5min rest) (Almquist NW, 2020).

One of several important differences between short (SI) and long intervals (LI) is explained by an interesting mechanism described by sports science guru Per-Olof Åstrand in 1960. Myoglobin (the oxygen carrier inside the muscle cells) functions as an O2-store at the beginning of each short work interval. During the recovery periods of SI, myoglobin is reloaded with O2, thereby reducing anaerobic glycolysis (carb burning) and lactate build-up in the following work interval.

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HIIT Benefits

✅ Improves functional speed

✅ Neuromuscular improvements

✅ VO2max improvements

✅ Increases mitochondria

✅ Minimal injury risk

✅ Variety

✅ Fun

✅ Makes you feel like a pro 😎

When researchers analysed the muscular and hormonal response to HIIT they found that despite exercising at a higher physiological strain, there was a similar acute muscular response (mRNA) to long intervals. However, the blood levels of testosterone and cortisol were higher HIIT, indicating a greater systemic stress, which might increase training adaptations and contribute to gre