Wednesday, August 10, 2011
I have recently started adding some intervals to my workouts to get more bang for my buck. I had no rhyme or reason to how long my intervals lasted or how fast I would go during the higher intensity. Today I was looking up how to lose more belly fat (yes I know you can't lose specifically for one area...having just had a baby I was hoping for ways to tighten the ab area as I lose weight)
I stumbled across some info on high intensity interval training or HIIT. I googled it and found a lot of websites with info. Basically it is thought to help you burn more fat than running or jogging at the same pace through your workout. I thought I was already doing this (sort of) but the info I found is a lot more structured and it indicated that your HIIT workouts should be of shorter duration - 15 to 20 minutes. Hmmm - that got my attention! lol
I hopped on the treadmill to find out and wow...what a workout! I walked for 2 minutes gradually faster, then ran at 7 mph for 40 seconds (I was aiming for 1 min but I knew I couldn't do that several times). I then decided to make 6mph my goal for the higher intensity which seemed more attainable. I then alternated one minute stretches with jogging at 4.2mph and then running at 6mph. I had aimed to do 8 of the higher intensity stretches but at number 5 I decided to lower it to only six...I was dying! Once I did six, I pushed myself by thinking "come one...you can do this". So I did. At the end of 8 running and 8 jogging stretches, The timer was at 18 minutes...holy cow! I walked for 2 minutes to cool down, did some stretching and that was it. Well - then I sweated more than I ever have in my entire life - it truly was one of the best cardio workouts I have ever had! Incredible!
BTW - you can do this HIIT with walking too - just walk at a pace that is medium intensity for you, and then push it and walk faster for a minute or thirty seconds.
I kind of feel like I slacked a bit since my cardio is normally longer than that, but I know I didn't! I'm going to continue with the HIIT for the next little while, every second day to see if it helps or I find a big difference. Either way intervals are supposed to help with longer runs so it'll push me to sign up for another 5k in Sept or Oct.