Are you seemingly spending hours on the treadmill or pounding the pavement each week and not seeing results? OR did just running work at first but now you have reached the dreaded plateau?
And you’re thinking “I don’t understand this worked for me before having kids. Do I need to run longer now??? Where am I going to find time for that between the kids, household responsibilities, and work??”
I have good news for you...
You DON’T need to run longer. Actually, it’s the complete opposite.
Run shorter with interval training and get the fat loss you are looking for…. get this…..
IN LESS TIME.
Yes, you read that right. LESS time and MORE results.
Before becoming a certified personal trainer and weight loss specialist, running was pretty much all I did. About 10 months after having my son I completed my first postpartum half marathon. I put in tons of miles training (pushing the jogging stroller and all), but yet my body did not look and feel like it did before. It was so frustrating!
Then I found the solution!
I’m going to share one thing that you can implement TODAY that made all the difference for me in my running.
By bringing in some short bouts of high intensity running, you will burn more calories in less time, as compared to regular old steady state cardio. With the high intensity intervals you are providing an excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), more commonly known as the afterburn effect. You will continue to expend energy (in other words burn calories) even after the workout is over.
After high intensity work, the body uses oxygen to restore muscle glycogen and rebuild muscle proteins damaged during intense exercise. Without going into all the science, what you need to know is, whenever your body is using oxygen, it’s burning calories.
On top of all that, these workouts can spice up your workout routine. Instead of slowly plodding along thinking about all the other things on your your to do list --- laundry, grocery shopping, what’s for dinner, scheduling kids doctors appointments, finally getting around to organize your pantry or the disaster that is your kids toys, not to mention what you might have to do for work...
Because interval cardio switches up every minute or so, it’s over before you know it and you can get on to the rest of the to do list of the day.
Last but certainly not least, integrating interval training into your routine will make you a stronger and faster runner!
Put this in Action Today!
Skip the steady state cardio on your next workout and opt for metabolism boosting Interval Cardio!
The easiest way (without a heart rate monitor) to distinguish high vs low intensity is the “talk test.”
Low intensity (your warms up and cool down in these workouts): a pace such that you can hold a conversation with full sentences.
High intensity: a pace that you can sustain for the prescribed interval but not much longer. At this “high intensity” pace you should not be able to get more than word or two out at a time.
Start with a 5 min steady state jog low intensity.
Then, once you are warmed up and have found your rhythm, comes the intervals. Your work/recovery balance should vary based on your current fitness level (see the table below).
Speed up to a high intensity pace you can sustain for the prescribed “work” time. When time is up, slow to a walk. Walk for the prescribed “recovery” time. During this time you will notice you are still breathing heavy and your heart is pounding - that’s the idea remember, more oxygen consumption even when you are not working hard. After walking ramp back up to high intensity again.
Continue this work/recovery pattern for 4-5 intervals.
Then cool down with a 5 minute steady state jog, just the same way you started.
The whole thing will take you 25 minute tops and you will immediately be able to feel the difference.
A couple of final notes.
First, the same principle can be applied to any type of regular cardio. If biking or swimming is more your thing, follow the same formula for fast results!
Second, as you progress the a low intensity jog can be substituted for the walk as your active rest interval.
Third, if you are one who enjoys longer runs and/or are training for a specific race. Keep your longer runs for enjoyment or race specific training runs and work in some of these interval workouts on your shorter run days to increase your fat burning potential.
Finally, it’s important to keep in mind, the best workout program is the one that you enjoy enough to do regularly. Frame your choices around creating consistent habits for a sustainable lifestyle.
So go, put on your shoes and go run some intervals!