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Easing Into High Intensity Training

By Charles Hopkins Published 09/20/2007 | Fitness
High intensity training has become very popular recently. Many people who run for their aerobic exercise are finding out they can get better benefits in a shorter period. The workouts are shorter but they are definitely more intense.

First, let's explain exactly what we mean by high intensity training. A regular running program might take forty-five minutes. There is a five-minute warm up, followed by thirty-five minutes of running, followed by a five minute cool down.

Now if you want to switch to high intensity training, you would need to begin by easing into it. You do the five-minute warm up as before. You then begin to run at your regular running pace for a couple minutes. Then you break into a sprint. Run as fast as you can for five or ten seconds. You'll know quickly what you are capable of doing.

You then either walk at a brisk pace or slow down to a jog to recover. In the beginning, your recovery periods will be longer. Stay at this speed until you are breathing normal and then break into the sprint again. You might only be able to do two or three of these sprints to begin.

The goal is to work up to about eight wind sprints. When you reach that point, you can begin making adjustments. You might begin by adding five seconds to your sprints. Or you might continue to sprint the same amount of time but lower the recovery time.

If you eventually begin sprinting hard for fifteen seconds and recovering for forty-five seconds, you will dramatically cut down your workout time.

For example, you begin with your five-minute walk to warm up. Never skip this, as it is very important to warm up the muscles and prepare them for the jolt they are about to receive.

You then begin to sprint for fifteen seconds and follow that with a forty five second recovery period. You do this eight times.

When completed, once again you walk for five minutes to cool down. Your workout lasted eighteen minutes instead of the forty-five minutes you was previously doing.

The high intensity running actually burns more fat and uses more calories in a shorter period of time. You will notice a difference.

It works. Look at the body of a sprinter as compared to the body of a long distance runner. The sprinter is lean and muscular and looks healthy. The long distance runner is thin and looks, well, thin.

If you haven't tried this form of training, give it a try the next time out. It would be a very good idea and is highly recommended that you get a physical from your doctor before you begin.