We don’t spend enough time at maximal speed or intensity.
We’ll go out for low intensity distance runs or we’ll do ‘high-intensity’ intervals.
But I hate to break it to ya... most people doing ‘HIIT’, aren’t doing ‘HIIT’.
45 on 15 off is NOT high-intensity.
Most training (boot camps, team sports, CrossFit, 5k’ers etc) is spent around anaerobic threshold. This training is great, but it’s not useful for improving our MAX power output. So while we might be working on 2 out of 3 energy systems in our training - 2 out of 3 just ain’t good enough.
But in order to keep things practical. Here’s what to do:
When sprint training, we should:
Keep the duration of efforts short (below 10 seconds).
Rest 1:10+ (if we work for 5 seconds we should have at least 50 seconds rest).
Keep the quality high: if you’re breathing super heavy, or your form starts to dip, you’re not sprinting anymore, END THE WORKOUT!
Train it once a week (maybe twice)
Actually work as hard as you can...
Monitor each effort: stop the workout when your intensity drops off. Use calories, time or distance as the metric.
Sprint at the oval, on the bike, rower, ski erg, in the pool and up hills. These work great.
Assault bike and hill sprints are my go-to’s. Assault bikes require no skill, all you have to focus on is giving 100% of your effort. There’s also no impact on the joints, meaning you can train it multiple times a week.
Hill sprints are also low impact. But I really like hill sprints because they naturally put you in a great sprinting position.
My session tonight:
5 x 5 sec sprints with 55 secs rest
3 x 7 sec sprints with 77 secs rest
1 x 9 sec sprint with 99 secs rest
Yep. That’s it!
Doesn’t seem like much does it? Good!
Remember the WHY behind each session. Don’t turn it into a blowout. Keep the rest long and the quality high. You can work on your engine another day! Stop neglecting the most powerful energy system in the body - you’re leaving untapped potential on the table.