Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Change of Pace - Literally.

Last night, I'm pretty sure i came THISCLOSE to death. How, you may ask? Simple: HIIT.

See what I did there, with the title of the post?... bahaha. SORRY. Jokes.

Before I left work, I printed out this workout that I got from Kristin at Iowa Girl Eats (I'm obsessed with this blog - she's amazing!):

After my abs class, I hopped on the treadmill. Let me just tell you - it. was. intense. We're talking gasping for air, gulping water, dripping with sweat intensity. My mom was walking on the treadmill next to me, and every time I increased the speed, she looked at me like I was a little bit crazier. This routine was tough. To make things even more complicated, I couldn't figure out how to get my treadmill to count time up as opposed to down - so while I was running and working physically, I had to do math and work mentally, too! Really not my thing. I actually had to turn off my music about halfway through so that I could concentrate on what I was doing. It was that serious!

Around the time I hit the 10/mph portion, my feet were flying like never before! My legs were Jell-O afterwards. I actually finished with 3.55 miles, and burned over 400 calories! I had the incline set to 1.0 for about half the workout for a little extra oomph, but brought it back down before I finished. Even that tiny increase made a difference, and made the workout that much harder. I did not feel terrible at all about collapsing on the couch to watch two hours of Glee when I got home - pretty sure I earned that lazy time!

As we were leaving the gym, my mom asked me what are the benefits of High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), and why it's better than regular running. I wasn't quite sure how to articulate the answer, other than "it just is!" - so I did a little bit of research. Here's some key factors about why HIIT is a good choice:
  • You burn more fat. The intense exertion kicks your body's recovery mode into overdrive, and you burn more fat and calories over the next 24 hours than you do after a cardio workout at a steady pace. [source]
  • It makes your heart healthier. During many workouts, you don't truly reach that anaerobic place where your heart is working it's hardest - HIIT forces you do to that, and exercises your heart along with your other muscles. [source]
  • It increases your lactate threshold.Your ability to handle increased lactic acid buildup in your muscles substantially increases with regular HIIT workouts. [source]
  • It increases your metabolism. This type of exercise has a direct impact on your Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) - aka your metabolism. That means you burn more calories regularly, even when you aren't working out! [source]
Sounds great to me!

Granted, as intense a workout as it is, it's probably not a good idea to try to do HIIT every day. It's more like a one-or-two-times-a-week thing, and should be mixed in with other types of exercise as well. I did mine along with my abs class, like I said, and I found that to be a good combination that worked for me. I'm not a doctor or a trainer, obviously, so don't take my word as law. If you're up for it, though, I definitely recommend giving it a try and seeing if it's the thing for you. I'm always looking for new ways to exercise so that I don't get bored, and this is a good option to include in my regular routine.


Caitlin said...

I am OB. SESSED. with HIIT! I love IGE's HIIT routines. This actually makes me super excited to read, because I think I owe better race times/pace to HIIT and speed work.

Meals and Moves is another pretty good blog with great HIIT workouts for the treadmill. It's fun (ha, a relative term) to play with the incline of the treadmill too. It's amazing how sweaty you can get in 20-30 min!

Here's a 20 min one, where the incline increases:

Love reading your updates!

Ianni said...

I personally hate treadmills but you can do the same thing on the road. It is even made easier with training apparel for Android and iOS. I get the impression you use mapmyrun and I don't think it can be set up for interval training. I use endomondo and also have heard great things about runtastic and runkeeper. Interval training is what allowed this fat old man to run a 19:30 3miler in bootcamp betting all but 7 recruits. I enjoy your boogie keep it up.

Lindsay said...

I've tried a couple run/walk and run/run faster interval workouts, as well as a few different HIIT ones, and I really like how engaged it keeps me - definitely don't get bored!

I'll check out the one you suggested - and I think I've read that blog before! Good recommendation :)

Caits, you are my best commenter. Thanks for reading! <3

Lindsay said...

I haven't ever tried it on the road, but that is a great suggestion - I've read about doing the same sort of thing using a track at a school, because the distance is pre-measured. Might give that a try. I do use MapMyRun, and I really like it, but I know there are a bunch of other choices out there, too.

I did find that my time was WAY better after just a little bit of training like this, so I'm hoping for even more results with a little more practice. If you can do it, I can do it. Right?! :)

Ianni said...

Tracks are great for intervals and up around you there is no lack of high schools to visit. Also good is hill training. I miss running in Blacksburg because the hills changed the intensity of a run naturally.

Caitlin said...

Yeah! Typically Late's biggest fan :) Also--I downloaded the Bit Timer app for my iPhone (I actually saw it on twitter via a FitFluential chat I think!) and I used it the other day for a HIIT workout. It's awesome because you set the "work" and "rest" intervals and how many you want to do. I barely ever purchase apps, and I think this one is so worth the .99--I think that says something!!

It's super intuitive and easy to use. My favorite part is that you don't have to pay attention to the clock on the treadmill because it turns down the music on your iPhone and dings when it's time to switch from "work" to "rest" or vice versa. It REALLY made the time fly, as opposed to trying to watch the treadmill clock, which drives me nuts sometimes. Hello... I can't do simple math. Combine that with running and I'm a total lost cause :) hehe

Lindsay said...

The simple math was KILLING me - honestly, it was embarrassing how hard I was working to figure out what I was doing next. HA :) I followed the FitFluential/BitTimer Twitter chat last week as well, and I was very intrigued by BitTimer - I think I may download, as well. I'll let you know what I think!