I have read in a number of places (magazines and some online) that when training for things like a 10K run, half marathon or cycling event doing HIIT training can help but you should not do too much of it as it takes a lot out of you. For example 10-15% of your training should be HIIT while the rest should not get your heart constantly above 70/75% of max.

My question is what is the 10-15% of:

1) Number of times worked out in a week? 2) Time worked out that week? 3) Distance achieved that week?

For times that would suggest I only do HIIT training once ever other week, which doesn't seem like a lot

Time or distance seem more like it but not sure which is more appropriate.

  • Just want to make sure: You're actually asking HIT, not HIIT, right? – user8119 Apr 2 '14 at 8:18
  • thx Larissa typo, meant HIIT. – Jon Apr 2 '14 at 8:21

I can see why this sounds confusing, but most runners record there training in miles or kilometres per week. So if you were to take 10-15% of your weeks running miles, I would think that's what it means.

However, if your target is to improve your 10k, you may be better to do 10-15% high intensity running. Personally, I would think this will be more specific to your goal. Although, obviously if you were looking to work your whole body HIT may suit your needs

Sessions you could try for high intensity running:- warm up 5-10 jog (run fast for 1 min/jog 1 minute) - repeat up to 10 times then 5-10 minutes jog.

You could also try fartlek, select a route (maybe 5-6 miles), start with a jog warmup, then run faster as you feel. Efforts can be anything from 20 seconds up to a couple of minutes. You can run the hills hard. It's up to you. a great session to do with a training partner.

These kind of training will make you fitter and faster for running.

Good luck for your 10K

  • Thanks, I am doing a couple of 10K runs in a bit but also love to mountain bike so its as much about general fitness, body strength and VO2 max / LT max for short sharp hill climbs etc, and lose my belly. Running is more of a goal than an enjoyable thing for me, the bike is what I love doing. – Jon Apr 2 '14 at 9:43
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    In that case I'd mix it up. Maybe one week do HIT full body. The next do a run specific programme. Leg work in the gym would also help give power to your legs, to power you up those hills. Biking and running work well together. Try to do a couple of longish runs too. Great for burning body fat. – Tracy at 2bactive Apr 2 '14 at 9:49
  • sounds like my plan is roughly online with what your saying, brill. hadn't thought about HIT vs HIIT much so will keep that in mind. Thanks Tracy – Jon Apr 2 '14 at 10:44

Here's some theory for you.

You get better when you put stress on your system. Intervals have the potential to put a lot of stress on your system, and therefore give you lots of improvement.

However, they only work if you can work really hard at them, and you can only do that if you are very well rested.

If you do intervals when you are not well rested, they will feel hard, but you won't go hard enough to get the benefit from them. You will be wasting your time.

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