Tag Archives: HIIT

HIIT Run Outside, and Hooked on the Green Stuff

Yesterday I did an interval run outside, as opposed to the treadmill, for the first time.
I set my Garmin to give me half KM (500 meters) splits, so I could alternate between hard and easy, 500 meters each.
I enjoy doing interval runs because they are fun, they go by fast, and I know they help me get faster. But having to actually think about my pace, instead of just setting the number on the treadmill, was really hard.

 
I don’t know if this is an issue only I have, but my Garmin is not great at giving me the exact instant pace I’m running. The splits are perfect it seems, but if I look at my watch at any given time, especially if I recently changed my speed, the display of instant pace is quite off. I tried to go by feel, and for fear of running slower than I had planned, I ended up not only running faster, but each interval is not even similar to the previous one.

 
It was a good run but all over the place. The one thing I’m happy about is to see the last fast split at 03:54 Min/KM (06:16 Min/Mile). That’s a new pace for me, even if I only kept it for 500 meters.

 
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The wife of a coworker has a home business where she makes fresh juice every day and delivers it. My coworker brought me one the other day to try, and now I’m hooked and ended up signing up for weekly deliveries. Nice trick.
The taste wasn’t the best, but definitely drinkable. And I could almost feel the vitamins and minerals going into my cells and making me healthier!
With that being said, I drink it as an addition to everything else I eat and drink daily. I actually had the juice after having a post workout snack of a Clif bar and a shake with banana, melon, soy milk, and flaxseed. Replacing meals with juice on a regular basis and for long periods of time sounds crazy to me.

 
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Do you drink freshly pressed juice? What is your opinion on juice cleansing? If you have a GPS watch, is the instant pace precise?

(sorry but I have to figure the GPS one out, it drove me cray yesterday).

 

Fast Like the Wind, and Tips to Do Speed Work

I like running fast sometimes. My fast.
It may not be fast for others, but for me it feels fast like the wind, fast like no one could ever catch me.

 
Wherever we may be in terms of running speed, improving it is not as hard as it seems. Our bodies learn to run faster, to breathe better, to move our legs more efficiently.
This is something I really like about running, we compete with ourselves, and eventually we win.

 
I did 2 speed workouts this week, they ended up being one day after the other (not ideal) because I had to change my schedule for work, although usually I do a rest/easy/cross training day in between speed days.

 
Monday was a HIIT workout with 6 relatively long intervals of 3 minutes each at 04:17 Min/KM (06:54 Min/Mile), with 2 minutes easy in between at 05:19 Min/KM (08:33 Min/Mile). Total time running, including warm up and cool down: 45 minutes. Total distance: 9.2KM/5.7M.

 
Even though the fast part of the interval is not a new pace for me, it is still a fast pace that I’m not too used to running. After the first interval I was wondering how I’d get through the second one, much less the sixth one.

 
I did this workout on the treadmill, so every new interval I visualized my weekend running route by the beach, and mentally placed myself 3 minutes before I finish the run (I know the route by heart and pretty much know where that is), and I just kept thinking “just pass the gas station and the bus stop and the interval will be over”. That certainly beat staring at the treadmill TV screen, although the NBA playoffs game was pretty entertaining too.

 
Today was a Fartlek run, also on the treadmill, with 15 minute warm-up, and 3 longer intervals of 10 minutes at 04:53 Min/KM (07:51 Min/Mile), easy pace 3 minutes, 10 minutes 04:37 Min/KM (07:26 Min/Mile), easy pace 2 minutes, and the last 7 minutes at 04:27 Min/KM (07:09 Min/Mile). Total time running: 50 minutes. Total distance: 9.9KM/6.1M.

 
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Tips to start doing speed sessions:

 
* Do it on the treadmill – apologies to everyone who hates the treadmill, but to me being able to set an exact pace and know the treadmill will keep it, is a huge advantage. Sure, it’s mentally important to be able to control the pace without the assistance of the treadmill, but for a tough speed session, especially if you are a beginner runner, just running fast is tough enough for now.

 
* Set a realistic hard pace – Don’t get carried away with the speed you want to run or think you should be running, speed work is hard work, especially the last few intervals or the last few minutes of a fartlek run, so you want to keep it challenging but safe. Take one of your last regular runs and calculate your average pace, now do the hard part of the run at a faster pace than the average, and the easy part of the run at a slower pace than the average.

 
* Easy is good – You will be making quite an effort during the fast parts, so keep them short. For a HIIT session 30 seconds to 1 minute is enough, and make the easy part at least 2 minutes long, 3 minutes is even better. For a fartlek you can make the intervals a bit longer, but then go easier on the pace.

 
* Take your time – Write down your fast/easy paces, and do the same workout again next week. After you do it a few times, and the paces start feeling a bit easier than before, increase your fast speed a few seconds per KM/Mile while leaving the easy speed the same.

 
* It’s OK to stop – Speed sessions are tough and they are supposed to be. Pay attention to your body, and if you feel you really can’t go longer, it’s OK to give yourself a break. You could stop for a few minutes and then continue, or decrease the fast interval speed a few seconds per KM/Mile, or altogether stop.

 
* Have fun – you’ll be sweaty and hurting and huffing and puffing. But running is fun and speed work is enjoyable in its own way. So run hard, run fast like the wind, and enjoy it!

 

Do you do speed work?
Do you like it?
Do you feel that you are a faster runner from doing speed work?



 

Coffee

I was a happy girl drinking instant (Nescafe) coffee every morning, and then one day a family member bought us a coffee machine (weird we never bought one before), and now I can’t drink instant coffee even if my life depends on it.

 


It’s old, but makes the best coffee

 

Every morning, way too early when I get up to go running, the first thing I do, seriously, before even turning on the lights, is hitting the coffee machine button so it starts to brew and to warm up the milk.  I don’t go to bed the night before without first leaving everything ready for the morning.  Coffee machine, homemade granola bar, vitamins, and running gear and/or gym bag.

 

I had my usual 2 coffees this morning at home.  Yesterday I found a new little coffee shop in Tel Aviv and bought 3 different flavors of coffee, one of them was “chocolate beans” and it was absolutely delicious.

 

Li Coffee

 

And then went to the gym for an 8 KM / 5 Mile HIIT run (only 30 second intervals but at a very fast pace), some strength work (I used to enjoy it but lately I have little patience for it), and a spin class.

 

The weekend in Israel is Friday and Saturday, and we work Sunday through Thursday, so I usually get 2 longer workouts during the weekend and then 4 shorter workouts during the work week.

 

Later I went out for breakfast and got another 2 coffees.  4 a day is way over the limit for me so I’m not sure how well I’ll sleep tonight.

Arcaffe is a chain coffee house in Israel, however it is a step up from ‘regular’ chain coffee houses.  There is one by my house so I go often.

 

 Their coffee is so good!

Their coffee is so good!

 

Tomorrow I’m waking up at 5:15 for a 6:30 run.   As early as that may seem, work day runs are earlier than that.

 

These are my new slippers, the black ones with the brown button.  I used to be bad and stay with my work shoes (usually boots in the winter) until bed time but I’m trying to take better care of my feet now and get out of heels as soon as I get home.

 

 They are comfy and warm

They are comfy and warm

 

TGIF!

 

 

High Intensity Interval Training – Explained

This morning I woke up early to 2 cups of coffee and some blog posts to read.

 

 It is, if you can't move without it.

It is, if you can’t move without it.

 

Went to the gym for a treadmill run and some swimming.

Today’s treadmill workout was a High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) run.

HIIT is by far the hardest running workout I have ever done, however, it works.  If you want to get faster/stronger/run longer (even at a slower pace), this is the workout for you.

I have a love/hate relationship with HIIT because on the one side it is a tough workout, but on the other side the sense of accomplishment I get when I’m done and my legs are shaking and I’m about to faint, is unbeatable.  I know I sound like a masochist.  But like I said, it works.  And later down the road, when a pace that seemed impossible to hold for more than 30 seconds (or to even get there!) you can suddenly keep for 10 minutes, then you know you did something right.  Tough work pays off.

 

WHAT IS HIIT?

High Intensity Interval Training is a type of workout (in this case running, but can be any other type of aerobic activity) that consists of short bouts of faster running, with rest periods in between each bout.

 

BENEFITS OF HIIT:

  • Run faster
  • Get stronger
  • Build aerobic fitness
  • Increase mental focus for hard running
  • Very efficient workout in a shorter amount of time
  • Teach your body how to run and hold different paces

This too:

hiit

 

HOW TO DO A HIIT WORKOUT:

Keeping in mind the basics of short bouts of faster running with rest periods in between, you can basically do it any way you want.

I do 4 different types of HIIT, alternating one HIIT workout each week (so it takes me 4 weeks to do all 4 types).

Always start with a warm up, I do 5 minutes walking and 10 minutes light running.

hiit workouts

Do these workouts so you can run as fast her:

 I dunno, she seems to be running fast

I dunno, she seems to be running fast

 

WHEN TO DO A HIIT WORKOUT:

Because High Intensity Interval Training is hard on your body, once a week is more than enough for this type of workout.  I usually do HIIT after a rest day, so my legs are as recovered as possible.

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