Run HIIT Guide

HIIT Guide

I always loved running... it was something you could do by yourself, and under your own power. You could go in any direction, fast or slow as you wanted, fighting the wind if you felt like it, seeking out new sights just on the strength of your feet and the courage of your lungs.”

Jesse Owens


Introduction to the Run HIIT Guide

The Problem

You are a runner and you are too busy to workout.

The Solution

Run HIIT: A Simple Guide to Running and High-Intensity Interval Training teaches you how do more for your health in less time and less work. HIIT workouts are a form of interval training which alternate between sessions of high-intensity and low-intensity. You will learn the basic principles, methods and research behind this form of exercise, how to optimize your workout routine and complete your HIIT workouts within 15 minutes.

Free PDF

You can download a free PDF copy of the guide which includes:

  • Chapter 1 – Introduction to HIIT, the Basics, and the Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire;
  • Chapter 2 – Beginner’s Workouts and Schedule (4 weeks);
  • Chapter 3 – Intermediate Workouts and Schedule (6 weeks);
  • Chapter 4 – Advanced Workouts and Schedule (8 weeks);
  • Chapter 5 – 50 summaries of research articles on HIIT.

The guide includes a progression of exercises from walking, jogging, running, to sprinting. Each group (Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced) has its own workout schedule that allows them to progress to the next level. I have provided a Table of Contents and a copy of the text below.


The Basics

Three Principles

This Run HIIT Program is based on three easy-to-follow principles:

  • Principle #1: You must walk before you can run.
  • Principle #2: The workouts gradually increase in difficulty.
  • Principle #3: Consistency is the key to success.  
Principle #1: You must walk before you can run.

The benefits of HIIT have been studied for people even for people who are just doing a faster interval walking program. The individuals in this study used faster and slow intervals of walking. Seems easy enough right? You walk everyday. To get to your car, your office, your lunch break. Why not try adding intervals to your walks? HIIT doesn’t have to be done in a gym or even your house. It can be done to and from work, school, or your evening walk.


Principle #2: The workouts gradually increase in difficulty.

The concept of gradually increasing the stress on your body when exercising is known as Progressive Overload. Anyone who has trained for a race using a training program will have experienced this as their weekly mileage increased over time. As you progress through these workouts, we will gradually make the workouts harder, but also keep it flexible so that you can change the workouts based on your improvement. An easy way to remember this concept is by adjusting any one of the following three variables in the acronym FIT:

  • Frequency – the number of intervals that you do in the workout and the amount of workouts you do in a week;
  • Intensity – the level of effort or difficulty of the workout session (adjusted by increasing or decreasing speed and incline);
  • Time – the duration of the working intervals, resting intervals, and the total workout session.
Principle #3: Consistency is the key to  success. 

The purpose of the Run HIIT Program is to help you establish a consistent practice of increasing your heart rate, experiencing the physical and mental benefits of HIIT, and seeing that HIIT is manageable inside and outside of the office. If the workout is too easy or too hard, you can adjust the variables mentioned above. You don’t need to be sprinting to get the benefits of HIIT. Focus on establishing a consistent effort to workout, raise your heart rate and increase your effort over time in order to gain the life-long benefits of exercise.


Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire

Below please find a questionnaire from the National Academy of Sports of Medicine that will inform you whether you should check with your physician before beginning physical activity. If you are not very active, it is always a great idea to check with your doctor first before beginning a new program, especially HIIT.


As every runner knows, running is about more than just putting one foot in front of the other;

it is about our lifestyle and who we are.”

 Joan Benoit Samuelson


Beginner

Overview

The Beginner Program has three HIIT workouts that will be completed three times per week (Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays) throughout four weeks. The three workouts are:

  1. Power/Walk – 30 seconds of power walking and 30 seconds of walking.
  2. Jog/Walk – 30 seconds of jogging and 60 seconds of walking.
  3. Incline Jog/Walk – 30 seconds of incline jogging and 60 seconds walking.

 Near the end of this chapter, we have included a four-week Beginner’s Workout plan. This plan should serve as a guideline rather than a rule for your own routine. Feel free to adjust the plan as needed based on your schedule and skill level.

What should you do on rest days?

Although there are no scheduled HIIT workouts for Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays, our philosophy for rest days is that you should participate in active recovery. Active recovery means taking the stairs rather than the elevator at work. Going outdoors for sunlight and Vitamin D. Walking around the office building during a lunch break. Anything that keeps you moving with a low-impact exercise (like walking, stretching or foam rolling) at an easy pace which will allow your muscles to recover faster and decrease feelings of fatigue. We have marked Saturday on the calendar as a day to consciously go outdoors. Light activity helps your muscles recover fast after a workout because it promotes blood flow and the transportation of nutrients to the active muscle groups. Take advantage of your rest days and go outdoors!

What is the post-workout analysis?

You will find that each workout has a section for a Post-Workout Analysis for you to review whether the workout was too easy or difficult. By doing this analysis at the end of every workout, you can understand what is working for you and what can be changed.  Let the 4-Week Program at the end of this chapter guide your progression, but know that are in control and can always adjust the variables that make these workouts easier or more difficult. It is good idea to track this information in a journal, so you know whether you want to increase the intensity of the workout during the following week or want to go back to a lighter HIIT exercise instead.

HIIT Post-Workout Analysis


Beginner 1

Power/Walk

Workout Details

Warm-Up

3 minutes of walking at an easy pace

Intervals

9 sets x (30 seconds power walking / 30 seconds of walking)

Cool-Down

3 minutes of walking at a regular pace and/or stretching

Total Time

15 minutes
Beginner 2

Jog/Walk

Workout Details

Warm-Up

3 minutes of walking at an easy pace

Intervals

6 sets x (30 seconds jogging at easy pace / 60 seconds of walking)

Cool-Down

3 minutes of walking at a regular pace and/or stretching

Total Time

15 minutes
Beginner 3

Incline Jog/Walk

Workout Details

Warm-Up

3 minutes of incline walking at an easy pace

Intervals

6 sets x (30 seconds incline jogging / 60 seconds of walking)

Cool-Down

3 minutes of walking at a regular pace and/or stretching

Total Time

15 minutes
Beginner's Schedule

4 Week Program

 MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturday

Sunday

1

Power/WalkRestJog/WalkRestPower/WalkOutdoorsRest

2

Jog/WalkRestPower/Walk

Rest

Jog/WalkOutdoorRest
3

Incline Jog/Walk

Rest

Power/Walk

Rest

Jog/Walk

Outdoors

Rest

4Incline Jog/WalkRestJog/WalkRestIncline Jog/WalkOutdoors

Rest


Hill Sprint HIIT

The real purpose in running isn't to win the race,

it's to test the limits of the human heart.

Bill Bowerman


Intermediate

Overview

The Intermediate Program has three HIIT workouts that will be completed throughout the six weeks. The three HIIT workouts are:

  1. Run/Walk – 30 seconds of running and 30 seconds of walking.
  2. Sprint/Walk – 20 seconds of sprinting and 40 seconds of walking.
  3. Incline Run/Walk – 15 seconds of incline running and 45 seconds of walking.

Near the end of this chapter, we have included the six-week intermediate workout plan. There are only two HIIT workouts per week due to the increased intensity of these workouts. We also recommend adding two other workouts into your workout routine in order to build strength and endurance on your off days:

  1. Bodyweight – bodyweight exercises focused on compound movements.
  2. Long Distance – 30 minutes of running at a moderate pace.

Intermediate 1

Run/Walk

Workout Details

Warm-Up

3 minutes of jogging at an easy pace

Intervals

9 sets x 30 seconds moderate pace / 30 seconds of walking

Cool-Down

3 minutes of foam rolling or stretching

Total Time

15 minutes
Intermediate 2

Sprint/Walk

Workout Details

Warm-Up

3 minutes of jogging at a regular pace

Intervals

9 sets x 20 seconds sprinting / 40 seconds of walking

Cool-Down

3 minutes of foam rolling or stretching
Total Time15 minutes
Intermediate 3
Incline Run/Walk
Workout Details
Warm-Up3 minutes of jogging at an easy pace
Intervals9 sets x 15 seconds incline running / 45 seconds of incline walking
Cool-Down3 minutes of foam rolling or stretching
Total Time15 minutes

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Intermediate 4

Bodyweight 

Workout Details
Push Ups4 sets x 8-12 reps (or 3 minutes AMRAP)
Pull Ups4 sets x 8-12 reps (or 3 minutes AMRAP)
Squats4 sets x 8-12 reps (or 3 minutes AMRAP)
Burpees4 sets x 8-12 reps (or 3 minutes AMRAP)
Total Time12-15 minutes

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Intermediate 5

Long Distance

Workout Details
Warm-Up3-5 minutes of walking at a regular pace on flat surface
Long Distance30 minutes of running at a moderate pace
Cool-Down5 minutes of foam rolling or stretching
Total TimeApproximately 40 minutes

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Intermediate Schedule

6-Week Program

 MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturdaySunday
1Run/WalkBodyweightRestSprint/WalkBodyweightOutdoors/
Long Distance
Rest
2Run/WalkBodyweightRestIncline Run/WalkBodyweightOutdoors/
Long Distance
Rest
3Sprint/WalkBodyweightRestIncline Run/WalkBodyweightOutdoors/
Long Distance
Rest
4Sprint/WalkBodyweightRestRun/WalkBodyweightOutdoors/
Long Distance
Rest
5Incline Run/WalkBodyweightRestRun/WalkBodyweightOutdoors/
Long Distance
Rest
6Incline Run/WalkBodyweightRestSprint/WalkBodyweightOutdoors/
Long Distance
Rest

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Advanced

Overview

The Advanced Program has three HIIT workouts that will be completed throughout the eight weeks. The three workouts are:

  1. Meyers Sprints – 30 seconds of sprinting with 60 seconds of rest.
  1. Modified Wingate Sprints – 30 seconds of sprinting with 30 seconds of rest.
  1. Tabata Sprints – 20 seconds of sprinting with 10 seconds of rest.

Near the end of this chapter, we have included the eight-week Advanced Workout plan. There are only two HIIT workouts per week due to the increased intensity of these workouts. We also recommend adding two other workouts into your workout routine in order to build strength and endurance on your off days:

  1. Power Weight – bodyweight exercises focused on power movements.
  1. Longer Distance – 60 minutes of running at a moderate pace.

Advanced 1

Meyers Sprint

Workout Details
Warm-Up3 minutes of jogging at a regular pace on flat surface
Intervals6 x 30 seconds sprints (all-out effort) / 60 seconds of walking
Cool-Down3 minutes of foam rolling or stretching
Total Time15 minutes

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Advanced 2

Modified Wingate

Workout Details
Warm-Up3 minutes of jogging at a regular pace on flat surface
Intervals7 x 30 seconds sprints (all-out effort) / 30 seconds of walking
Cool-Down5 minutes of foam rolling or stretching
Total Time15 minutes

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Advanced 3

Tabata Sprints

Workout Details
Warm-Up3 minutes of jogging at a regular pace on flat surface
Intervals8 sets x 20 seconds sprints (all-out effort) / 10 seconds of walking
Cool-Down5 minutes of foam rolling or stretching
Total Time12 minutes

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Advanced 4

Power Weight

Workout Details
Jump Squats4 sets x 8-12 reps (or 3 minutes AMRAP)
Clap Push Ups 4 sets x 8-12 reps (or 3 minutes AMRAP)
Weighted

Pull Ups

4 sets x 8-12 reps (or 3 minutes AMRAP)
Burpees4 sets x 8-12 reps (or 3 minutes AMRAP)
Total Time12-15 minutes

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Advanced 5

Longer Distance

Workout Details
Warm-Up3-5 minutes of walking at an easy pace
Longer Distance60 minutes of running at a moderate pace
Cool-Down5 minutes of foam rolling or stretching
Total Time~70 minutes

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Advanced Schedule

8-Week Program

 MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturdaySunday
1Meyers
(30/60)
Power WeightWalkWingate (30/30)Power WeightOutdoors/
Longer Distance
Rest
2Meyers
(30/60)
Power WeightWalkWingate (30/30)Power WeightOutdoors/
Longer Distance
Rest
3Tabata
(20/10)

Power Weight

WalkMeyers
(30/60)
Power WeightOutdoors/
Longer Distance
Rest
4Wingate (30/30)Power WeightWalkMeyers
(30/60)
Power WeightOutdoors/
Longer Distance
Rest
5Tabata
(20/10)
Power WeightWalkMeyers
(30/60)
Power WeightOutdoors/
Longer Distance
Rest
6Tabata
(20/10)
Power WeightWalkWingate (30/30)Power WeightOutdoors/
Longer Distance
Rest
7Meyers
(30/60)
Power WeightWalkWingate (30/30)Power WeightOutdoors/
Longer Distance
Rest
8Tabata
(20/10)
Power WeightWalkTabata
(20/10)
Power WeightOutdoors/
Longer Distance
Rest