HIIT Sprints

I woke up not wanting to sprint, but it’s one of those things…  Once I START, I feel okay.  And once I’m done, I feel AWESOME.

It’s half autopilot – decades of training engrained the get-dressed-and-ready-to-go part!  But that doesn’t mean that every day is a breeze – there is a ton of “self-talk” and “motivational prep” that goes on, especially nowadays when we are all juggling multiple things at once. 

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Sprints are great for those with demanding schedules – they pack a huge punch, giving you a lot of results in a shorter duration (in comparison to steady state endurance (which is also great, just different.))  

What I love most about them, however, is that they are incredibly manageable…physically AND mentally.Getting on a treadmill is torturous for me.  But with sprints, it never feels as daunting.  Why?  It’s broken up, with room to play and vary!  

My typical routine is something like this (keeping in mind that times (in minutes) and miles per hour are averaged here – it depends on the day, and how I’m feeling):

  • STRETCH!  
    • This is just a few moments, but it is vital to warm up the gastrocnemius, soleus, achillies, ankles and feet for me – as a long-time dancer and skater, with knee injuries and supination, this step cannot be skipped.  
  • 0 – 2 – Jog (6 mph – 7 mph)
  • 2 – 3 – Run / Sprint 1 (9 mph)
  • 3 – 4 – Fast walk (4.3 mph)
  • 4 – 4:40Sprint 2 (9.5 mph)
  • 4:40 – 5:30 – Fast walk (4.3 mph)
  • 5:30 – 6:00 – Jog (7 pm)
  • 6:10 – 7:00Sprint 3 (10 mph)
  • 7:00 – 7:40 Fast walk (4.3 mph)
  • 7:40 – 8:00 – Jog (7 pm)
  • 800 – 8:40Sprint 4 (10.5 mph)
  • 8:40 – 9:40 – Fast walk (4.3 mph)
  • 9:40 10:30 – Walk on high incline (4.3 mph)
  • 10:30 – 11:00 – Jog (7 pm)
  • 11:00 – 11:30 – Sprint 5 (10.8 mph)
  • 11:30 – 12:30 – Fast Walk (4.3 mph)
  • 12:30 – 13:30 – Jog (7 mph)
  • 13:30 – 14:00Sprint 6 (10.5 mph)
  • 14:00 – 15:00 Fast Walk (4.3 mph)
  • 15:00 – 15:30 – Jog (7 mph)
  • 15:30 – 16:10Sprint 7 (10.2 mph)
  • 16:10 – 17:10 – Fast Walk (4.3 mph)
  • 17:10 – 18:00 Jog (7 mph)
  • 18:00 – 19:00 Fast Walk (4.3 mph)
  • 19:00 – 35:00 or 40:00 – This part is the less structured.  Based on how I feel I will maybe add:
    • Two more jogs (one to two minutes each around 7 mph)
    • One or two sprints (around 9 mph)
    • One walk on high incline (4.3 mph)
    • Side shuffles (30 to 50 a side, at 4.3 mph)
    • Fast walks
    • Slow walk to cool down

I usually keep the treadmill at a 2:0 incline when not doing the high incline walking.  If you have knee or shin problems, increasing the incline can add stress, so be mindful of that!  Also, I find that the jog before the sprints helps me to keep the calves and shins from getting injured as easily.

Music is a huge motivator for me, in addition to the “you can do it”s!!! that I holler in my mind – it keeps me in my zone and focused without getting bored.  

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So if you are having a tough time, not seeing results from longer cardio sessions…or just feel like you don’t WANT to do a longer session, try some HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training.)  In 22 minutes you can warm up, sprint 8 times, goosing your metabolism, AND cool down.  Pretty awesome, if you ask me!

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