4 HIIT Running Workouts to Get You Moving Fast

Emily Abbate
by Emily Abbate
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4 HIIT Running Workouts to Get You Moving Fast

The great thing about running and high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts is they can be done on your own, anytime, anywhere — and they include a whole lot of variety. You don’t have to go out and log a half-marathon to get in a good run, just like you don’t need to do an hour’s worth of burpees to cross off your daily sweat from your to-do list. Tacking interval training and your run together, though, can pack a slew of total-body benefits. Plus, it’s super-efficient.

“Interval-style training is key for runners,” says Alexandra Weissner, co-founder of bRUNch Running and run coach. “From long intervals — like tempo runs — to shorter intervals — like sprints, interval training builds strength, stamina and mental toughness. No matter what distance you are training for, if you want to get faster, you need to train your body to run at a faster speed using a controlled method.”

Don’t just take Weissner’s word for it, science agrees. Interval training can have dramatic improvements on both aerobic (endurance) and anaerobic (power) capacity, according to some research. Plus, it’s been shown to potentially improve heart health, including capacity and lowering resting heart rate. Summary: This type of training can actually boost your running in a way that a standard, single-pace run cannot.

Not sure what you’ve got in the tank? Ask a friend to do the workout too, and then compare notes. Research shows that if we see a friend ran a certain distance at a certain speed, we’re motivated to run even faster and farther than we (maybe) otherwise would.

Good news: If you’re ready to pick up the pace, we’ve got you covered. Here are four running interval workouts that will have you finding your fast in no time. Before hitting the pavement, make sure to do a proper running workout, including these dynamic warmup moves.

LONG INTERVAL WORKOUT

Total time: ~75 minutes
Warmup: 20 minutes easy jog
Effort: 15 minutes at 10K race pace, recover walk for 5 minutes
Reps: 1
Cooldown: 15-minute easy jog

Not sure what your race pace is? This pacing guide can help.

SPRINTING INTERVAL WORKOUT

Total time: ~60 minutes
Warmup: 20 minutes easy jog
Effort: 1-minute sprint pace, 2 minutes walking recovery
Reps: 8
Cooldown: 15-minute easy jog

HILL INTERVAL WORKOUT

Total time: ~15 minutes
Warmup: 5-minute jog
Effort: Find a hill. Run as fast as possible up the hill for 30 seconds, jog down slowly for 60 seconds.
Reps: 4–6
Cool-down: 5-minute easy jog

SHORT INTERVAL WORKOUT

Total time: ~20 minutes
Warmup: 5-minute jog
Effort: Sprint for 60 seconds at a 9 out of 10 effort, jog for 90 seconds.
Reps: 4–6
Cool-down: 5-minute jog

About the Author

Emily Abbate
Emily Abbate

Emily has written for GQ, Self, Shape and Runner’s World (among others). As a certified personal trainer, run and spin coach, she’s often tackling long runs or lifting heavy things. In addition to that, she’s working on Hurdle, a podcast that talks to badass humans and entrepreneurs who got through a tough time —a hurdle of sorts— by leaning into wellness.

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