HIIT workouts for the running off season

Hey friends!

I love a good HIIT  (high intensity interval training) workout- all the benefits (and more) of an hour long run, but when I’m training for a race, they take the back seat.

HIIT definitely counts as a hard day, and to maximize progress it’s essential to alternate hard days with easy days.  Obviously, in half or full marathon training, I have plenty of ‘hard’ running days which leaves little room for this kind of workout.

Now that I’m taking December ‘off’ traditional training, I’m working some HIIT back into my routine and I’ve been teaching a HIIT based class Tuesday and Thursday evenings this fall. I wanted to share a few of my favorites that are especially beneficial for runners:

Full body HIIT

This one is a cardio based HIIT workout, working the quads, hamstrings, core and incorporating lateral movement with the skaters, key for runners who are always in the forward/back plane.

Upper body focused HIIT workout:

Use 5, 8 or 10 pound dumbbells for the overhead press, upper row, chest fly, hammer curl and plank with a row.

Lower body focused HIIT workout:

If you are combining HIIT with running, you want to be careful to keep your runs easy the day before and after to prevent injury.  Running sprints also counts as an HIIT workout!

There are so many benefits to including these workouts:

  • increases body’s ability to use oxygen (great for running fitness)
  • increases body’s ability to use insulin (great for weight maintenance)
  • improve muscle tone
  • boost metabolism
  • perfect when you are short on time (15-20 minutes is enough)

Do you mix up your workout routine throughout the year?

Do you incorporate HIIT training?

I’m linking up with  SuzRachelLora, and Debbie for Running Coaches Corner, and NicoleAnnmarieMichelle, and Jen for Wild Workout Wednesday and Marcia for Tuesdays on the Run.

Just a few more days to join the Runner’s Nutrition course at the early bird rate!

13 thoughts on “HIIT workouts for the running off season

  1. Part of my CrossFit training is intervals. We do one day of strength and one day of HIIT-type workouts. I truly believe they are so effective for me. I’ve used them in the past for marathon training as well.They’re fun too!
    Wendy recently posted..Race Recap: Jingle Bell Run 5kMy Profile

  2. I love “making up” HIIT workouts on the fly since I used to teach classes on them! I even have an old notebook with quick ideas in it for when I have more time. I’ll need to pin these and add them in!!
    Allie recently posted..The Rundown – Happy PillsMy Profile

  3. I love HIIT workouts and that’s the workout I usually do. Plus, I usually combine it with yoga for stretching which has an even better effect. I will definitely give your workout a try, Laura! 😉

  4. HIIT workouts day is obviously a hard day, I use to combine HIIT with running its little bit harder for me but yet I like to do it. It is one of the lovely part of my workout and by practising more and more I want to make it a easy day.

  5. Thanks for sharing those. I’ll try them out. I like the less time HIIT workouts can take. What about doing some of these after a run to add in some strength training, do you do that?

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