Exercise and fitness your way

How to Add Speed Intervals to your Running Plan

Want to burn more calories while running? 

Then include speed intervals in your routine. These short bursts of high-intensity running can boost your overall fitness level and burn 25-30% more calories than normal pace running. 

Not only that, but it also improves cardiovascular fitness and running form, and can help with weight loss and body composition. 

Learn how to add speed intervals to your runs below.

Speed Interval Training

Contents

Why Should You Add Speed Intervals?

Speed intervals burn more calories than regular pace runningThis is because your body has to work harder to sustain the high-intensity effort, leading to a greater calorie burn. 

Sprint intervals can also help you to improve your running economy, making it easier for you to maintain a faster pace during your regular runs.

The way to teach your body to run faster, is by running faster for short periods of time.

HIIT

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) burns 25-30% more calories than steady-state cardio. It improves your cardiovascular fitness. 

Sprint intervals are great for building cardiovascular strength and endurance, which can help you run faster and longer. HIIT improves both cardiovascular fitness and endurance.

Speed interval HIIT calorie benefits

One of the key advantages of High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is the number of calories your body continues to burn after the workout, also known as post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) or afterburn. 

The more intense the workout, the longer it takes for your body to return to its pre-exercise state, resulting in more calories burned for an hour or more post-workout.

HIIT speed intervals help you to lose weight and improve body composition. They’re a great way to burn fat, as they require your body to work harder and burn more calories.

speed intervals apple watch

How to get started with speed intervals

Start first by finishing your existing runs with a sprint.

It’s as simple as that. When you’ve in the last 30 seconds of your run – finish it off with everything you’ve got.

After you’ve done this a few times, gradually push it from the last 30 seconds to the last minute, then the last 2 minutes. By the time you can finish most of your runs with 2 minute fast then you’re ready to start including specific speed interval runs in your plan.

 

How to add speed interval runs to your plan

When you can finish most of your runs with 2 minutes fast, then you’re ready to move onto a dedicated speed interval session once a week or once every two weeks.

  1. Warm-up properly: Before you start your sprint intervals, make sure to warm up properly with a few minutes of easy jogging or dynamic stretching.
  2. Start with short intervals: If you’re new to sprint intervals, start with shorter intervals of 30 seconds to 1 minute, with a 2-minute recovery period in between. As you get more comfortable with the intervals, you can gradually increase the duration.
  3. Gradually increase the intensity: As you become more comfortable with the sprint intervals, gradually increase the intensity of your sprints. You can do this by running at a faster pace, or by increasing the duration of the sprints.
  4. Focus on good form: When you’re sprinting, make sure to focus on good form. Keep your shoulders relaxed, your arms at your sides, and your feet landing gently on the ground.
  5. Listen to your body: Remember that sprint intervals are intense, so make sure to listen to your body and take rest when you need it.
  6. Incorporate into your runs: Once you are comfortable with sprint intervals, try incorporating them into the end of your regular runs. This can be a good way to finish your runs on a high note and burn more calories.

Do not do more than one speed interval session per week – give your body chance to recover.

FAQs

Sprint intervals are short bursts of high-intensity running that can be added to your regular runs to increase the intensity and boost your calorie burn. They work by challenging your body in new ways and making it work harder, leading to a greater calorie burn.

Studies have shown that HIIT burns 25-30% more calories than steady-state cardio. This is because your body has to work harder to sustain the high-intensity effort during HIIT, leading to a greater calorie burn.

Sprint intervals can improve your cardiovascular fitness, running economy, and help to lose weight and improve body composition.

EPOC or afterburn refers to the number of calories your body continues to burn after a workout. The more intense the workout, the longer it takes for your body to return to its pre-exercise state, resulting in more calories burned for an hour or more post-workout.

Start with short intervals of 30 seconds to 1 minute, with a 2-minute recovery period in between. Gradually increase the intensity of your sprints and try incorporating them into the end of your regular runs. Remember to focus on good form and listen to your body, and make sure to warm up properly.

Summary

  • Sprint intervals are great way to increase the intensity of your runs and boost your calorie burn
  • They improve cardiovascular fitness, help to lose weight and improve body composition and running economy
  • Speed intervals burn 25-30% more calories than normal pace running
  • Speed intervals improve cardiovascular fitness and endurance
  • Start with short intervals, gradually increase the intensity and focus on good form
  • Listen to your body, and incorporate speed intervals into the end of your regular runs
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