By: Ty Cardwell
Running mile after mile at a low intensity is a common method people use to increase their aerobic capacity in efforts of losing weight and getting in better shape. You can see people every day running on autopilot and in a comfort zone going mile after mile. It doesn’t take long for your body to adapt to this and results are cut to a minimum. Not to mention endless running can get quite boring and it puts a lot stress on the knees if used as the only form of working out.
Scientific studies show that distance running eats away at lean muscle tissue, ultimately making you weaker. Did you know that if you did eight 20 second sprints with only 10 seconds rest in between sprints you would experience a greater aerobic capacity than if you ran for a full hour. Yelp! A four minute workout has the same aerobic capacity improvements as a 60-minute workout. So if time is an issue for you, then running sprints is surely your answer.
The benefit of running sprints doesn’t end there. The body’s entire aerobic system gets a boost, improving power, strength and speed. Sprinting trains the body to push harder and faster for short periods, giving your metabolism a shock and the body the opportunity to pull from its body fat reserves. While running sprints does pick up the intensity of the activity it also lessens the strain you may feel on your joints compared to long distance running.
To turn your body in to a fat burning machine, keep rest periods between sprints very short. Keep sprints in the 10-25 second range and try to keep the rest times down to a minimum. This will be hard to do at first but gets easier as you start to lose weight and continue to train more. The goal is to increase the number of sprints and decrease the amount of rest times. If you feel like you are in a training rut or the weight loss has stopped, toss in sprints twice a week and see how your body reacts to it.