Calorie-burning sessions

Cranking up the intensity is the best way to take your running to the next level. It’s also an effective way to burn extra calories and shed body fat. A 68kg runner who picks up the pace from eight and a half minutes per mile to seven minutes per mile, for example, burns about 180 extra calories an hour. Should you speed up all of your runs that dramatically? No, but the following five sessions include segments of higher-intensity running to boost your calorie burn. Try one or two per week, and include a five-minute warm-up and cool-down with each session.

JOE VIGIL’S ACCELERATIONS

Joe Vigil, a coach, designed this session for leg turnover and speed, but it also burns maximum calories in minimum time.
  • Go to your local track, or find a flat area where you can mark off 100 metres, and then every 10 metres after that up to 200 metres.
  • Run 100 metres at roughly one-mile race pace. Note your time. Recover by walking from the finishing point back to the starting point.
  • Run 110 metres slightly faster, so your 110-metre time is a second more than your 100-metre time. Recover as above.
  • Run 120 metres even faster, so that your 120-metre time is just two seconds greater than your 100-metre time. Recover as above.
  • Continue in this manner all the way up to 200 metres. Your 200-metre time should be about 10 seconds more than your 100-metre time.
Estimated Burn 340 calories

BRAD HUDSON’S MILES AND HILLS

Brad Hudson, a former 2:13 marathon runner and coach, likes to incorporate lots of short hill sprints into the sessions he prescribes. “They’re great for developing running-specific strength,” he says. Running hills also burns calories at a higher rate than running on flat terrain. This session combines hill sprints with 10K-pace mile intervals.
  • Run 2 x 1 mile at 10K race pace. Follow each mile with three minutes’ jogging for recovery.
  • Run for 20 seconds up part of a steep hill at maximum speed. Jog slowly for two minutes to recover. Do a total of five hill sprints.
Estimated Burn 466 calories

MATT CENTROWITZ’S 10K RACE PREP

Matt Centrowitz, a cross-country coach, is a big believer in sessions that closely simulate the demands of racing. Here’s a race-specific session he recommends to prepare for a peak 10K performance and incinerate a lot of calories.
  • Run 800 metres roughly 20 seconds faster than your 10K goal pace. For example, if your 10K goal pace is eight minutes per mile, aim for 3:40. Walk or jog for two to three minutes for recovery.
  • Run 800 metres roughly 10 seconds faster than your 10K goal pace. Recover as above.
  • Run two miles at your 10K goal pace. Recover as above.
  • Run 800 metres roughly 10 seconds faster than your 10K goal pace. Recover as above.
  • Run 800 metres roughly 20 seconds faster than your 10K goal pace. Recover as above.
Estimated Burn 520 calories

THE MONEGHETTI FARTLEK

Steve Moneghetti, the Australian four-time Olympic marathon runner, developed a unique fartlek session that alternates short bursts of fast and slow running to boost overall calorie burn.
  • Run two sets of 90 seconds hard (five to 10 seconds per mile faster than 5K race pace), 90 seconds easy (45 to 50 seconds per mile slower than the hard segments).
  • Run four sets of 60 seconds hard, 60 seconds easy.
  • Run four sets of 30 seconds hard, 30 seconds easy.
  • Run four sets of 15 seconds hard, 15 seconds easy.
Estimated Burn 400 calories

GREG MCMILLAN’S SUPERFAST FINISH

Greg McMillan, a coach, has done this session since his days as a school cross-country runner. “The session is exhilarating, yet it doesn’t require a long recovery,” he says. “You feel no lasting effects on your next run.” So you can use the Superfast Finish to torch a few extra calories during average training runs or long endurance runs.

Choose a running distance that is appropriate to your current fitness level and goals. Complete all but the last five minutes at a comfortable aerobic pace. Run the last five minutes at approximately 5K race pace.

Estimated Burn 390 calories for a 30-minute run (without including a warm-up or cool-down).