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 (10st10) 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. Aim to fit in one or two per week, and include a five-minute warm-up and cool-down.
JOE VIGIL’S ACCELERATIONS
- Coach Joe Vigil designed this session for leg turnover and speed. It also burns maximum calories in minimum time.
- Go to your local track, or find a flat area where you can mark off 100m. Then mark every 10m after that until you reach 200m.
- Run 100m at your one-mile race pace. Note your time. Recover by walking from the finish line back to the starting point.
- Now run 110m slightly faster, so your 110m time is just a second more than your 100m time.
- Continue doing this all the way up to 200m.
Estimated burn 340 calories
BRAD HUDSON’S MILES AND HILLS
Coach Brad Hudson, a former 2:13 marathon runner, 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 your 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
Cross-country coach Matt Centrowitz is a big believer in sessions that closely simulate the demands of racing. This will prep you for a peak 10K performance and incinerate a lot of calories.
- Run 800m 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 800m roughly 10 seconds faster than your 10K goal pace. Take your recovery, as before.
- Run two miles at your 10K goal pace.
- Run 800m roughly 10 seconds faster than your 10K goal pace.
- Run 800m roughly 20 seconds faster than your 10K goal pace.
Estimated burn 520 calories
THE MONEGHETTI FARTLEK
Ex-Olympic marathon runner Steve Moneghetti developed the fartlek session below, alternating short bursts of fast and slow running. Training like this will boost your fitness and increase your overall calorie burn.
- Run two sets of 90 seconds hard (five to 10 seconds per mile faster than 5K pace), 90 seconds easy (45 to 50 seconds per mile slower than the hard runs).
- 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
Coach Greg McMillan has performed this session since his days as a school cross-country runner. Choose a distance that you feel is appropriate to your individual fitness level, then apply the technique below.
- 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 (not including the warm-up or cool-down).