Running for fitness?

When you think of getting fit, the standard image that pops into your head would be going running. It's a simple action and we can all do it. But it's one of the LEAST EFFECTIVE things you can do for your fitness levels (besides walking!).

Why?

Because it uses the third and slowest of the body's 3 energy systems. This is any activity conducted continuously for 5 mins or longer.

Sure, if you aren't very fit, a few km's in will feel like agony and pain. But we want to use our energy up FASTER than this!

So how do we do this better than running?

By using energy system 2 (30 sec - 3 min). Sprint training, interval training, circuit training... any activity that fatigues you between that 30 sec and 3 min timeframe.

So instead of a jog or run, you can try my lamp post sprints instead! This is where (after warming up and stretching) you sprint from one lamp post to the next, then jog back to the first, and repeat... and repeat... for as many times as you can until your heart is racing and you can't continue. YOU HAVE TO PUSH YOURSELF! Then have a break, walk around for a bit, let the heart rate drop, then try it again. Each time you do it, you won't be able to last quite as long as the time before.

But here's the important part - you must time yourself. How long can you sprint/jog/sprint for? How long was your break? (I'd recommend between 1-2 mins to start with).

Once you have these times and record them, you can develop a plan to progress the difficulty slightly each time you do it. Increase the time sprinting. Decrease the break time. Increase the lamp post distances. Etc.

This is a sure fire guaranteed way to get fit in the fastest possible time. And what's even better - the whole exercise shouldn't take more than 10 mins!

So you have a choice - go for a run for 30-60 mins and get fit slowly, or conduct 10 min sprint sessions and get fit fast!

Don't copy the sheep out there every day pounding the pavement - understand the science behind what you are doing, and do it right 🙂

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