Why I don’t always do HIIT

As described in some previous posts, HIIT is a great way to give an added kick to your workout, burn more calories, get a more intense workout in a shorter time – basically you’re getting more bang for the buck for the effort you put into your running.

So – why not do HIIT for every workout if it’s such a great thing?  I am asked this question from time to time.  More workout and more results in less time?   In this post I’ll tell you why I DON’T do HIIT for every workout or run that I do.  Here are four of the top reasons:17730394_s

  1. HIIT is intense!  It doesn’t just pack a bigger calorie burn into a shorter time, it more intensely works your muscles, joints, tendons, heart and lungs.  For this reason, unless you are an elite athlete you probably shouldn’t be doing this every day or for every workout – at least not at the most intense level every day.  If you do decide to make HIIT your regular workout, use sense regarding the duration of your workout and listen to the feedback your body gives you.  If your body is signaling to you that you need to back off on the length or intensity of your HIIT workout, or that you need to skip a day – DO IT!
  2. I enjoy the extra calorie burn and workout that comes form HIIT and packing a big workout into a small time, but I also enjoy the time I spend running.  While there are times when all I have time for is HIIT, I really do look forward to being able to spend the 25, 35, or 45 minutes running some of my favorite courses.  It’s nice to have that time unwinding, ,and thinking through the events of the day or challenges I might be working on, or to just let my mind relax while I hit the trail.
  3. I enjoy running in a race occasionally, and while HIIT will help you get better times in a shorter race like a 5k, I find that I also like to have my body very familiar with what it’s like to run continually for a longer distance – especially the distance of an upcoming race.  For me there’s a comfort in being totally familiar with distance and duration of a race – even better yet if I can do some of the training on the actual course of the race.
  4. I like running with friends too.  Spending 45 minutes with a someone on a Saturday morning running along a river or on a horse trail is not a bad way to spend some time!  I also enjoy the running the trails with someone a little better than I am so that I will push myself a little harder than I might if I were alone.

Use the reply form below to share questions, comments or your experience with running or HIIT.  I’d love to hear from you.


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