Use Running as Quick Cardio Workouts to Boost Fitness

The Long Run

A long-distance run is important to help you train for a half or full marathon. Also, a long run is a great way to blow off steam and clear your mind, even if you have no intentions of running a half or full marathon. The precise distance of a long run varies from runner to runner and is based largely on the fitness level. For someone new, a 3-mile run may seem long while an ultramarathoner might consider 15 miles a warm-up. The key is to focus on improvement and go a little longer or faster than you did before.

More: 10 Ways to Get Pumped Up for a Long Run

High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

An interval workout is a great way to put your fitness to the test. This is when you push yourself hard for a short amount of time, followed by a brief recovery period. The recovery can be spent walking, jogging, or lying on your back trying to catch your breath.

Why do interval workouts? If you're looking to preserve muscle, lose fat, or get a quick cardio workout in, then HIIT training is perfect for you. After warming up, you only need to complete 8 to 10, 30-second sprints followed by 60 seconds of rest. This approach will burn more calories in less time than an easy jog.

More: How to Add High-Intensity Interval Training to Your Workouts

Intervals can also help you get faster. When you crank up the speed you lengthen your stride and increase the number of steps you take per minute. This improves how you land and push-off your feet. As a result you'll improve your running efficiency, which means going further and faster will become easier.

See for yourself. After a dynamic warm-up, try one of these interval workouts.

  • Speed Work: Do 6 to 8, 400-meter sprints. Recover for twice the amount of time it takes to complete the sprint. Example, if it takes you 2 minutes to complete one sprint, then recover for four minutes.
  • Fartlek: During a 30-minute run, pick up your tempo. Run hard for 30 seconds and then recover for two minutes. Repeat this 8 to 12 more times throughout the workout.
  • Hill Sprints: Find a steep hill and sprint up it. Walk or jog back to the bottom and repeat this process nine more times.

More: Interval Workout: 6 Moves to Boost Speed

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