Is High-Intensity Interval Training Really A Hit For Runners?

Throwing some intervals into your training — even once a week — will make you a better and faster runner. Photo:

Motivation Matters

Research in exercise psychology has also shown that people are more motivated to exercise when their workouts have a clear external purpose. This phenomenon is probably a legacy of our ancestral environment, in which all exercise was task-oriented work. Fifty thousand years ago we only worked up a sweat when there was food at stake. Consequently, even today we are only motivated to huff and puff when we feel we are getting something done.

I believe this is one reason that running marathons is so incredibly popular these days. The goal of running a marathon is a mission, a quest, and a journey one can share with many other people. Compare that to the traditional health club-based fitness program where one literally goes nowhere. If adhered to, such a program can produce great results, but it just doesn’t speak to the animal in us nearly as well as running a marathon does.

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No, training for a marathon is probably not the most efficient way to get fit and lose weight, but in the all-important context of reality that is so often forgotten by the HIIT proselytizers, it is very likely the most effective way.


About The Author:

Matt Fitzgerald is the author of numerous books, including Racing Weight: How To Get Lean For Peak Performance (VeloPress, 2012). He is also a Training Intelligence Specialist for PEAR Sports. To learn more about Matt visit

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