Contrary to popular belief, shedding kilos doesn’t require endless hours of pavement pounding.
The following workouts are all efficient ways to boost your metabolism and build kilojoule-consuming muscle. And because they require you to run at the edge of your comfort zone, they also quickly put your body into fat-burning mode.
YOU’VE GOT 20 MINUTES
You should: Run hill repeats.
The strength required to run inclines builds kilojoule-hungry muscle as much as hitting the weight room does.
Here’s how: Run at one minute slower than 10-K pace up a 400m-long hill.
Run halfway up the hill then back down at this pace. Repeat twice. Run to the top and down three times. (Warm up for six minutes and cool down for four minutes.)
YOU’VE GOT 30 MINUTES
You should: Run intervals.
Running fast burns more kilojoules per minute than slow running, says Shah.
Here’s how: Sprint for 20 seconds, then jog for 10 seconds.
Repeat four to eight times. Walk one minute. Repeat sequence (sprint/jog repeats followed by a walk) two to four times. (Warm up for six minutes with two 30-second pickups. Cool down for four.)
YOU’VE GOT 45 MINUTES
You should: Go for a tempo run.
You’ll be working at the high end of your fat-burning zone, an effort where you’re talking only in short phrases.
Here’s how: Gradually build speed to 30 seconds slower than 5-K pace.
Run for 25 minutes at this tempo pace. (Warm up for 10 minutes, incorporating three 30-second pick-ups, and cool down with a 10-minute jog.)
YOU’VE GOT AN HOUR (OR MORE)
You should: Go long.
The longer you’re on your feet, the more kilojoules you’ll burn. Plus, long runs improve base fitness so you’ll reap more from high-intensity workouts, says Shah.
Here’s how: Run at conversational pace.
Keep an easy pace for 40 minutes. (Warm up for 15 minutes. Cool down for five.)