Why Run Intervals?

One of the most efficient ways that I have learned for losing fat is running intervals. I have always loved lifting weights, and have always hated doing cardio. But, unfortunately resistance training alone is not enough to completely improve overall fitness. For a healthy heart and lungs, as well as a body that runs as efficiently as possible, incorporating cardio into your routine is a must. If you're like me, then you probably dread the thought of introducing boring jogs into your workout routine. But, there is no need to worry because running intervals is a quick and (mostly) painless way to get it over with so that you can focus more on what you want to do.

One of the things that I like most about running intervals is that they keep things a little more interesting for me, and are an intense way of getting the cardio that I need out of the way. I think that most of us have lives that don't allow a lot of time for working out, so an intense cardio workout for 20 to 30 minutes should be enough to help most of us get the results that we need. After a certain amount of time exercising your body begins to release cortisol, which leads to muscle being used for fuel instead of fat. So, a low intensity jog for 2 two hours may end up being detrimental to your success in losing fat. I prefer to increase the intensity of the workout and not the time.

Learning how to run intervals for fat loss is pretty easy if you have access to treadmill. Today, even the basic treadmills usually come with prebuilt programs that will take care of all of the times, and the intensity levels, so all you have to do is walk, jog, and run. These programs are great for tracking your progress so that you can make sure that you continue to improve and increase the intensity. The use of treadmills also has the added benefit of being a little easier on your joints than running on the street.

If you don't own a treadmill, or can't afford a membership to a gym, then you can do intervals on the street. I have to admit that the simplicity of using prebuilt programs in treadmills is nice, but I still think that jogging outdoors is much nicer. The fresh air, the scenery, the motivation of running faster when a dog chases you…it all makes the duty a little more enjoyable than just jogging in a room.

How to Run Intervals

So, how to you run intervals if you don't have presets? Well, for starters you will need a stop watch so that you can time your segments. I believe that when beginning an interval routine, it is best to run 30 second segments. You will want to watch your heart beats per minute, as well as how heavy you are breathing. The rule behind breathing is that you should be able to carry on a conversation without gasping for breath. You're heart rate should fall below 125 bpm during your baseline segments (the slowest segment of your routine) before you continue to jog and sprint again. If you're unable to speak, and your heart rate remains high, then you should decrease the intensity of the intervals.

To start the routine I would suggest a 2.5 to 10 minute warm-up walk at a moderate pace. This shouldn't be fast, but it shouldn't be slow either. It should be a nice comfortable pace. Then it's time to begin. Start by walking moderately-fast (at around 3.5mph) for 30 seconds. Once this time is up, begin to jog (at around 5.5mph) for 30 seconds. Then walk fast (around 4.5 mph) for 30 seconds. And then sprint (7 mph) for 30 seconds. After you're finished sprinting, you should go back to your baseline speed (3.5 mph) that we began our session with. These steps are to be repeated for the duration of your session. Once you have completed all of the segments, then you should walk a 5 minute cool down.

There are variations of this such as walk fast for 1 minute, jog for 30 seconds, and sprint for 15 seconds, and then back to fast walking. The nice thing about this routine is that you get 1 minute of walking time between your sprint and your jog. Either routine works well, so you can interchange them so that you don't have to run the same way every time.


So, there are the basics of running intervals for fat loss. These are intense, and you'll need a lot of mental motivation, but this form of running is very effective and beneficial to both your appearance and your health. Finally, don't forget how important safety is. You can't continue to work out as efficiently if you're injured.