High-intensity interval training (HIIT) - The idea of high-intensity interval exercises (HIIT) is to boost your heart rate to its maximum level, and follow it with a short recovery that causes your heart rate to decrease. The intensity is then increased once more, so you reach your maximum heart rate again. This is repeated several times for 10-30 minutes, depending on the physical abilities of the person.
Interval training: An In-depth View - HIIT is used in all types of sports and fitness programs with the goal to maintain VO2 maximum, increase your anaerobic threshold and cut fat, so it’s perfect for triathlon.
The flexibility and simplicity of HIIT provides itself as a perfect addition to training that can be included to introduce variation, maintain power and fitness, and sharpen you up for racing. On the surface it seems that HIIT will be suited to athletes racing super-sprint and sprint distances due to the shortness and the intensity of the efforts. However, even for longer-distance triathlons (Olympic and above) adding a short intense exercise to your plan once every 3/4 weeks (depending how your program says) can shock the body from its standard training routine and potentially add benefits to your well being.
A sport-specific, high-intensity interval training circuit has numerous benefits for the athlete. To the right is an example of a HIIT bike-to-run brick training session (you are required to adjust yourself according to your fitness level) that can be used by triathletes at any time of the year to have themselves race ready, but is ideal for the summer months as you lead into your ‘A’ race.
HIIT session with Bike
- Preferably using a turbo and either a treadmill or a field/road to run on/any accessible location for workout.
- Prepare your run shoes next to the turbo in readiness to shift into running off the bike.
- On the bike carry out 8 times [60 seconds max sprints, 30 seconds easy spin].
- Take a break after completion; straight off, run shoes on and directly into your running.
- On the run, carry out 8 times [45 seconds fast, 15 seconds easy jog].