Combine HIIT and Running With This Outdoor Workout

You can get a great (and free!) workout simply by lacing up your running shoes, putting on your game face and heading outside. While any run has the potential to be a good run, a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) run — incorporating bursts of speed work with adequate rest time — can give you more bang for your buck.

Adding quick bursts of intensity in your workout might completely change the way you view running. (Image: Westend61/Westend61/GettyImages)

According to the American College of Sports Medicine, each interval can range from a few seconds to a few minutes, and the intensity of the intervals can vary based on your current fitness level.

A HIIT Workout Runners Can Take to the Track

Motivated to get to it? Here's an outdoor HIIT running workout — created by Precision Run coach Andrew Slane — that's guaranteed to fire up your metabolism and help you pick up the pace.

Do this workout at a local track. Note that each lap is 400 meters, or a quarter-mile. Between each interval, walk or jog the prescribed rest. The goal is to recover as much as possible between efforts.

The Warm-Up

Do: Start with a 3- to 5-minute jog, then perform three sets of 10 to 25 reps of each of the following exercises with one minute rest between each.

Move 1: Jumping Lunge

  1. Stand tall and step one leg forward, dropping your back knee down into a lunge. Both of your knees should be at roughly 90-degree angles.
  2. Jump up, switching your legs while you're in the air.
  3. Land on the ground in a lunge with the opposite leg in front.
  4. Sink down and jump again, once again switching in mid-air.
  5. Repeat, alternating legs.

Move 2: Quarter Rotation Tuck Jump

  1. Start with your feet at hip-width apart. Using your arms for momentum, explode up into a high jump, bringing your knees up to your chest.
  2. In the air, rotate 90 degrees to your right.
  3. Land softly and lower down immediately back into a half squat. Explode upward again and keep turning with each jump.

Move 3: Butt Kick

  1. Keeping your torso erect, begin to jog in place.
  2. As you're jogging, emphasize your back stride and bring your heel to your butt in an attempt to make contact between the two.

The Workout

  • Run 1 x 800 meters (two laps) with a 400-meter recovery (one lap)
  • 2 x 400 meters with a 400-meter recovery between each set
  • 4 x 200 meters with a 200-meter recovery between each set
  • 8 x 100 meters with a 100-meter recovery between each set

Finisher

Do: Each move for 30 to 60 seconds, resting 15 to 30 seconds between each. Do three total sets.

  • High plank
  • Lying hollow hold
  • High plank with alternating lateral arm reach
  • Bicycle crunches
  • Spider climbers

Move 1: High Plank

  1. Lie on your stomach with your palms on the floor next to your shoulders and your feet flexed with the bottoms of your toes on the floor.
  2. Take a deep breath and press up into the top of a push-up. Your body should make a straight line from your heels to the top of your head.
  3. Hold for 30 to 60 seconds.

Move 2: Lying Hollow Hold

  1. Begin lying face up with legs fully extended and arms overhead, one palm stacked on top of the other.
  2. Engage your abs and round your spine, lifting your head, neck, shoulders and legs off the floor to make a C shape with your body.
  3. Your arms should stay extended by ears.
  4. Hold for 30 to 60 seconds.

Move 3: High Plank With Alternating Lateral Arm Reach

  1. Start in a high plank, with your feet at hip-width distance and your shoulders over wrists.
  2. Engage your core to keep hips level. Reach right hand out to the right side, keeping palm facing down toward the floor.
  3. Slowly return to the start.
  4. Repeat on the opposite side.

Move 4: Spider Climber

  1. Start in a high plank, with your feet together and your shoulders over wrists.
  2. Bend your right knee out toward your right elbow, scooping your abs in toward your spine and allowing your back to round slightly.
  3. Tap the elbow, then return to start.
  4. Repeat on opposite side.

Cooldown

Do: End with a 3- to 5-minute walk, then perform some static stretches, holding each for 20 to 30 seconds.

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