Four Minutes of Hell…Twenty-six of burning

Last week I went running every day for an hour. I got a good four-mile route in every day, Sunday through Friday, and felt incredible the rest of every day. My day started with a quick ten-minute shower, bowl of Special K raisin bran (that I found this morning lamentably crawling with ants…), protein shake, ten minutes of stretching, ten minutes of walking, and then out I went into the world.

Today was different. After some planning with Viking, I decided to try my hands on some high-intensity interval training. I had no idea what I was getting into when I started out this morning. I did my usual warm-up of a brisk walk going into a sustained jog of a few minutes, and then I hit the gas. My plan was called “Four Minutes of Hell” from the “How to do cardio if you must” article on Wannabebig. It’s a set of 30-second intervals you repeat for four minutes:

10 seconds sprinting, 20 seconds recovery (jog or brisk walk)

I’ll be honest. It hurt. I ended up doing 9 sets of those for a total of 4.5 minutes, spread out over about 12 minutes of intermixed jogging because I’m not much of a runner. It was exhausting. At the end of the first set (which I completed at my 15 minute mark) I felt like I’d been out for twice as long as I was.

The goal is to do my normal run tomorrow, another bout of HIIT on Wednesday, take Thursday as a recovery day, and ease into another normal run on Friday. But here as I’m writing this, roughly two hours after finishing the run, I feel as I normally do after a four-mile run, and I only went about half my normal route. Definitely worth giving it a shot if you’re looking for something to break your normal routine.