Scientists Discovered Why High Intensity Interval Training Can Match Endurance Training

Scientists have always struggled to understand exactly how short, few minutes, intense interval exercises can produce similar effects to much more time consuming endurance trainings.

High intensity interval training, also known by its acronym HIIT, has become very popular in recent years with beginners, professional athletes and patients with reduced muscle functions as it has clear health benefits. Now, researchers from Stockholm’s Karolinska Institutet discovered cellular mechanisms behind the positive benefits of HIIT and why endurance training is undermined by antioxidants.

Source: Scientists Discovered Why High Intensity Interval Training Can Match Endurance Training

Here’s what they’re doing 3 times a week:

  • You need a heart rate monitor (HRM) for…
  • 5-10 minute warm up
  • 4 minutes of exercise at a heart rate of suggested BPM (220-age)
  • 3 minutes of easy work, attempting to get the heart rate down to ~135 BPM
  • Repeat 3 times

Disclaimer: If you are at high risk for a cardiac event it might be best to see a physician before participating in vigorous exercise like HIIT. But for the majority, there should be no reason to avoid this type of exercise.  I’ve covered why raising your heart rate is good for you in the past.

The idea of max heart rate is debated (see this article), and can be very personal.  I’m told that if you can talk while maintaining a high heart rate, it’s OK for you.

Fueling and Training for Endurance Events

Knowing you’re able to ride as long as your route, riding mates or imagination requires is a very powerful feeling. Conversely, feeling dread about passing the one-hour, two-hour or three-hour point will limit your training and fitness gains, and ultimately your enjoyment.

Here’s how to break through these self-imposed endurance ceilings that are keeping you from making the most…

Source: How to increase cycling endurance

My favorite quote would be:

…consuming 15g honey or glucose taken every 10 miles during a 64km ride improves performance compared to water alone.

Imperial or metric? I can’t decide! 🙂

10 miles is 16 KM – they’re advocating every quarter of the distance.  What constitutes honey isn’t addressed in the article – honey is determined by having pollen in it, which can trigger allergic reactions for some and you’d have to investigate your store bought “honey” because they’re filtering a lot of pollen out these days.

I don’t think I could consume honey, which gets into the next point not raised by the article – try what they suggest but everyone is different so it’s up to you to figure out what actually works best.  But I do agree with the recommendation to have water with electrolytes in it – currently I’m using Nuun’s tabs, but have used a combination of Nuuns and Heed.

It was triathlon training that brought it to my attention that eating a good breakfast is a good idea, but requires you to eat early so you’re not bogged down, trying to swim/run/cycle/etc with all that in your tummy.  Lots I know get up around 3 or 4 in the morning on race day to eat, and then go back to bed for a couple of hours until the event.

It’s only the last three paragraphs that address endurance training.  It doesn’t come overnight, and it takes time.  I’ve yet to get into heart rate as a training tool – whatever minus your age is too generalized to be of value.  If your rate is high, but you can still talk?  Then you’re OK at that level.