Low intensity training would be doing your regular cardio work which could be running and reducing the speed and adding the duration. This will promote long term calorie burning and thus build endurance and reduce fat percentage. The problem is this takes some time and requires quite a big commitment as running on multiple days of the week are needed.
High intensity training involves increasing your speed in intervals until you can't run any further. This also burns a lot of calories and builds endurance but does it in a short amount of time. Your overall speed of your longer runs will increase as a result of the high intensity speed work you're doing. So which is better for building stamina and endurance, high intensity or low instensity training?
The answer is do both. Combine the benefits of both within your training routine. This will help you burn calories and increase your overall speed. If you run and you have a weekly mileage this may have to be foregone. You may need to just train the low and high intensity workouts for a few weeks to commit your time and energy to it to get the most out of it.
Low intensity training
So for low intensity let's assume you can run 20 minutes. Your aim for LIT (Low Intensity Training) would be to slowly increase the duration of the run to 40 to 60 minutes. You would do this at a lower intensity than your 20 minute runs. This will help build stamina and the weight loss you're after by burning calories.
The downside to this is it take a lot of time. You would need to typically do this longer run on 3 to 4 days of the week for 3 to 4 weeks for a lasting change. We would then advise doing it once a week after the initial period to make the change permanent. You will notice a change in fat levels and you'll be able to run your initial 20 minute stint easier and faster.
High intensity training
HIT (High Intensity Training) is hard work. It will really get the blood flowing and that's the aim. It's been proven to increase both aerobic and anaerobic fitness. If you can run for 20 minutes at 7 mph we'll draw up a plan for some HIT which will increase you're overall speed you would run the original 20 minutes for:
- 5 minutes walking warm up
- Sprint for 45 seconds x 10
- Rest walk for 45 seconds x10
- Fast run 45 seconds x10
- Rest walk for 45 seconds x10
- 5 minutes walking cool down
That is 30 minutes. It doesn't seem long but you should find it pretty exhausting. We haven't put the actual speed because that is so individual for you. As this is done on a treadmill we've have allowed time for the treadmill to speed up and slow down so don't worry about that delay. Combine this with the LIT during the week for maximum effect:
- Monday: LIT (Low Intensity Training)
- Tuesday: HIT (High Intensity Training)
- Thursday: LIT
- Friday: HIT
- For 4 weeks. When 4 weeks is up try and do 1 per week to maintain the improvement.
If you've managed the 4 weeks it should have transformed your body and performance. The bodybuilder will have dropped his fat percentage and the long distance runner will have improved mile times. Even for the hobbyist who wants to try some different training methods these are great ways to improve your endurance and see how your body reacts.