How do the Jennis HIIT Run sessions actually work?

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Want to try an outdoor run session from Jessica Ennis-Hill's exercise app, Jennis Fitness? Then why not get Jess coaching you one-to-one with the Jennis HIIT Run sessions on SoundCloud or YouTube

Fancy adding an outdoor session to your Jennis programme? Want something that keeps it interesting while boosting your fitness? And how about getting Jessica Ennis-Hill fitness coaching you through the whole session for extra motivation? Then you need to try the Jennis HIIT Run sessions – available on SoundCloud  and  YouTube .

What’s a Jennis HIIT Run session anyway?

It’s a type of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) that involves short bursts of intense exercise performed at speed, followed by a slower rest period in one workout. Sprint HIITs have played a key part in Jess’ training schedule, and she and her coach Toni Minichello have tailored the session to suit you. There are Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced sessions, and you don’t need any equipment or a timer, as Jess will talk you through when you need to run and when to reduce your pace.

How do Jennis HIIT Runs help you get fitter?

All exercise activates biological reactions that can help you get fitter and improve your cell health. However, the more intense workouts involved in HIIT workouts – which include HIIT Runs – fast-track these reactions , so you improve your fitness in less time.

It’s been shown that in high-intensity workouts, your body can’t supply blood and oxygen fast enough to the muscles so it must rely on its anaerobic system for energy – this taps into glucose available for energy in the muscles. Then during the rest periods, the body switches back to its aerobic system, which releases fat stores for energy. Eventually, your body relies less on the anaerobic system, improving efficiency all round .

The rest periods are a vital part of the workout, giving your body time to recover for the next high-intensity burst of exercise. They also help your heart to adapt between the sprint and recovery periods, so it becomes more efficient at transporting oxygen around the body. 

And it works – scientists have found that sprint training burns fat more efficiently than normal, steady-state cardio exercise.

You don’t need any equipment or a timer, as Jess will talk you through when you need to run and when you need to reduce your pace

How fast do you run in a Jennis HIIT Run session?

Jennis HIIT Runs feature alternating hard runs and recovery runs, but when it comes to the hard runs, you shouldn’t go full gas as you will burn out too quickly. Instead, aim for 70 per cent of your maximum effort, so that you definitely get your heart rate up but you don’t go so hard that you have nothing left. This is particularly important for the 60, 50, 40 and 30-second run efforts.

It’s only during the final runs of 20 seconds and 10 seconds that you should really push yourself to 100 per cent effort. These are proper sprints – so leg it as fast as you can. If you can speak during one of these, you need to go faster…

The Jennis HIIT Run sessions in detail

BEGINNER

Total time = 18 minutes

3 x sets, with a longer 3-minute rest in between

2-minute warm up

Set 1 (2 minutes 40 seconds)- 40-second run- 30-second rest- 30-second run- 20-second rest- 20-second sprint- 10-second rest- 10-second sprint

3-minute rest

Set 2 (2 minutes 40 seconds)- 40-second run- 30-second rest- 30-second run- 20-second rest- 20-second sprint- 10-second rest- 10-second sprint

3-minute rest

Set 3 (2 minutes 40 seconds)- 40-second run- 30-second rest- 30-second run- 20-second rest- 20-second sprint- 10-second rest- 10-second sprint

2-minute recovery rest

INTERMEDIATE

Total time = 22 mins 30

3 x sets, with a longer 3-minute rest in between

2-minute warm-up

Set 1 (4 minutes 10 seconds long)- 50-second run- 40-second rest- 40-second run- 30-second rest- 30-second run- 20-second rest- 20-second sprint- 10-second rest- 10-second sprint

3-minute rest

Set 2 (4 minutes 10 seconds long)- 50-second run- 40-second rest- 40-second run- 30-second rest- 30-second run- 20-second rest- 20-second sprint- 10-second rest- 10-second sprint

3-minute rest

Set 3 (4 minutes 10 seconds long)- 50-second run- 40-second rest- 40-second run- 30-second rest- 30-second run- 20-second rest- 20-second sprint- 10-second rest- 10-second sprint

2-minute recovery rest

It’s only during the final runs of 20 seconds and 10 seconds in length that you should really push yourself to 100 per cent effort. These are proper sprints – so leg it as fast as you can!

ADVANCED

Total time = 28 minutes

3 x sets, with a longer 3-minute rest in between

2-minute warm-up

Set 1 (6 minutes long)- 60-second run- 50-second rest- 50-second run- 40-second rest- 40-second run- 30-second rest- 30-second run- 20-second rest- 20-second sprint- 10-second rest- 10-second sprint

3-minute rest

Set 2 (6 minutes long)- 60-second run- 50-second rest- 50-second run- 40-second rest- 40-second run- 30-second rest- 30-second run- 20-second rest- 20-second sprint- 10-second rest- 10-second sprint

3-minute rest

Set 3 (6 minutes long)- 60-second run- 50-second rest- 50-second run- 40-second rest- 40-second run- 30-second rest- 30-second run- 20-second rest- 20-second sprint- 10-second rest- 10-second sprint

2-minute recovery rest

Can you walk in the rest periods?

In an ideal world, you’d jog gently through your rest periods to make it more of a workout. But if you’re really struggling and need a break, walking is good, too. A 2014 study in the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness reported that active rest – which includes walking as well as jogging – is more effective at clearing lactate, a waste produced during intense exercise, from the blood.

After your workout

Just as you would with an indoor workout, it’s important to take the time to cool down and stretch after a Jennis HIIT Run. Lacking in inspo? Check out Jennis Fitness Extras on the app for Jessica Ennis-Hill's cool-down stretches.

Find out more about Jessica Ennis-Hill's Jennis Fitness exercise app

Sign up to Jessica Ennis-Hill's Jennis Fitness app for iPhone and Android

Listen to Jessica Ennis-Hill's HIIT Run coaching sessions on SoundCloud

Listen to Jessica Ennis-Hill's HIIT Run coaching sessions on YouTube

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