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Running Tips : Torch Calories for Hours with Running Workout

Let’s get to know it.

Known as the after-burn effect, this miraculous-seeming phenomenon is what happens when your body continues to torch fat long after you’ve finished your last sprint and hit the showers.

From a scientific standpoint, this is known as EPOC, or excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, says Joe Holder, Nike running coach and trainer at S10 training. “Essentially, your body needs to return back to its ‘normal’ state after a tough workout, and in order to repair muscle, replenish oxygen, and remove excess waste products, you [continue burning] calories,” he says.

The thing is, most people assume the after-burn effect only happens after high-intensity interval training (HIIT) exercises. That’s certainly not wrong, but Holder says the after-burn effect can actually be achieved through all kinds of workouts. One of his favorite ways to cash in? Running.

“Running—and I mean true running—is the original form of HIIT,” he says. “When you are sprinting at high effort, you are performing an interval at high intensity. You then ‘recover’ to make sure you can go at max intensity again.” That last part is key too, as Holder says it’s not truly HIIT if you’re not going all-out at some point in the workout—and that intensity is what’s going to get you that after-burn.

Plus, anyone can get out and run, making it super accessible. “People rely too much on fancy tools and equipment instead of simply changing other variables, such as time and intensity, to get the most out of their workout,” says Holder. “I love keeping it bare bones and pushing myself mentally to get to where I need to be.”

Ready to feel the burn? Follow Holder’s 30-minute running workout below, which he suggests doing two times a week (mixed in with a true strength-training day, a medium-intensity day, and a low-intensity day), and you’ll be sizzling until sundown.

running epoc afterburn effect

 

The Warmup

Jog for five minutes at a comfortable pace (it should be easy to carry a conversation), then do the following dynamic exercises, resting for 60 seconds between each move. “They’ll activate your nervous system and get that heart pumping,” says Holder. Once you do that, your metabolism is revved and ready to start blasting cals.

• 10 squat jumps

• 10 bounds

• 5 power skips per leg

• 15 seconds single-leg quick hops (move from front to back and side to side on each leg)

• 15 seconds mountain climbers (switch legs as fast as possible)

• 15 seconds high knees

• 2 100-meter striders

The Running Workout: Track Version

Now, it’s time to get moving. Remember, Holder says this is a true sprint, which means you should be moving at 90 to 100 percent of your max intensity, followed by jogging at a recovery pace. “No holding back here,” he says. Need a refresher on your distances? See the chart below:

• 400 meters = 1 full lap around the track

• 300 meters = 3/4 lap

• 200 meters = 1/2 lap

• 100 meters = 1 straightaway

Ready to run? Here we go:

• Sprint: 200 meters

• Jog: 400 meters

• Sprint: 150 meters

• Jog: 300 meters

• Sprint: 100 meters

• Jog: 200 meters

Rest for one to two minutes, then repeat three to five times.

Bonus: If your track area has a set of stairs or bleachers, sprint up those five times for an extra incline workout, resting 30 seconds in between.

 

The Running Workout: Treadmill Version

No easy access to a track? No sweat. Hop on the treadmill after your warmup and follow this plan to reap those after-burn rewards.

• Sprint: 45 seconds

• Jog: 2 minutes

• Sprint: 30 seconds

• Jog: 90 seconds

• Sprint: 15 seconds

• Jog: 45 seconds

Rest for one to two minutes, then repeat three to five times.

Bonus: Choose an incline that challenges you, but that you’re still capable of running up. Sprint for 10 seconds, rest for 30 seconds. Repeat five times. (Remember, engage your core and pump those arms to help you power up!)

Core Work

Now that you’re exhausted, it’s time to work your core (naturally). “You want to work on eliciting control when fatigued, and these exercises will help you do that,” says Holder. Perform each move for 30 seconds. If an exercise requires you to switch sides (like with side planks), go for 30 seconds per side.

• Front Plank

• Side Plank

• Glute Bridge

• Clamshells

Cooldown

Last but certainly not least, Holder says it’s best to cool down with eccentric control exercises—a.k.a. going slow during one portion of an exercise, pausing, then quickly powering back up with control. “This will cause your EPOC to elevate a bit more due to the ‘time under tension,’ or slowly lowering during each exercise.”

For the exercises below, Holder says to slowly lower for five seconds, pause for one second at the bottom of the rep, then quickly lift back up in a controlled motion. Perform 10 reps (five per leg for the single-leg movements), and then you’re done!

• Squats

• Lunge Matrix (front lunge, lateral lunge, reverse lunge)

• Deadlifts (single-leg, if possible)

• Pushups (drop to your knees if needed). Then, go hit the foam roller.

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