The BeWOW Breakdown: A H.I.I.T. Workout You Can Do Your Own Way 

Run, bike, swim — take your pick.

This Week’s Workout: High-Intensity 20-Sprint Challenge

The Breakdown
Total time commitment: 50 minutes
Difficulty (out of five): 4
Soreness Factor: Warm up or face the consequences
Overall Grade (out of five): 4

Our first impressions:
We have gotten really used to the Be Well Workout of the Week being cross-training for our running, so this week’s workout came as a bit of a surprise. We decided that we would keep to cross-training in place of this workout this week and we’d fit in this interval training in place of intervals we had planned later in the week. Sadly that meant that everyone would do this workout on their own, but as a plus you get to hear our individual perspectives on the workout this week.

How we felt afterwards:
Alon: I’m still easing back into running after spraining an ankle in the summer. Suffice it to say that running this interval workout was not going to be pretty. No, instead I did this workout on the rowing machine. Fun side note, when you “sprint” on a rowing machine that’s on a smooth laminate floor, the equipment tends to move … a lot. In fact, between every four sets or so, I would have to get off the machine and set it back in place to make sure I didn’t injure some weightlifting bystander. Logistics aside, the workout was tough, but really reasonable. I did a 10-minute warmup to make sure that I didn’t strain any muscles. After that, I felt like I had plenty of time to recover between sprint sets. My next move is to try this sprint/rest formula on a bunch of different modes — swimming, elliptical, bike, running — and I’ve got no doubt they’ll all be killer workouts.

Rebecca: My running schedule already had a speed day set up for the week, so I just moved it up and did this workout. I ended up doing laps around a park near my apartment, underestimating the length of this workout and my ability to have to run to a track to have completed it. This was a great framework for a HIIT workout since it can be done with a variety of activities. The hardest part, at least for me, was trying to keep track of the sections and the time. I may have run longer than I was supposed to because I would lose track of the repeats, but it was just an excuse to run more and harder. I will say, though, that a warm-up is key before you do this workout as it’s not good to start out sprinting on cold, stiff legs.

»» Ready to sweat through this week’s workout? You can find it here

About our testers:

Rebecca Barber is the founder of the Rocky 50K Fat Ass Run, a just-for-fun 50K run that follows Rocky Balboa’s footsteps in Rocky II. She’s a 19x marathoner and 17x ultra marathoner, having started running when she was a kid. She’s an active volunteer withBack on My Feet Philadelphia, where she works to help the homeless community use running as a means to better their lives and find stable employment and housing. When not running all the miles, she is the social media coordinator for The Wharton School.

Alon Abramson is the founder of the West Philly Runners, the creator of – a web resource for running in Philadelphia – and the organizer of a number of running events in Philly, including the annual 26×1 Mile Team Marathon Relay, Beat the Bus, and Beat the Commute. Running since high school, Alon is an on-again, off-again runner with ebbs and flows to his mileage and commitment. More recently however, he’s taken a new approach to training, emphasizing cross-training and speed work as much as building up mileage and this has dramatically improved his running performance. When he’s not organizing and running, Alon works as a research project manager at Penn’s Institute for Urban Research, studying energy efficiency best practices. 

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