Science says you should be sprinting. Find a local track where you can do just that.
The official GQ stance on running is that running is great. The activity I once contemptuously derided in my youth as the sole province of the generation above me has become a key part of my fitness routine of late, especially since I begrudgingly became a member of… what was the generation above me not so long ago. Running is somehow tough and relaxing at the same time. It clears my head. It’s the best exercise for keeping me alive. On top of all that, a good morning jog allows me to knock out that podcast that’s been languishing sadly on my phone as an unopened app badge for a week and a half. Unfortunately, it appears that I might be embracing the wrong form of this miracle exercise, because what you and I really should be doing more of, according to science, is sprinting.
But I’m just a regular fitness enthusiast trying to stay lean and avoid buying new chinos every winter, you might protest bewilderedly. Why should I go out and attempt my very best Usain Bolt impression, which even on my finest days will still be laughably bad? The answer is that high-intensity intermittent exercise—for example, a brief all-out sprint, followed by a period of low-intensity exercise, followed by another sprint, followed by another rest period, and so on and so forth until you feel like death—might be even better at helping you achieve your fitness goals than regular old aerobic exercise. A variety of studies have indicated that weekend warriors who stick to a sprint training regimen can lose more weight than their steady-state-exercise counterparts, and that overweight men can start to see the results of their efforts in as little as two weeks.
The most significant hurdle (sorry, that’s a terrible track pun) to bringing the sprint into your life is that jogging simply requires that you get up and go, whereas interval training entails concocting some semblance of a plan before putting foot…