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I've just started interval training. After running at a steady pace for a couple years now I have started 30 seconds hard with 2 minutes regular pace. I've shaved off 45 minutes from my time with this approach, and I am wondering about how to manage it so I am maximizing fat burning. I've read that to maximize effects an interval should last no longer than 30 seconds. Any input you can give me would be great.
That is first terrific that you have been able to accomplish such a difficult goal! Fat burning is really the result of how much work you can do within a time frame. However, if you can maintain a higher level of intensity (closer to a maximal effort) within that time frame you are going to burn more bodyfat because of the body's post-exercise response. There is no truth that the interval should only last 30 seconds. The most advanced level of intervals that I incorporate is either 60 seconds on and 60 seconds off, or 30 seconds on and 30 seconds off. Which one I use more depends upon other factors outside of just bodyfat burning. As you can see though reaching this level would require a great level of conditioning and would result in more bodyfat loss. Just don't try to drop to this level immediately though. Slowly decrease the rest interval and increase the work interval as I have outlined in my article on interval training.