Interval Training vs. Distance Running: Which is Better for Weight Loss?

When it comes to cardio workouts, two popular options are high intensity interval training (HIIT) and distance running. Both have their benefits and drawbacks, so it’s important to understand the differences between the two to determine which is best for you.

What is HIIT?

High Intensity Interval training involves alternating periods of high-intensity exercise with periods of rest or lower-intensity exercise. This type of training can improve cardiovascular fitness, increase calorie burn, and enhance muscular endurance and power. It is a time-efficient way to exercise and can be beneficial for weight loss and improving athletic performance.

What is Distance Running?

Distance running, on the other hand, involves covering a longer distance at a moderate intensity. This type of exercise can also improve cardiovascular fitness and increase calorie burn. It can be beneficial for building endurance and can lead to improved mental well-being.

So which is best for weight loss?

Both HIIT and distance running can be effective for weight loss, but HIIT may be more effective in burning calories and fat in a shorter amount of time. HIIT is a high-intensity workout that can burn a lot of calories in a short period of time. The intense bursts of exercise elevates your metabolism and heart rate to above your cardio zone, leading to increased calorie burn both during and after the workout. This can help create a calorie deficit, which is necessary for weight loss.

Distance running can also burn calories and contribute to weight loss, but it may take longer to achieve the same calorie burn as interval training. Additionally, distance running may not be sustainable for everyone due to the higher impact for an extended time on joints and muscles.


The LK FITNESS App has both HIIT and long cardio sessions weekly.

On the LK FITNESS APP


Example of an Interval Training running-walking program:

If you have the LK FITNESS app, do the HIIT on the app.

If you don’t have the app, this is an example of a HIIT running/walking program:

  • Beginner: Brisk Walk for 30 seconds, Slow Walk for 30 seconds. Repeat cycle for a total of 18 minutes.
  • Intermediate: Fast Paced Run for 30 seconds, Slow Walk for 30 seconds. Repeat cycle for a total of 24 minutes.
  • Advanced: Full Speed Run for 30 seconds, Slow Walk for 30 seconds. Repeat cycle for a total of 30 minutes.

You can do this program once or twice a week.

Final Verdict

It’s important to note that weight loss ultimately comes down to creating a calorie deficit, which can be achieved through a combination of exercise and a healthy diet. Both HIIT and distance running can be effective tools to help you achieve your weight loss goals, but it’s important to choose a form of exercise that you enjoy and can stick to consistently. Remember, it is also important to do strength training or weight training if you want to get the most out your weight loss efforts. To get a wholistic workout plan that includes HIIT, distance running (long cardio) and strength training, download the LK Fitness App by clicking here.


Get a Program and a meal plan

If you’re looking for a balanced workout plan that includes both long cardio days and high-intensity interval training, check out the LK Fitness App. Our app offers beginner, intermediate, and advanced level workout plans that are tailored to your fitness goals and preferences. We also offer weekly meal plans with three meal plans to choose from, so you can stay on track with your nutrition goals. Download the LK Fitness App today and start your fitness journey with us.