Fartlek: effects on metabolism and fat burning

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When looking to improve our running performance, Fartlek is definitely one of the go-to workouts. However, HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) which Fartlek is a part of, also helps to boost the so-called lipid power. Find out why with science

Not all workouts are equally effective at consuming fat resources!

Of all the types of training, Scientific Research show that the Fartlek And the others high intensity interval workouts (also called HIIT, High Intensity Interval Training) they are the best promote fatty acid catabolism (transient increase in metabolism and stimulation of lipid potency), as they promotemetabolic activation far superior to running at low intensity, medium or long duration, which lasts a few hours after the end of training!

How Fartlek Boosts Our Metabolic Systems

What sets him apart the most Fartlek and other HIIT workouts from run at a steady, moderate pace and the higher intensitywhich defines the different energy system used yes mechanisms that are triggered to restore the resting state for the body.

Energy systems in running: anaerobic and aerobic training

The different intensity implies, as expected, the use of a different energy system. During Fartlek and intensity runs are mostly done using the anaerobic systemrunning at a constant speed and at a moderate intensity mainly uses the aerobic energy system.

Anaerobic system: it does not need oxygen to function and it comes enabled for high intensity work. Perhaps alactacid (for work of very short duration, maximum 10 seconds, and does not produce lactic acid) o lactacid (activated for longer lasting labor, exhibits lactate production). This last system (anaerobic lactacid) is also called “connecting system”, because it acts as a bridge between anaerobic and aerobic metabolism.

Aerobic system: needs oxygen and comes activated for prolonged laborof low and medium intensity. This system is activated after about 20 minutes of activity constant and uses muscle and liver glycogen and fat as fuel/substrate.

In general, we keep in mind that the energy supplied to our muscles almost never comes from a single energy system which thus becomes “predominant” over the others, but rather by a coexistence of the different systems which compete with each other by providing energy depending on the intensity of the training.

runner with tank top and wireless headphones checks heart rate on watch

Recovery and afterburn effect (EPOC phase)

The Fartlek and high-intensity anaerobic training activate a recovery process that maximizes the use of fatty acids (catabolism).
It is after training, in fact, that Fartlek assistance burn fat more efficiently compared to other types of training, maximize afterburner effect.

Scientific research shows that after about 1 hour of Fartlek the catabolism of fatty acids increases by about 36% compared to the state of inactivity!

But what do we mean by Afterburn Effect or EPOC phase?
For Afterburner effect means the amount of oxygen necessary for the body return to a state of rest. This is where fat burning comes in, actually some of the energy needed for the afterburn effect is obtained from beta-oxidation of fatty acidsfavoring a reduction in body fat.
Afterburn effect lasts on average 10 to 48 hoursbut in some cases, such as very intense workouts, it can take up to 72 hours.

So can you count on Fartlek to lose weight?

In part, yes, even if the effect on weight loss is negligible!
Just think that a professional marathon runner, who has an extremely high level of training and is therefore able to maximize the use of fat (scientifically called “lipids”), completing a marathon consumes about 32 grams of fat, an amount almost negligible. .

In order to slim downwhat matters most is ours daily choices at the table!
The diet (or rather, nutrition education) should always be balanced and functional to our level of training, and for this reason it is always a good rule to follow by a professional able to adapt the balance of macronutrients to our specific needs!

In summary:

  1. Fartlek and HIIT workouts maximize the time and range of the afterburn effect;
  2. The Afterburn effect activates a fatty acid oxidation process. After Fartlek and HIIT workouts, the Afterburn effect will last longer and lead to increased fatty acid consumption.

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