Looking for an Outdoor HIIT Workout?

 For those unfamiliar with the term, HIIT is an acronym for High Intensity Interval Training, popular workout sessions at YMCA’s and athletic clubs in Delaware and throughout the nation. The workout consists of short periods of all-out high intensity pedaling effort followed by short periods of rest, either very soft pedaling or no pedaling. Full sessions are typically 30 minutes long; and most participants find them very effective and worthwhile.

Certainly, a HIIT session can be done at home on a trainer or exercise bike with a timer app or watch with a countdown timer. Doing a HIIT session outside is feasible if you can find a flat, paved and mostly straight road.

 The Mike Castle Trail provides just such an opportunity. If you enter the trail at the Biddle Point trailhead and go right towards the Marina, the trail goes for approximately 5.2 miles. It’s essentially straight and flat with a few slight curves, only 2 somewhat blind curved sections and a very short rise at a single bridge. 

 You don’t need a watch or timer. There are benches almost equally spaced a few hundred yards apart along the 5 miles that provide visual objectives. Sprint all out from one bench to the next, coast or soft pedal to the next and repeat, etc.. Do 2 fast benches and then an easy one if you’d prefer. Enjoy the fresh air and the pleasant scenery along the canal.

 Note that if you enter the trail in Delaware City, the spaced out benches don’t begin until Biddle Point, but it will provide a nice warm up and cool down if you so choose.

CAUTION – There are often long stretches where you see no one else along the trail, but understand that the Mike Castle Trail is open to cyclists AND pedestrians (some with children and dogs), so be very cautious should you see others ahead. Remember that some cyclists and pedestrians will move unpredictably when warned of your approach.

DO NOT assume that yelling “on your left” or ringing a bell will make it safe to overtake others at high speed. Slow down and sacrifice 1 high intensity rep; you’ll be able to make it up later. 

Enjoy your workout ride and be safe.