Running Workouts in 30 Minutes Or
I often find myself short of time for training.
Many of us have very busy lives
and try to fit our workouts in a schedule that is already filled with family,
job, commute and many other more important things. I often find myself short of
time for training so I am always looking for short, but intense and efficient
workouts. I can fit these in the lunch break at work or in early morning before
work or when the kids are nappingÖ. Of course I still have to fit in regular
workouts, especially on weekends or in the evenings when the days get longer and
the temperature warmer. The workouts in this article wonít allow you to run a
marathon, but will make a short workout still very valuable.
Depending on the available time I
have, I try to add 5-10 minutes warmup/cooldown to the workouts listed below.
Twenty minutes medium pace: run out 11 minutes at a medium pace, then turn
around and try to get back to your starting point in the remaining 9 minutes.
If you pace yourself well, donít start too slow or too fast, this is a great
workout because you will be running back 20% faster than your way out.
The one minute hill repeats
workout (see my previous article) is a good workout to fit into 30 minutes.
With 1 minute up and 2 minutes job back down you can fit 6-7 hills + warm-up
in 30 minutes. After you have tried hills a few times, you can also try to do
1í30Ē,2í up and back. This way you will need only 4-5 hill repeats. If you
live in a very flat area, you can use the stairs of a tall building or a
parking lot (watch for people and cars of course), or a stadium to achieve
similar results, or worst case a treadmill with a very big incline!
In a gym you can try and
alternate 5 minutes on treadmill and 5 minutes on the stationary bike for 30
minutes total. Itís a good initiation to bricks and you can make it tougher by
spinning fast on the bike and then trying to keep a descending pace (faster
every 5 minutes) on the treadmill. I consider the treadmill easier than real
running (except for the boredom part of it), so to make it reasonably
challenging, I always pump up the incline function. Also, if you have good
speed, the treadmill can be dangerous: when you start running at 8.5 or 9
miles per hour on a treadmill, if you put one foot in the wrong place and fall
the consequences could be very hurtful! So instead of running at 9 miles per
hour on a flat treadmill, I run 8 or 7.5 with a big incline.
If you have access to a track
the 200m repeat workout (see my earlier article on speed workouts) can be fit
in about 30 minutes.
A great alternative to the 200m
repeats is to find a straight stretch of road or better a football or soccer
field. Run the diagonal of the field fast, then recover jog along the end
line, then run fast another diagonal, recover jog along the other end line and
keep going. How many can you do? This is actually harder then the 200m
repeats, because the recovery is very short.
If you need to put in a long
run, but canít come up with a full hour all together, you can still try the
following: 20 minutes before work, 20 minutes at lunch time, 20 minutes in the
evening. The effect on your body will be similar to a full consecutive hour.
Fartlek workout: after 10
minutes warm-up, alternate 3 minutes fast pace and 3 minutes slower pace for
the remaining of the 30 minutes. How fast is fast? It depends on your level,
but probably a 10KM or 5Km pace could be a good start. How much slower for the
recovery time. This should be faster than the recovery jog pace you use during
your repeat workouts, but still be slow enough to allow your heart to recover.
And donít forget a good easy 20
minutes jog. Sometimes we donít feel like a hard workout. Give your body a
break and just go out jogging at a comfortable pace for 20-25 minutes. Enjoy
the landscape and just let your legs lead you. You will actually benefit even
from this kind of easy workout once in a whileÖ
This is not a run workout, but
still good. Have you ever done bike hill-repeats? You should structure them
similarly to how you structure your run hill repeats. Find a hill long enough
to go up for at least 1 minute and clear of traffic. Bike up as fast as you
can, turn around, go back to the beginning and go up again. You would start by
going up with a relatively easy gear and only after you know what this workout
is like, attempt a more difficult gear. Another suggestion is to try and stay
on the saddle while you go up. Triathlon is a lot about energy optimization.
When you stand on your bike to climb a hill, your legs will get much more
tired and will be much harder to run on afterward. You can add variety to
this workout, by adding a Ĺ mile run after each 2 hills on the bike.
And finally a stationary bike
(NOT rollers) 30 minutes (or less) workout. Warm up for a few minutes, then
try and pedal for 30sec to 1 minute with one leg only. Then pedal with two
legs for a minute and repeat the one leg exercise with the opposite leg. You
can repeat this cycle 3-4 times. This will not only make your legs stronger,
but also help you get a feel for your pedal stroke. As your foot goes around,
you may notice some dead spots: areas where your foot is not actually applying
energy on the pedal. The goal of a good and efficient bike stroke is to try
and apply energy to the pedal along the full 360 degrees revolution. This is
not the easiest thing to doÖ.
Try to do the one leg drill with a
relatively easy gear or your knees will scream at you. You can complete the
workout by doing a 2x(2 or 3 minutes) pedal at very high speed on an easy gear.
Try to do this, by remaining on the saddle and without losing control of your
feet. This drill will help you get a feel for your stroke too. Cool down for the
As you have probably noticed, most
of the workouts suggested above donít give you all the details that you may be
expecting. Try to use your imagination. The basic idea is that you want to get
your body trained to something new and challenging within only 30 minutes or
less. You want to build some lactic acid in your legs. As I have mentioned
before in my articles, everybody is different and each personís body responds
differently to similar stimuli. When I work closely with an athlete and I know
him/her, I can give more detailed suggestions, because I have experience on how
this person will respond. Those of you that I donít have the luck to work with
on a regular basis, have to use your own sensibility and listen to what your
body is telling you. Use my workouts as suggestions and starting points onto
which build your own training program. And please give me feedback if you
find this article useful. And if you have other workouts that work well for you,
please share them with me. There is always room for improvement and learning.
Thanks for reading.
Triathlete and ACE Certified
information in this article is provided freely with the only goal of educating
athletes accessing the beginnertriathlete.com website. The article/workouts
above are not meant to be exercise and/or personal recommendations, but only
examples of workouts that I and/or other athletes have completed in the past.
Enrico Contolini will not be responsible or liable for any injury, illness or
death resulting from the use of the information contained in this article.
Please, always remember to consult your physician before starting any exercise