Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Brands

Training

No Time? No Problem!

Pressed for time? Don't let a hectic schedule stop you from running. Take a look at Coach Jenny's work-outs, perfect for those in a hurry!

Get access to everything we publish when you sign up for Outside+.


Pressed for time? Don’t let a hectic schedule stop you from running. Take a look at Coach Jenny’s three work-outs, perfect for those in a hurry!

Reader Question:

I’m a dedicated runner, but with three kids and a full-time job, I just don’t have time to fit in a run every day. If I only have 15 or 20 minutes, can I still get a worthwhile workout? — Cara

Answer: Absolutely! Quality always trumps quantity. Short workouts not only help you stay in shape, but improve your speed and stamina as well. A growing number of studies show you can reap the same benefits (in terms of both fitness and weight loss) from short duration workouts as you do from long ones.

There is one catch: To decrease the time you spend on your feet, you need to increase the effort. The three workouts listed in this article are short duration, high-intensity. Mix and match these workouts with longer, easy-effort runs. Or if you’re really slammed for time, simply perform all three on alternate days. That will be enough to keep you in racing shape!

RELATED ARTICLE: TIPS FOR POST-WORK RUNNING!

WORKOUT #1 – Dirty Dozen Tempo

Get your endorphins surging with this 12-minute tempo run. Perform this workout on  at roads or a treadmill and focus on running at a moderately-difficult effort. 

Warm up by walking for three minutes. Start at an easy pace and build to a brisk power walk.
Run at an easy effort for five minutes.
For 12 minutes, run at a pace that’s challenging but not extremely tough. Your breath should be audible, but you shouldn’t be gasping for air.
Cool down by walking until you catch your breath.

WORKOUT #2 – One-Minute Wonder

This one looks easy, but don’t be fooled! During the intervals, focus on running quickly but not superhero-speed. You should finish this workout feeling strong.

Warm up by walking for three minutes. Start at an easy pace and build to a brisk power walk.
Run at an easy pace for five minutes.
Run hard for one minute at a pace that’s very difficult, but not all-out. Then recover by walking or jogging slowly for one minute.
Repeat the fast/slow intervals six times total (12 minutes).
Cool down by walking until you catch your breath.

WORKOUT #3 – The Butt Blaster

Torch a ton of calories while sculpting your backside at the same time! The key to this workout is to run up a hill (or treadmill) with a gradual incline of less than 4 percent. By sticking to smaller slopes, you will maintain good form while avoiding injury.

Warm up by walking for three minutes. Start at an easy pace and build to a brisk power walk.
Run at an easy pace for three minutes. End at the base of a hill or by increasing the incline of your treadmill.
For one minute, run up the hill at a pace that feels difficult, but isn’t an allout sprint. Then recover by walking or jogging at an easy pace for two minutes. You can jog down the hill or take the treadmill’s incline back to 0 percent.
Repeat the up/down pattern four times (12 minutes). As you get stronger, you’ll transition to six hill intervals: one minute up, one minute down.
Cool down by walking until you catch your breath.

RELATED ARTICLE: 20 MINUTES TO FIT – STRENGTH TRAINING ROUTINE!

___________________________________________________________

Jenny Hadfield is the co-author of Running for Mortals and Marathoning for Mortals. You can find more of her training programs, tips and running classes at jennyhadfield.com.