Running Training

Workouts to build speed when you’re short of time

We’ve all heard it before: consistency is key. While you know the basics–get out the door regularly, do most of your running slow and a little bit of it fast–even the best training plans go out the window sometimes when life happens. When you’re already mentally stressed, the last thing you want to worry about is losing fitness. Here are three shorter workouts you can slot into a busy schedule and still reap the rewards of a longer speedwork session. 

Simple speedwork for time-crunched days

This adaptable workout can be thrown into any athlete’s training plan, during any season. Take it to the trails for some hill work, or add more or fewer intervals depending on the time available.

Warm up with 10 minutes of easy running

10-15 x 1 minute fast, 1 minute easy

Cool down with 10 minutes of easy running

Tempo and speed combo

This workout bridges speed and strength, combining the tempo run (which helps to get you race-ready) with some quick intervals. The speed intervals are like the “fast finish” portion of some long runs–they will remind your legs they have a bit of kick left, while also making the workout just that little bit more challenging. Use the easy portion in the middle for a super slow, gentle (but short) recovery.

Warm up with 10 minutes of easy running

15- to 20-minute moderate tempo run, 5 minutes easy, 6-8 x 30 seconds fast/30 seconds easy

Cool down with 10 minutes of easy running.

30-minute sustained effort on mixed terrain

Try to do this workout on a trail or road that has some climbs and descents, or even program a treadmill with a variety of inclines. If you’re stuck somewhere flat without a hill in sight, you can certainly still benefit. Keep that one-hour effort in mind, and try not to go faster–you want to prep your body for race pace without overdoing it. You can add a warmup and cooldown to this one if you have time, running easy for five to 10 minutes at both ends.

Make sure the day following any of these sessions is rest or easy running. You can count on these workouts to give you the training effect of a longer session and can substitute them into your schedule whenever you’re short on time.

Original Post Running Magazine

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