3 Running Workouts For When Things Get Hectic
Your schedule is packed at this time of year. Here are three running workouts you can slip into your day no matter how hectic things get. Stay On Track!
The 20-Minute Hill Rep Workout
If you don’t even have 30 minutes to spare, it’s definitely still worth getting out for a run. In fact, this hill rep session may well deliver even more strength, fitness and calorie burn benefits than a longer, slower run. And with time to spare! Here’s how to:
Find a hill that’s steep enough to be a challenge (off-road, a pedestrianised path or alleyway, or a road with pavement)
Warm up (walk or jog to it if you can)
Run up it as fast as you can, really working hard, powering with your arms and lifting your knees
Run until you physically can’t run any more (you should be gasping for breath and feeling a little the worse for wear!)
Turn and jog or walk back down
Take extra rest at the bottom if needed, you need to have your breathing and heart rate under control, but not be cold
Run up the hill again
Repeat this at least 6 times, or 10-12 if you can.
Each sprint should take 20-40 seconds and each recovery 60-90 seconds.
Walk or jog back home.
Sprint sessions at the running track are great for specific hard work which can be repeated and measured. But if you don’t have access to a running track, you can still sprint. Here’s how to:
Find a flat, safe stretch of pavement, path or local track. Canal paths, footpaths and byways are all good options. Just make sure your “track” is flat, with no underfoot hazards or blind corners
Either set your watch to bleep every 30 seconds, or select markers (trees, benches, fence posts or other natural or manmade markers all work fine) which are set about 100 metres apart
Once you’ve warmed up, sprint between the markers. You can either sprint one, then jog one (roughly 100m sprints, 100m recovery) or choose your own pattern (sprint one, recover two, for example)
Whatever you choose to do, work very hard during the sprints to make the most of this short intense session. Leave at least 5 minutes to cool down.
5k Race Pace Tempo Run
This is a great way to get out on your usual run routes and feel like you’ve done a relatively normal run, but to really kick up the intensity at the same time. Here’s how to:
Work out your 5km race pace tempo (from a PB in a race or from a good training run)
Choose a 5 mile route, ideally one that’s quite flat and fast without too many road crossings or stops and starts
Set out running, and run the first mile at a warm up pace.
Once you hit the 1-mile marker, pick up the pace until you hit your 5km tempo pace.
Hold the pace here and keep working hard for the next 3 miles.
Use your watch and GPS to tell you when you’re hitting the mile markers and when you’re at the correct pace.
Once you hit 4 miles in total (you’ll have run roughly 5km at your race pace) slow down to a recovery pace for the final mile. You’re home and done!
Now what’s next… time to finish the Christmas shopping, or put up the decorations? Doesn’t matter – you’ve done your run for the day! Well done!
Feel free to share your favourite short but effective running workouts with the rest of the community so we can all stay on track this Christmas.