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5 quality 20-minute running workouts

20-minute-running-workouts

Last week, we shared 20-minute walk/jog workouts. Today we’re talking about 20-minute runs. Here’s how to get the most out of your workout when you’re short on time. 

Long intervals

  • Warm up with a 3 minute jog.
  • Then alternate between 3 minutes at your 5K or 10K pace with 30 seconds easy jogging.
  • Repeat so you complete this set 4 times total.
  • Cool down by jogging another 3 minutes.

Short intervals

  • Warm up with a 3 minute jog.
  • Then alternate between 1 minute of all-out sprinting and 2 minutes easy jogging.
  • Repeat so you complete this set 4 times in all.
  • Cool down by jogging another 5 minutes.

 The mile time trial

  • Warm up with 5 minutes of easy jogging.
  • Then run a mile as fast as you can — be sure to time it!
  • Jog the rest of the 20 minutes.

The speed mountain

  • Warm up with two minutes easy jogging.
  • Then increase your pace (whether on treadmill/watch or by feel) with every minute until you reach the 10-minute mark.
  • Then decrease your pace in this same fashion till the 18 minute mark.
  • Cool down with two minutes of easy jogging.

 The easy-does-it

  • Simply head out the door and jog for 20 minutes.
  • Go at a pace slower than normal and focus on de-stressing.
  • It’s OK to go slow sometimes. Don’t even bring your watch.

There are less-structured workouts I perform when I’m low on time. For example, I’ll set my radar for all the hills in our neighborhood and sprint up them. I’ll run out at an easy pace and return at a fast clip. If I’m not feeling well or motivation is an issue, I’ll even walk/jog or take a nice walk to get my body moving.

If after I’ve started my run I feel I might have more time than I originally thought, I’ll lengthen the workout. Sometimes I’ll even add in some cross-training and do push-ups or sit-ups or even burpees to get some extra difficulty in the mix. (And usually I can squeeze out another 10 minutes from my schedule. It’s not magic — all it takes is switching modes. I promise!)

Regardless, if I give myself those 20 minutes — less times than it takes to watch a sitcom — on an otherwise booked day, I’m healthier and happier for it. I can’t remember a single time I’ve returned from one of these short runs and been sorry I made the time.

What’s your favorite quickie run?

Written by  Ashley Marcin.