Pressed for Time? Here’s Six Great, 45-Minute Workouts

May 03, 2016 Posted By: Bob "Wish" Wischnia

A reality check: Few of us have enough time to do everything we need to in any given day, and still train optimally. We would be professional runners (and would not have to read this) if we could run twice a day, stretch, lift weights and maybe even fit in a massage every day.

The majority of us are lucky to squeeze in a short workout during our lunch hour or before or after work. Demands on what little free time we have are one of the harsh realities of having a job (or school), family and trying to have some resemblance of a life. Free, unfettered, guilt-free time is a precious commodity and yet, it is important we find time to run.

If this sounds a little like you, here are six 45-minute workouts that will help keep you in running shape. Certainly, you’ll have to do longer, more time-consuming runs at some point if you’re preparing for a half marathon or marathon, but these can get you through a busy week.

Try to begin each of the following workouts with an easy warm-up jog (3-5 minutes) followed by strides, lunges or butt kicks. After the workout, plan on another few minutes of easy running as your cool down.

Sample workouts:

1. Hill repeats. Find a moderately tough hill that is 400-600 meters long. After your warm-up, pick up the pace for about five minutes of fast-paced running that—ideally—should bring you to the base of the hill. For each of the climbs up the hill, you should plan to run between three and four minutes of actual climbing. Try to work the hill by maintaining a strong forward leg drive and fluid arm motion that powers you up. Don’t over stride. A shorter stride is better. Following each climb, jog down the hill very slowly, making sure you don’t bounce or skip down. Aim to complete at least three or four climbs up the hills. If the hills are longer than a three or four-minute climb, one or two repeats should suffice. Follow the hills with 10-15 minutes of easy running.

2. Tempo run. One of the most time efficient workouts to get you in race shape is a solid tempo run. It also is terrific for improving your speed endurance—i.e., holding onto a race pace. After warming up, increase your speed to somewhere between your 10-K and 15-K race pace (if you don’t know what that is, make sure it’s at least faster than your half-marathon speed) and maintain that speed for 10 to 20 minutes. Try to do your tempo run on a stretch of road or trail on which you won’t have to stop or are slowed by traffic. Follow the tempo with at least 10 minutes of slow running. A tempo run can look like this: 2 x 10 minutes at tempo pace with three to five minutes jogging in between. Or 2 x 15 minutes with five to seven minutes of jogging. The longer the tempo, the longer the jog recovery.

3. Fast-paced running. A fast-paced workout is faster than a tempo run, but slower than an interval workout. After 10 minutes of warming up, speed up to either 5-K race pace and hold onto that speed for 5-10 minutes. The speed should be hard and fast. If you can converse easily while doing it, you aren’t running fast enough. Aim to complete 2-3 runs at this race pace. Don’t worry about distance covered as much as maintaining the proper pace. In between each one, allow a short recovery (keep running slowly) of three minutes. You can do this on a track, grass field or road.

4. Warp speed. These are short bursts of flat-out speed that are designed to increase the rapidity of your leg turnover. After 10 minutes of slow running to warm up, do a series of two-minute runs at your max speed. Push the pace with everything you have. Try to do between three and five bursts of speed with a two-minute recovery jog in between each one. Follow the warp-speed runs with a 10-minute cool down jog. These are tough and fast so make sure your legs are fresh when you do this workout. A track is often the best place for these.

5. Fartlek. A fartlek workout is an unstructured, go-as-you-feel speed session that can be based on time, topography or just how fast you want to run on that particular day. You are only limited by your imagination. Run fast for as long as you want or with whatever intensity that feels right for an undetermined distance. For example, pick up the pace as you run to the top of a hill, certain stretches of trail or to a landmark. Or, run fast between every road sign, phone pole or traffic light. Or, just run the uphills hard and coast the flats. Whatever suits your fancy. Vary your speed, but keep it fast and interesting.

6. One minute on/one-minute off. This is a productive workout for honing your speed for an impending race in a day or two. It’s simple. After warming up, go for a 20-30 minute run. During the run, accelerate to race speed for one minute (the pace for whichever race is coming up) and then back off for another minute to recover. Repeat. That way, you should get at least 10 minutes of race-pace running in. This is ideal for simulating race conditions.

As you progress in your training, try to include one or all of these workouts into your limited training time. By adding any of these workouts, you can still reap the benefits of increased speed and improved strength and power, which will help you in the long run.

FEATURED POSTS

April 15, 2015

Ask Mizuno Shoe Guy a Question

Have a running shoe question for the Mizuno Shoe Guy? Ask Bob “Wish” Wischnia!

read more