Improve Your Run in 20 Minutes or Less

Holidays are certainly joyous, but family gatherings, holiday parties, and office functions can bump running right off your to-do list. Fortunately, you don't need to run for hours to maintain your fitness during this busy time of year. The following 20-minute (or less) workouts cover all the bases of strength, speed, and endurance well enough so you can start the New Year strong.

BUILD STRENGTH

Find a nearby hill. After a five-minute jog, run up the incline. At the top, walk for 30 to 60 seconds, then run back down. Walk for one to two minutes. Repeat the sequence two to three times. Do the workout once a week, adding an additional one to two repeats.

BUILD SPEED

Go to a local track or jogging trail with distance markers. Jog for five minutes. Run at an easy pace for half a lap (or one-eighth of a mile). Note how long it took to run the half-lap. Walk the remainder of the lap. Continue walking for two minutes. Repeat the sequence two to four times, each time aiming to complete the run portion of the lap one to two seconds faster. Do this once a week, adding segments as you feel comfortable.

BUILD ENDURANCE

Stringing together several 20-minute runs across a single day can boost your stamina. Identify a weekend day that's destined for a lot of "hurry up and wait." Run for 20 minutes at a pace that's three minutes per mile slower than your regular pace. Return home, spend the next 30 to 90 minutes doing work around the house, then head out for another run. Every seven to 14 days, do up to three of these segments.

BUILD WHOLE-BODY FITNESS

Make up a home-gym circuit: Walk (or run) the stairs for one minute, do push-ups for 15 seconds, walk for one minute, do crunches for 30 seconds, walk for one minute, lift hand weights for 30 seconds, then walk for one minute. Repeat as time allows.

Ask Galloway any running question at JeffGalloway.com.

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