30-Minute Workouts for Runners

Pressed for time? You can squeeze in a tough training session even if you only have a half-hour to train. Here, runners share their favorite quick-and-dirty running workouts.

The Workout: Hilly Treadmill Tempo
The Goods: A recent study shows that hill workouts can help you improve your 5K time by about 2 percent. Plus, running on an incline is just plain harder, meaning you'll still get in a solid workout even if it's quick. "If you don't have time to get out and find a good incline for hill repeats, you can do this on the treadmill," says Amanda Loudin of Ellicott City, Maryland, who writes the blog Miss Zippy. "It'll get you ready to go for your next hilly race."  

How to:

  1. Warm up at an easy pace for 5 minutes.
  2. Set incline at 1 percent, and increase pace until you're at about a 70 percent effort; run 10 minutes.
  3. Increase incline by 2 percent; run 5 minutes.
  4. Increase incline by another 2 percent; run 5 minutes.
  5. Reduce incline to 0 and cool down at an easy pace for 5 minutes.

More: 7 Hill Running Workouts That Increase Power

The Workout: Speed Blasts
The Goods: Short bursts of speed build your aerobic capacity, improve muscle power, and will get your legs used to a quicker turnover. "I prefer to do this workout outside, but during the winter months I'm able to get it done on the treadmill," says Carly Fauth, a triathlete and runner in Milford, Massachusetts. "It accomplishes a lot in a very short amount of time, which is so great for those jam-packed days."

How to:

  1. Warm up at an easy pace for 5 minutes.
  2. Alternate 30-second, full-speed sprints with a 1-minute easy pace recovery. Repeat this cycle for a total of 15 minutes.
  3. Cool down at an easy pace for 5 minutes.

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