There are a lot of things you can accomplish in under half an hour (like educating yourself on all the latest Game of Thrones fan theories), but you probably never thought it was possible to squeeze in a killer running workout in just 20 minutes. Michael Olzinski, MSc, Purplepatch endurance coach and Equinox run coach, is about to rob you of every excuse you have for not getting your butt on a treadmill, because he created a 20-minute workout that will build your endurance, test your limits, and burn some serious fat.
"One of the most important pieces of the puzzle to progress in your running goals is to have consistency with your workouts," Mike told POPSUGAR. "We all want to run smoother and to have it feel increasingly better for our bodies, and this is simply not a feeling that happens overnight after a few hard runs."
That's why this workout is so useful. Even if you're crunched on time, you can still keep your regular running schedule and complete a workout that will help you achieve your goals in the long run, whether you're trying to lose weight or training for a race.
This run kicks off with a quick, juicy warmup, which, as always, Mike says is absolutely crucial to your workout. This allows you to "save your best running towards the end." After some high-knee drills, you'll start at a jogging pace and increase your speed by 0.5 mph every 15 seconds. If the speeds below feel too fast, adjust to what feels comfortable for you. "This should start out pretty easy for each minute," Mike said. "It's not a sprint but more of a quick warmup for your heart, muscles, and nervous system."
After you get the body ready for the real work, you'll spend 14 minutes on the main set. "The key stimulus here is the incline," Mike said. "With a shorter workout, the best way to ensure that you are running in your best form and utilizing the best movement patterns is to work your way up a nice hill." Groaning yet? Your legs will thank you later.
Your incline will gradually increase with every other interval, but your speed stays the same. In order to decide what speed to use, Mike says you should look at the top speed you hit at the end of your warmup and remove 1.0 mph from it. For example, if you got up to 7.5 mph, your working speed for the main set would be 6.5 mph.
The primary thing you need to keep in mind here is the work-to-recovery ratio. "You'll do 80 seconds of work to 60 seconds of rest," Mike explained. "This is a great stimulus to provide some overload that can make a 20-minute workout fell more like 40." Use the speeds below as a guide, and make sure you're not overexerting yourself. However, don't be afraid to push yourself. It's only 14 minutes of work, after all.