20 Minute Time Saver Workouts

By Rick Morris

No time for your workout or training run today? Do you have 20 minutes, not counting your shower time? You can still get in an effective workout in just 20 minutes. Maybe not an ideal workout, but one that will still pay dividends. Here are just a few 20 minute time saver workouts for those time crunched days.

20 Minute Circuit

This is an excellent time saver workout that combines some high intensity interval training with a strength workout. Two workouts in just 20 minutes. You can hardly beat that. Begin your workout with 3 minutes of easy jogging. Then hit the ground for 1 minute of pushups. Now run for 5 minutes at a moderately hard pace or close to your 10K race pace. Next do 1 minute of body weight squats. Get back on the trail with 3 minutes of running at a hard pace or around 5K pace before stopping for 1 minute of abdominal crunches. Now run for 2 minutes at the fastest pace you can maintain. Next, perform 2 minutes of walking lunges and finish with a 2 minute jog to cool down.

20 at 10

This is a very simple and very effective workout. It works well for any race distance but is especially effective for 5K and 10K training. After a warm up, hit the road or trail for 20 minutes of running at 10K intensity. That’s it. This one is short and sweet. Now go hit the shower and on with your day.

3 x 5 Minute Blasters

This is a classic track workout but you can do it anywhere – road, trail, track or treadmill. Warm up with 2 minutes of jogging and drills. Then run 3 x 5 minute repeats at a hard intensity or right around 5K pace. Recover between each repeat with 1 minute at an easy pace. Cool down with 1 minute of easy running or cool down drills.

20 Minute Fun Run

Don’t ever forget that running is fun. Keep the fun in it with this 20 minute fun run. No structure here. Just go out and run for 20 minutes at a variety of paces. Go by feel and have a good time.

20 The Hard Way

OK – the fun run was easy. This one – not so much! Warm up with 2 minutes of easy jogging and drills, then hit the trail for 18 minutes at the fastest pace you can maintain for the entire workout. This one is brutal but it’s a great way to take full advantage of 20 minutes.