No Time To Run? Run Faster.

Do you ever hear someone tell you that they don’t have time to run? Like, every single run you do has to be 45 minutes-3 hours long or something. FALSE! Guys, running is running, no matter how long you’re doing it for. So go out and get ‘er done!

This is how I look when I'm running reeeeeally slow. At least I LOOK fast, don't I? Image courtesy of my friend, Tampa & luluelmon athletica

How?

Easy.

  • Warm up for 5 minutes.
  • Run fast (on flat-ish road): 5 minutes.
  • Run 3-4 hill repeats (up super-fast, down super-slow)
  • Run fast (on flat-ish road): 5 minutes.
  • Run 3-4 hill repeats (up super-fast, down super-slow)
  • Run fast (on flat-ish road): 5 minutes.
  • Run home.

25/30 minutes and you’ve got an interval workout done. Don’t have time for that last 5 minute fast run? Cut it out and do what you can do. Think that’s not going to help you in your long runs? Think again.

When you run fast, you require a whole lot more force and control to do it. By running fast for a short period of time, you are putting more strain on your muscles and joints, which is a little like weight training because of the increase in force. Running fast also means you have to have more controlled, tighter, faster movements. This requires more strength, too. It also helps to improve your form because when you run faster, you typically run taller and have a more natural stride.

Bottom line: it makes you a stronger runner.

The physiological benefits of processing oxygen faster and increasing your lactic threshold are well documented and a quick Google search can give you more detail on that. But did you know the you continue to burn calories after a hard interval workout, even longer than a regular ‘ol aerobic workout? It’s true.

So, whether you want to be speedier runner or smaller runner, interval workouts are where it’s at. Keep those long runs in your weekly rotation, but find a hill or a track to get your interval workouts on every now and again. That way, you never miss a run because you didn’t have enough time. This is how I’m managing to keep my Runner’s World Holiday Streak going through a very busy holiday/finals/PhD application time.

What are you waiting for?

Go out and run!