Q&A: How to Plan Training Around a Busy Schedule
Some days I don't have much time to get a run in. Is a 15- or 20-minute run better than no run, or are there any exercises I can do at home or throughout the day to compensate?
With busy schedules, it’s sometimes hard to fit a run in, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be efficient in the time you have. If time is limited and you must hit the pavement, consider doing a short hill workout. If you don’t regularly race hills, or if you hate the thought of them, you could also consider an interval workout. These can be done in shorter amounts of time and are a nice option when you’re in a time crunch. For advanced runners, 15 to 20 minutes may not be enough time, so using this day for strengthening may be more beneficial.
As runners, it’s important to keep up core, hip, and knee strength, as well as mobility; however, this tends to be forgotten. Giving yourself 15 to 20 minutes is plenty of time to move through a circuit of running-specific exercises targeting the glutes, quads, hip abductors, and core. Examples of these exercises include: Single-leg squats, bridges, single-leg Romanian deadlifts, and hip abduction exercises, such as monster walks and clock drills.
The core should also be included with variations of planks and side planks, which are simple and easy to do at home. If you’ve got a killer core and need more of a challenge, you can always add in movement such as hip abduction, clamshells, or upper-body rows. Also feel free to add cardio-based strengthening such as jumping jacks, mountain climbers, jump squats, and skater hops. Pick three or four exercises and create a simple two-minute circuit. Perform two to three rounds depending on your time crunch.
Your other option is to use this as a recovery day and do some light mobility work using foam rollers, trigger point balls, or mobility bands. If you have 15 to 20 minutes, you can be productive in a variety of ways, but above all, scheduling workouts and training runs ahead of time is best to avoid feeling cramped for time.
About the Author
Michelle Cilenti PT, DPT, OCS, CSCS, USATF-L1 is a physical therapist with HSS Rehabilitation. She is a board certified clinical specialist in orthopedic physical therapy and a certified strength and conditioning specialist. Michelle enjoys working with runners and holds coaching certifications in both USA track and field level 1, as well as Road Runners Club of America.