Get ready for a 5km run with 15 minute workouts

Are you looking to run your first 5km? Good for you! Now it’s time to get to work.

Don’t worry training does not have to eat up tons of time. In fact, there are many ways you can get a good workout in with minimal time spent.

The key to short workouts is to stay focused. You simply won’t have time to work on everything. Instead what you want to do is break your workout days into smaller steps, where you can do the most good in the shortest amount of time.

Form focus

Having good form is perhaps the most essential trait to have as a runner. Not only will it require less energy to accomplish the same tasks, but it will help future protect your body from injury.

Butt kicks – Yup, just as crazy as it sounds you are trying to kick your OWN butt. Start by running slowly forward, and then try to hit your butt with your heel. It should only take a few moments to get familiar with.

Running in place – Remember the key is to work on form. By taking all distance out of the equation it can sometimes be easier. For this exercise, try to keep the impact low by only allowing the balls of your feet to hit the ground.

Slow skipping – Skipping is great for form. To do this use a small leap from one foot and as soon as your other foot hits the ground leap again. Arm swing should be minimal like in running. If you are doing this right, you will feel it in your calf and foot area.

You can find more great running form exercises at Runner’s world.–5-drills-to-make-you-a-better-runner

Intensity focus

What does this mean? Well in general, these workouts are going to be all about the intensity aka sprinting.

Sprinting is an amazing tool. Not only will it help build crucial muscle and fast twitch fibres. But, it also can also dramatically increase endurance while lowering body fat. Add to this, that it increases the power and efficiency of your stride, enabling you to cover more ground with each stride with less energy. And well you have the holy grail.

Sounds good right?

Still not convinced, well here is more proof:

So, by now you should be saying. “Ya, I need to get me some sprinting” and you would be right. Here are a few ways to get your sprint on.

Track days – I am calling these track days, but they can really be done anywhere you have a few hundred meters to run. I personally like the track, because I know how far I am running without looking at a GPS. Anyways, simple workout here. Pick a measured distance, and run it as fast as you can.

Hill sprints – There is no getting around it. These are not going to be fun, unless of course that you love pain and then… well you are going to have a great time. Nothing fancy here, find a hill, run it as fast as you can. The steeper it is, the shorter you can make the sprint. Rinse and repeat.

Fartlek – Stupid name, great workout. Actually the name is not that bad, just not English. It’s Swedish for “speed play”.

Anyways, hands down this is my favourite form of sprinting. It is completely unstructured. Simply choose a spot during a run and race to it. A great workout to do with a friend. Remember, as kids racing to a rock? Well, it turns out that you were actually doing a Fartlek.


To start off, I am going to recommend that this is done on grass. Although if you have access to a nice sand beach that to is a great option.

Also, this is by far the most controversial type of running I am discussing today. There are some great benefits, but also some big risks.

So remember small doses, no more then once a week.


  • Strengthen muscles, tendons and ligaments in the foot
  • Teach you to land on the forefoot and not the heel. (this in itself is controversial, as experts can not agree that heel striking is bad)
  • Improved balance and coordination
  • Stretches and strengthens the Achilles tendon and Calf muscle.


  • Increases risk of structural damage to the foot. Without the protection of a shoe the foot takes an ever greater shock force. Again take it slow and don’t overdo it.
  • Even though you are strengthening your Achilles and Calf muscles. You are also stretching the heck out of them. This can lead to muscle strain and in some cases Achilles tendonitis.
  • Soft tissue damage. Not only are your feet unprotected and most likely soft from a life time of shoe wearing, but you are now exposing them to any foreign object in the surface you are running on. Add to this the fact that your plantar surface (bottom of foot) is very susceptible to injury.

Despite some potential side effects, I still recommend running barefoot.

3 sample workouts

Putting this together here are a few sample workouts. Each should take no more then 15 minutest to complete.

Form workout

  1. 1 minute easy pace to warm up.
  2. 2 minutes moderate to hard pace.
  3. 1 minute butt kicks.
  4. 1 minute running in place.
  5. 2 minutes slow skipping.
  6. 1 minute running in place.
  7. 2 minutes butt kicks.
  8. 1 minute running in place.
  9. 1 minute slow skipping.
  10. 2 minutes moderate to hard pace.
  11. 1 minute easy pace cool down.

Intensity workout – hill version

Find a hill that will take you 60 seconds to run up.

  1. 2 minutes easy pace to warm up.
  2. 2 minutes run up hill.Since this hill should take you about 60 seconds at a sprint to run this should be about half speed for you.
  3. 1 minute down hill run.
  4. 1 minute hard uphill run. Remember to run hard up the hill focusing on keeping your stride short, torso tall, keep your eyes on the crest of the hill, and drive your elbows back.
  5. 1 minute down hill run.
  6. 1 minute hard uphill run.
  7. 1 minute down hill run.
  8. 1 minute hard uphill run.
  9. 1 minute down hill run.
  10. 1 minute hard uphill run.
  11. 1 minute down hill run.
  12. 2 minutes easy pace cool down.

Barefoot running

I prefer to run on grass. But watch our for sprinkler heads and other hard objects.

  1. 2 minutes easy pace warm up.
  2. 2 minutes moderate pace.
  3. 2 minutes slow skipping.
  4. 2 minutes moderate pace.
  5. 1 minute hard pace.
  6. 2 minutes moderate pace.
  7. 2 minutes slow skipping.
  8. 2 minutes easy pace cool down.

15 minute workouts

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