20 October 2017

30-minute weight-loss workouts for runners

Try a high-intensity session to torch more calories than you would on an everyday easy run.


There are plenty of fun and effective workouts you can do in 30 minutes that will help you with your goal to lose weight. I have shared three of my favourites below.

Some of them incorporate hard-effort running; others include strength and power exercises or hills within the workout. All of these workouts involve high-intensity periods, so they will burn more calories than your usual 30-minute easy run.

(Note: The intensities within these workouts are referred to as different color zones – the yellow zone means “easy”, the orange zone means “medium” and the red zone means “hard”.)running, training

The key is to vary your effort level to make your body work harder during the workout and to boost your metabolism afterwards, as your body recovers.

Performing these high-intensity workouts amplifies the after-burn effect, so you’ll burn more calories as you go about your day.

Before you start, it is wise to weave these workouts into your routine gradually to allow your body time to adapt to the demands of the impact on your body. If you are new to high-intensity workouts, try one per week, and run at an easy to moderate effort for your other workouts.

For example, if you run four times per week, do one of these hard-effort workouts, two 30-minutes easy runs, and one longer 45- to 60-minute easy run each week.

Maintain that routine for three weeks and if all feels good and strong (no aches or pains), replace an easy run with a second hard-effort run. Make sure to spread out your hard runs (at least one easy or rest day in between) to allow recovery time.


The Fat Blaster: Short, hard intervals

  • Warm up by walking for 2 minutes. Start with an easy effort and build to a brisk pace just slower than a jog. (This is an important step to prevent injury. Don’t skip it!)
  • Run at an easy, yellow-zone effort for 5 minutes to continue to warm up.
  • Repeat 10 times (for 20 minutes total).
  • Run at a hard, red-zone effort (hard but not all-out) for 30 seconds. Recover with 90 seconds of very easy jogging or brisk walking.
  • Walk to cool down for 2 minutes.

(As you progress, you can build to doing eight, 1-minute hard intervals with 2-minute recoveries.)

The Mountain Climber: A progressive treadmill hill workout

Warm up by walking for 1 minute.

Run at an easy, yellow-zone effort for three minutes to continue to warm up.

With the treadmill at a moderate speed, repeat five times (for 25 minutes in total):

  • Run at 3% incline for 90 seconds.
  • Run at no incline for 1 minute.
  • Run at 4% incline for 90 seconds
  • Run at no incline for 1 minute.

Walk to cool down for 1 minute.

Runner’s Bootcamp: A blend of running, strength and power

Warm up by walking for 1 minute.

Run at an easy, yellow-zone effort for 3 minutes to continue to warm up.

Repeat three times:

  • 45 seconds of mountain climbers
  • 45 seconds of jump squats
  • Run at a moderate, orange-zone effort for 2.5 minutes
  • 45 seconds of walking or alternating lunges
  • 45 seconds of burpees with push ups
  • Run at a moderate, orange-zone effort for 2.5 minutes
  • Walk to cool down for 2minutes

This article was originally published on

Image credit: iStock





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