The Most Effective Running Workouts if You Only Have 15 Minutes

Pressed for time but want to go running? These 3 short running workouts will help you get the most out of your time, even if you have only 15 minutes!

What are 15-minute running workouts good for? Benefit from a training stimulus even on days when you really have no time. These workouts help you get your heart rate up in a very short time – super efficient in only 15 minutes!

3 running workouts you can do in 15 minutes

Grab your shoes and go…these workouts include a warm up and a cool down, so no preparation needed!

1. Interval run

How to do the interval run workout:

Warm up:

  • 5 min easy run / light jog


  • 6 x 30 sec intense (90%) with 30 sec pause

Cool down:

  • 4 min easy run / light jog

The main part of the workout consists of 6 intervals with 30 seconds of running/30 second pause each. The 30 seconds of running in each interval should be done at a very high intensity at a tempo that makes breathing already feel challenging, so at about 90%. The only way to go faster would be to do an all-out sprint! Learn more about interval training benefits and how to set it up in the Runtastic app.

Woman running intervals

2. Fartlek

How to do the fartlek workout:

Warm up:

  • 3 min easy run / light jog


  • 9 min of playing with pace and intensity based on how you feel

Cool down:

  • 3 min easy run / light jog

Fartlek is a run with no predefined pace or intensity. You can run based on how you feel – just make sure to really mix it up. Believe it or not, fartlek can improve your running performance. Example: Sprint to the corner, then walk at a relaxed pace until the red car, then run up the stairs fast, etc.

Man doing crescendo run

3. Crescendo run

How to do the crescendo run:

Warm up:

  • 3 min easy run / light jog


  • 1 min 30 sec at 〜70% (fast but still breathing easily and relaxed)
  • 1 min 30 sec at 〜80% (breathing is getting harder and challenging)
  • 1 min 30 sec at 〜90% (breathing getting heavy)

Repeat for 2 rounds before moving on to…

Cool down:

  • 3 min easy run / light jog

A crescendo run is made up of intervals with increasing intensity. Every time you start a new interval, think about choosing a faster pace, but remember that whichever pace you choose, you still need to be able to do it for 1 minute and 30 seconds without a break. So choose wisely to avoid having to stop and catch your breath.

As mentioned above, these short workouts will help you stay on track, but they can’t replace a balanced training plan. Make sure to include low intensity runs as well. Easiest way to plan your runs? Get a running plan in the Runtastic app!


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