My Favourite 30-Minute Workouts

By Hayden Shearman

For many of us, we were attracted to running initially because of its convenience. And, luckily, we can get a hang of a lot done to build fitness through just a 30-minute workout.

So here are some of my favourite 30-minute smash-it sessions. They should each include at least 10-15 minutes of warm up and warm down jogging and dynamic stretches or drills either side of the workout (making for 50-60 minutes worth of exercise in total).


The Swedish word for “speed play”, fartleks are my all-time favourite style of running. They’re best performed over undulating trails which will add those extra elements of both challenge and scenic interest.

  • 6x3mins30secs (90secs jog recovery) at lactate threshold (click here to calculate this pace for you)
  • 3x8mins (3mins jog recovery) at lactate threshold
  • 1x4mins (1min jog recovery), 2x3mins (1min), 3x2mins (1mins), 4x1mins (1mins) — start about 10k pace and finish about 3k pace
  • 15x1min at about 5k pace (1min jog)


Aside from all out mileage, the tempo run is the key weapon in the distance runner’s arsenal. Their prolonged nature demands mental toughness and leads to the sort of metabolic conditioning that will eventually have you holding your pace while others start to fade in the later stages of races.

  • 30mins at lactate threshold
  • Progression Run: 15mins at half marathon pace, 10mins at 10k pace, 5mins at 5k pace
  • Royal Flush: Run every kilometre faster than the last. Start about half marathon pace and finish about 5k pace.


If general fitness is your goal, look no further than combining your love for running with the full body strengthening and mental conditioning of calisthenics (body weight exercises). And performing these fun workouts with your non-running gym junky friends can be a great leveler and middle ground for both of you.

  • RURPEES: Run steady for 2mins in one direction, complete as many burpees as you can in 1min, run back to the starting point in 2mins. Rest for 1min. Repeat 5 times. Good luck.
  • AMRAP: As many reps as possible of the following set: Run 1km, 10 pull ups, 20 press ups, 30 body weight squats.

So, there you go, if you’re pushed for time and need to smash out a good lunch break stress buster, give one of these a whirl this week.

Note: All these workouts are quite demanding so be sure to bookend them with easy or rest days and only perform an absolute maximum of two in any given week.