One of the biggest challenges for the majority of runners wanting to prepare for an endurance race, such as the Constantia Village K-Way VOB 15 km, is finding time to train in between work and family commitments.

As long as you keep a longer weekend run in your schedule, then during the week, by cleverly putting together a lunchtime crunch workout of 30 minutes, you will still be able to build your fitness. Plus, you will likely be more productive in the afternoon and cut out the stress of missing your evening run should the boss ask you to work late!

To help get you started, running expert Coach Kathleen from Active4life shares the six type of sessions you can choose from. “After a light jog of five minutes to get warmed up, try one of these 25-minute sessions for a total of 30 minutes.”

  1. The Classic

One of the stalwarts of all distance runners is the Fartlek session. Fartlek, meaning “speed play” involves alternating bursts of fast running with sections of slower running in-between.


A great rookie session is to alternate 1 minute of fast running with 4 minutes of light jogging. Repeat this sequence 5 times. You can use almost any combination of time or make use of landmarks to alternate between fast and slow running.


  1. Fast Return

This session is best done on an out-and-back route. Run at an easy pace in one direction for 13 minutes. Now turn and run back to the start as fast as you can.


  1. The Stairmaster

Find a set of steps and do different combinations of short and long steps, fast running up and slow running down. Keep going continuously for 20 minutes and finish off with another 5-minute jog to complete the 30 minutes.


  1. Keep it Steady

This is one of the hardest runs to do, but the fitness returns are worth toughing it out. Slowly build to a pace which is not flat out, but it is hard to talk. Hold this pace steady till the 25 minutes is up.


  1. The Burner

This workout is great for building strength and learning to push through the burn at the end of a race. Choose four to ten different strength exercises, for example lunges, pushups, squats, burpees, etc. Get two marks that are 50 to 100 m apart (make sure there is a smooth surface).


Starting at the first mark, do an exercise for 30 seconds then run hard to the second mark. Do the next exercise for 30 seconds and then run back to the first mark. Keep cycling through the exercises until 20 minutes is completed. Finish off with a light 5-minute jog.


  1. Run the block the hard way

This workout is great if you have a short rectangular block close by (200 to 400 m around) that has two long and two short sides. Run continuously around the block running the long sides hard and the short sides easy.


Get creative with your own combinations and invite a colleague to join you. As long as you are moving continuously for 30 minutes, building up a good sweat and having fun, you’re well on your way to becoming race-ready!


Coach Kathleen offers customised training programmes designed to suit each runner’s individual needs. Check out her website at for more info.

Don’t forget to enter for our annual Constantia Village K-Way 15 km Road Race, 15 km League Walk and 5 km Fun Run on Saturday, 11 March. Pre-enter at Cape Union Mart on 4 March(cash only) or 9 and 10 March between 10 am and 3 pm. Limited entries will also be available on race day before the race from 5 to 6 am. Check out our website’s Events tab for more information.



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