Finding time for circuits: bootcamp for the time-strapped

We’ve talked before about how much circuit training can benefit runners at any level — not just by building strength and speed but by preventing injuries and combating boredom as well.  Our Bootcamp app is a great way to do it, since it guides you through a variety of workouts just like the running apps, telling you which exercises to do and calling out the timing as you go (leaving options for custom workouts, too).

Of course for a lot of us, finding time for our planned runs in hard enough without thinking about sneaking in a couple of extra circuit sessions.  Well to be honest, it really isn’t that hard to pull together a few weekly bootcamp sessions, which depending on the workout will take right in the neighborhood of 20 minutes to complete.  Here are four ways to get it done:

  1. Pre-run.  Whether you are doing a Bluefin running program or training on your own, you should still be making time for a good, high-intensity warm-up to get your body ready for your run.  We build warm-up time into the beginning of each scheduled run (and Bootcamp), so working through a circuit routine before your run can be a perfect way to get the blood flowing.  The idea is that you’re already in your workout clothes and will already need a shower at the end anyway, so it doesn’t take that much more out of your day.
  2. Quick workout.  Especially as you start to build distance as a runner, workouts start to take longer.  Depending on your stage of training, you might need thirty minutes, forty-five, even an hour or more to do your workout.  Well you might be short on time for a long run, but still have a chance to squeeze in a quick circuit.  The high-intensity work will challenge your body in a very compact period of time and leave you feeling good about a shorter (though not necessarily easier) workout.
  3. With a group.  One great thing about Bootcamp is that if you are training with a group, everyone can exercise in one place regardless of skill level (as opposed to the big gaps that form between faster and slower runners).  Either call out the transitions for the group or hook your device up to speakers for some fun, motivational group training.
  4. Post-run.  This is basically the same idea as the pre-run.  You’ve already committed to getting yourself changed, sweaty, and tired — might as well blast some targeted muscle groups while you’re at it.  Holding your form after a solid run will require some serious discipline, but you’ll build a great workout overall.

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