Get Fit in 3 Days a Week
Run 1: Pick up speed
Warm up with a slow jog for 10–15 minutes, then repeat this pattern 3–4 times: 2 minutes at a hard effort followed by 4 minutes easy running or walking to recover. Finish with a 10-minute jog or walk to cool down.
Run 2: Add hills
First, jog for 10 minutes to warm up. Then run a hilly course outdoors (or, if you live in a flat area, hit the treadmill at an incline of 2–4 percent) for 20 minutes. Choose hills that take 3–4 minutes to run up, and focus on your form: Shorten your stride, pump your arms, and don’t let your upper body slump. Afterward, jog or walk for 10 minutes to cool down.
Run 3: Go long
During the first week, run at a slow, conversational pace for 40 minutes. Add 5 minutes to the run each week until you reach 60 minutes. If you’re new to running, power walk for two minutes every 5–8 minutes to increase your distance comfortably with less risk of injury.