High-Speed, Low-Drag, Over the Target Area

Summer in Seattle has a manic quality. We’re all frenzied to be outside enjoying that short-lived incredible weather. Of course, schools are out, child-care and other norms we depend on are disrupted, family is visiting. We’re all going somewhere or we’ve been there and we’re coming back.

How is a person supposed to keep a workout schedule under these constantly shifting circumstances? My advice is that you have a back up workout that is so fast, so easy, so equipment- and location-independent, that you just don’t have an excuse. Sakyong Mipham, author of Running with the Mind of Meditation says we always have to be prepared to “run with realities”, in other words, to adapt our training plans to our lives.

So let go of the expectation that you have to be at home, at your gym or on your regular route. Further, let go of the idea that you always need to workout for an hour. Even let go that you have to do exactly what may have been scheduled on whatever training plan you’re using–sometimes that’s what has to give. If you’ve got the space of an elevator, you’re good. If you’ve got 20 (or 15, or 10 minutes), that’s 20 or 15 or 10 minutes more than the alternative. Take pride in the fact that you can move under any circumstances.

Here’s a workout to trot out when you have next-to-no time, no equipment and you can hear yourself mouthing some kind of excuse. Choose one of the exercises below and do it using the Tabata format: 20 seconds very vigorously, 10 seconds rest for 8 rounds (4 minutes total). Rest for a couple of minutes. Pick another exercise and do the same format with that exercise for the next 4 minutes. Rest again. Pick a third exercise, same format, another 4 minutes. Rest again. Depending on your time, you can pick a fourth exercise or, you’re done. That’s it!

  • Jumping Jacks
  • Push Ups
  • Burpees or Bodybuilders (with push up or wide/narrow legs inserted)
  • Mountain Climbers
  • Squat jumps
  • Dynamic lunges
  • Jump rope (including the fake kind)
  • Sprinting
  • Stair-running
  • High-knee skips
  • Skaters (or lateral leaps)

Cool down by walking around, swinging your arms. Finish with a couple of minutes of stretching. As you’re stretching, reach around and pat yourself on the back for kicking all those obstacles to the curb and doing it anyway.