I hear some of you yelling at me this very instant through your computer screen or handheld device:

David, there is absolutely no way running, swimming or cycling 5 minutes a day will make me a great endurance athlete!

I couldn’t agree with you more.

The 5-minute workout I’m speaking of is that piece of training you always skip (or rarely do) because you don’t have time to do it. You know what I’m talking about – the lifting, stretching, cooling down, warming up, meditation (yoga), balancing drills, core exercises, cross-training, etc. that you know you should do, but simply never get around to doing it.

Baby Steps

The old adage How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time, does apply aptly in this situation. Instead of telling yourself you have no time for a 30-minute strength training or yoga session, give yourself an inexcusable goal – 5 minutes.

And while 5 minutes seems like a very short period of time to accomplish anything significant, you may be surprised.

The Plan

  1. Commit to a 5-minute workout a day.
  2. If you’re only lacking in one area (let’s say it’s stretching, which is definitely mine!) then each day take 5 minutes and stretch. Not sure what to do? Here’s a 5-minute stretch routine I found doing a quick search on Google.
  3. If there are multiple areas you’re not hitting (maybe lifting, stretching and core), then each day take 5 minutes and focus on one of these areas. Here’s a quick 5-minute core workout and a strength training routine.
  4. Make sure you don’t do the exact same routine everyday – even if you only have one area to work on. Find 3-5 different workouts you can rotate throughout the week.
  5. Do this 5-minute routine for 30 days.

The Transformation

What will happen in 30 days won’t be a complete transformation, but you will be stronger, more flexible, more balanced and overall fitter than you were when you began. Moreover, because you have worked on this weak area of your training for a complete month now, it doesn’t seem so daunting anymore. You may find that you can take 10, 15 or even 30 minutes now to focus on this part of your training, which will make you a more complete endurance athlete.

Keep It Simple

While putting in the miles is the focal point of any endurance training cycle, you can’t forget about the other parts of your training, which are the ones that will take you from average to good and from good to great. By taking just 5 minutes a day to work on these other areas of your sport, you will find remarkable benefits in a shorter span of time than you think. And with this new found confidence and ability, you will most likely want to extend the time you spend in these auxiliary areas, which in turn will make you an overall stronger and more balanced endurance athlete.

Happy Training!


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