Welcome to the latest edition of Workout Wednesday, when each week I share a new running or strength training workout. Last week I shared three holiday-themed workouts to get you through the season. 

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving in the United States, so I thought it would be fun to do a turkey-themed running workout! This is a quick and efficient workout that can be done in under 30 minutes on a treadmill or on the street with a timer. Get it done on Thanksgiving morning or anytime over the long weekend. Maybe you can even recruit your family for a fun holiday-themed workout where everyone works at their own ability. 

It's important to me to note while I call this workout the turkey burner, it is not intended as punishment for your Thanksgiving dinner. You don't need to workout any longer or harder than usual because you may indulge over the holiday. Enjoy your meal with your family. Really enjoy it. Then go back to your normal healthy way of eating the very next meal.

We don't have to pay penance for our food with extra long or hard workouts. Exercise is not punishment. We want exercise to be something we do because it make us feel good, it makes us feel strong and capable. If we associate exercise with punishment then it will be hard to ever learn to enjoy it. No one ever enjoys punishment. 

This workout is a fun way to incorporate the holiday into your workout. Maybe you'd prefer to run a 5K turkey trot in your community or take a walk with your family after dinner. Maybe Thanksgiving Day will be your rest day and once things settle down, you'll go for a run or do Yoga to clear your head after a busy weekend. Move your body in a way that you enjoy and is meaningful to you. Be thankful for that pumping heart, that healthy body and those two strong legs that carry you through a workout.

The Turkey Burner Running Workout - Save to Pinterest for Later! Download a Printable PDF of this workout.

The Turkey Burner Running Workout - Save to Pinterest for Later! Download a Printable PDF of this workout.


The appetizer is your warm up. Pre-heat your body just like you would the stove. Take as much time as you need to get warm before getting into the workout. Walk or jog for a few minutes before you start to burn the turkey. I recommend this dynamic warm up before starting any running workout.


Let's get that turkey burning. In case you haven't figured it out yet, you're the turkey in this scenerio. Ha. Run for 30 seconds at near max effort. It should feel hard to get through the 30 seconds, you should be breathing heavily, unable to speak complete sentences, maybe you can get a word out between breaths. You're working hard. 

Then slow to a brisk walk or an easy jog for 90 seconds. Allow your heart-rate to come back back down. Those 90 seconds go by fast, get ready to repeat 3 more times for a total of 4 work and 4 rest intervals. 


How do you feel? Let's gobble this main course! Start off with three minutes of an easy jog followed by three minutes at a moderate pace. You should working hard at a moderate pace, but not so hard that you can't maintain it for three minutes. This is not an all-out pace. You should be able to get a few words or a sentence out between breaths, but should be breathing too heavily to have a full conversation without taking gasps of air. 

Recover for two minutes with a brisk walk or jog and prepare to up the pace again. For your next work interval you will move a little faster than your three minute work interval, but less than an all-out pace. You should be working hard, but moving at a pace that you can maintain for two minutes. 

You have one minute to recover with a jog or brisk walk before burning up the turkey with your final working minute. Your last work interval should be close to an all-out max effort. It's your last push, make it count. 


Whew, you did it! Now it's time to recover and bring that heart-rate back down to normal. Walk until you are breathing normally again. 

If you want to learn more about how to pace yourself based on the talk-test, check out this blog post for more clarity. It's important that you always work at your own fitness level. Please never try to follow arbitrary paces from workouts on the internet. If you pace your work intervals using the talk-test you will always be sure to work at your own fitness level. Pushing the pace outside of your current fitness levels can lead to injuries. Just say no to internet workouts that assign specific paces for your run intervals. 


Be sure to recover after hard workouts. Remember that it is during rest (not during the workout) that we get stronger and faster. If you don't allow your body the time to recover from hard workouts you won't ever see the true potential from your efforts. Run easy or rest a day or two after hard interval workouts like this one. Don't attempt hard workouts back to back. Aim for seven to eight hours of sleep and fuel your body with healthy carbs, proteins and fats for best results. 

Questions? I'd love to help. 


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