Workout of the Week: Mel McQuaid’s Run Circuit

Whether you’re a runner, triathlete, or cyclist, this workout is great to maintain fitness in the off season.

Woman running along a blue outdoor running track

Melanie McQuaid knows a thing or two about training. The coach and pro triathlete is a three-time XTERRA world champion, two-time winner of the ITU Elite Multisport Cross Triathlon World Championships, and qualified for her first Ironman World Championship in 2023 at the age of 50.

“Circuits are a great way to incorporate strength sessions into time-limited endurance training programs,” McQuaid says. “Touching on a bit of strength during endurance sessions helps activate muscles for the endurance work.” 

This run circuit is good for both runners and triathletes to use during the winter months to maintain fitness and work the core and lower body. Cyclists may also use this workout in the off season to break up the monotony of indoor training rides.

“This workout is written as a frequency session versus a quality session but could be used either way,” she says. “Changing the running to a faster pace and making some of the strength exercises more ballistic can instantly turn this into a high-intensity strength workout.” 

For a winter session, the runs can be done on a treadmill, but if the weather is nice, you can run this on an outdoor track and perform the exercises inside of the lanes. “Try doing the session as written and note how your running feels a little better from one round to the next,” McQuaid notes.

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Workout of the Week: Mel McQuaid’s Run Circuit


8 min. easy run


5 ea. Cook Hip Lift
5 ea. Dead Bug
10 ea. Front Leg Swings
10 ea. Side Leg Swings

Main set

Round 1
3 min. steady run @ 70% max effort
10 Squats
20 Mountain Climbers

Round 2
3 min. steady run @ 70% max effort
20 Alternating Forward Lunges
10 Ankle Hops

Round 3
3 min. steady run @ 70% max effort
30 sec. Plank (or as long as you can)
10 Good Mornings

Round 4
3 min. steady run @ 70% max effort
10 Lateral Lunges
20 Burpees


5 min. easy run