Thanks to Daina Clark (Senior Podiatrist and Bootcamp Instructor) for the article today on a simple way to improve performance.
For the time poor weekend warrior looking for a simple way to improve performance the 10-20-30 training program could be for you. Run less often yet improve your run time at the Adventurethon. Win win!
Interval training has long been a part of distance running, since the times of Arthur Lydiard who introduced the concept of a period of base training, then 4 to 6 weeks of strength work with hill repeats followed by 4 weeks of anaerobic speed intervals before the taper. But interval training is tough and requires a high level of determination to complete the sessions and endure the pain that it can inflict.
In aerobic high intensity training a usual protocol is 4 x 4 mins with 3 mins of recovery at a working heart rate of around 95% max. Super hard! In classic speed endurance training 8-12 bouts of near maximal 30 seconds sprints are separated by a few minutes of passive recovery before you sprint again. 30 seconds doesn’t sound like a long time but when you are sprinting that 30 seconds seems to go on forever. All in all they are both incredibly hard sessions and not for the fainthearted. An easier program would be great.
That’s where 10-20-30 training comes in.
In a paper published in October 2015, researchers from Denmark wanted to assess the effect of an easy to carry out interval training program on moderately trained runners. 166 runners were studied and during the 8 weeks of the study they reduced their weekly volume by 50%, keeping one moderate intensity run and added in two sessions of 10-20-30 running.
The 10-20-30 training concept consists of a usual warm up followed by 3 x 5 min running periods with a 2 min rest between efforts. Each 5 min running effort consisted of 5 consecutive 1 min intervals divided into 30 seconds at 30% effort, 20 seconds at 60% effort and 10 seconds at 100% intensity.
After 8 weeks the results were nothing short of amazing. Compared to the control group the 10-20-30 group improved their 5k run time by 38 seconds, improved their maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max) , lowered their blood pressure and as an added bonus their waist circumference reduced by almost 2 cm. All with just the addition of what adds up to be 5 minutes of high speed running per week. Pretty impressive.
All in all the 10-20-30 training is an easy to implement protocol that gives an incredible bang for buck. Why don’t you give it a try, you’ve got nothing to lose except time off your run leg!