Here at Destination Adventure Magnetic Island we've been fortunate enough to have had legendary triple Olympian Melinda Gainsford-Taylor with us sharing her insights on running. For the next couple of weeks we are going to share some of those training tips with you.
First up is the 30-20-10, it is easy to do (well sort of) and gives an incredible bang for buck. Run less often yet improve your run - sounds pretty awesome to me
Normal interval training is tough and requires a high level of commitment and determination to complete the sessions knowing the pain they likely will inflict. An aerobic high intensity training session of 4 x 4 mins with 3 mins of recovery at a working heart rate of around 95% max is not fun, in fact super hard! A speed endurance training session of 12 bouts of near maximal 30 second sprints, separated by 3-4 minutes of passive recovery before you sprint again is also tough. Now 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, these are incredibly hard sessions and not for the fainthearted or the uninitiated.
An easier program with similar results would be better for the every day runner to adhere to, that’s where Melinda's 30-20-10 training protocol comes in and the research backs her up.
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 30-20-10 running
The 30-20-10 training protocol consists of a standard 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 jog, 20 seconds steady run, then 10 seconds at 100% intensity. Sounds easy but by the 5th effort of that last set your heart will be jumping out of your chest!
After 8 weeks the results were nothing short of amazing. Compared to the control group the 30-20-10 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.
A great place to start if you're new to running is substitute the 30 second jog with walking, then jog for 20 seconds and sprint for 10 seconds and repeat that 4 more times.
All in all the 30-20-10 training protocol is quick, easy and surprisingly enjoyable; not to mention the physical benefits as described above.
Why don’t you give it a try, you’ve got nothing to lose except time off your run and less time on the training track.
Train Smart, Run Strong