Runners can improve their performance and health in only 20-30 minutes by following the new 10-20-30 training concept, say researchers.

The 10-20-30 training concept, developed by researchers from the Department of Exercise and Sport Sciences at the University of Copenhagen, involves a 1-km warm up followed by:

  • 10 seconds of running at a high speed
  • 20 seconds running at a moderate speed
  • 30 seconds at a very low speed

This block is repeated 5 times for a duration of 5 minutes followed by a 2 minute rest. This sequence is repeated between 3-5 times during a training session. Furthermore, only 20-30 minutes including warm-up is all that is needed. The study is published in the Journal of Applied of Physiology.

The researchers enrolled 18 moderately trained runners to follow the 10-20-30 training concept for 7 weeks. They found that despite a 50% reduction in the amount of time the participants trained, the runners were able to improve performance on a 1,500-meter run by 23 seconds and almost by 1 minute on a 5-km run.

Furthermore, the team found the blood pressure and cholesterol in the blood significantly decreased among the runners.

Professor Jens Bangsbo, Department of Exercise and Sport Sciences, who led the study, explained:

“We were very surprised to see such an improvement in the health profile considering that the participants have been running for several years.The results show that the very intense training has a great potential for improving health status of already trained individuals.”

In addition, over the study period, the emotional well-being of the participants also improved, according to PhD student Thomas Gunnarsson.

Gunnarsson said: “We found a reduction in emotional stress when compared to control subjects continuing their normal training based on a recovery-stress questionnaire administered before and after the 7-week training program.”

Katrine Dahl, a participant of the study explained: “The training was very inspiring. I could not wait to get out and run together with the others. Today, I am running much faster than I ever thought possible.”

Written By Grace Rattue