New research shows runners can improve health and performance with less training
The new 10-20-30 training concept can improve both a person’s running performance and health, despite a significant reduction in the total amount of training. This is the conclusion of a study from University of Copenhagen researchers just published in the renowned scientific Journal of Applied of Physiology.
Over the course of seven weeks, runners were able to improve performance on a 1500-metre run by 23 seconds and almost by a minute on a 5-km run – and this despite a 50 per cent reduction in their total amount of training. These are just some of the results from a research project involving 18 moderately trained runners following the 10-20-30 training concept developed by researchers from the Department of Exercise and Sport Sciences at the University of Copenhagen.
See video with Professor Jens Bangsbo where he introduces the 10-20-30 training concept and explains the results from the recently published study. The media is free to use the video - see information in the box to the right. Please credit: Carsten Lundager.
In addition to enhancing running performance, the runners from the project also had a significant decrease in blood pressure and a reduction in cholesterol in the blood.
“We were very surprised to see such an improvement in the health profile considering that the participants have been running for several years,” says Professor Jens Bangsbo, Department of Exercise and Sport Sciences, who heads the project.
PhD student Thomas Gunnarsson adds that the emotional well-being of the participants also improved over the span of the project.
“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 period,” explains Gunnarsson.
The 10-20-30 training concept
The 10-20-30 training concept consists of a 1-km warm-up at a low intensity followed by 3-4 blocks of 5 minutes running interspersed by 2 minutes of rest. Each block consists of 5 consecutive 1-minute intervals divided into 30, 20 and 10 seconds of running at a low, moderate and near maximal intensity, respectively.
According to Professor Bangsbo, the 10-20-30 training concept is easily adapted in a busy daily schedule as the time needed for training is low. A total of 20-30 minutes including warm-up is all that is needed. Since the 10-20-30 concept deals with relative speeds and includes low speed running and 2-minute rest periods, individuals with different fitness levels and training backgrounds can perform the 10-20-30 training together.
“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,” says Katrine Dahl, one of the participants in the study.
Professor Jens Bangsbo
Department of Exercise and Sport Sciences
Mobile: +45 28 75 16 23
PhD student Thomas Gunnarsson
Department of Exercise and Sport Sciences
Tel.: +45 35 32 16 06
More about the project
Eighteen moderately trained individuals (6 females and 12 males) were divided into a high intensity training group (10-20-30; 3 females and 7 males) and a control group (CON; 3 females and 5 males) group. For a 7-week intervention period the 10-20-30 group replaced all training sessions with 10-20-30 training consisting of low, moderate and high speed running for 30, 20 and 10 seconds, respectively, in 3-4 5-min intervals interspersed by 2 minutes of recovery, reducing training volume by 54%, while the control group continued the normal training.
After the intervention period the 10-20-30 group’s performance in a 1500-m and a 5-K run improved by 21 and 48 seconds, respectively. In 10-20-30, systolic blood pressure and cholesterol was lowered. No alterations were observed in control group.
Read abstract of the study published in Journal of Applied Physiology: “The 10-20-30 training concept improves performance and health profile in moderately trained runners”.
The 10-20-30 project is supported by the Nordea-fonden, Copenhagen, Denmark.
Press photos and video
Click on the individual photographs to see and download them in high resolution. The press is free to use the photographs. Please credit: Carsten Lundager.
The media is free to use the video. The video can be embedded directly from the player (click on the icon in lower right corner).