Health knowledge and news provided by doctors.

Runners fare better in performance and health with less training

Kathleen Blanchard's picture
Running exercise

Runners can improve their health and performance by training less. The concept was studied in 18 healthy runners who used a new 10-20-30 training concept that consists of a low intensity 1-km warm-up, followed by 3-4 blocks of 5 minutes of running interspersed by 2 minutes of rest.

Less training for runners improves health, boosts mood

In the study, researchers found runners who trained less not only had better performance times, but they also had better health and less emotional stress.

The concept, developed by researchers from the Department of Exercise and Sport Sciences at the University of Copenhagen and led by Professor Jens Bangsbo, Department of Exercise and Sport Sciences, involves 5 consecutive 1-minute running intervals divided into 30 seconds of low-intensity running, followed by 2 seconds at a moderate pace then 10 seconds at almost maximum intensity.

Follow eMaxHealth on YouTube, Twitter and Facebook.
Please, click to subscribe to our Youtube Channel to be notified about upcoming health and food tips.

One of the advantages of the 10-20-30 training is that it takes less time from busy schedules. Bangsbo says 20 to 30 minutes, including warm-ups, is all it takes.

Study participant Katrine Dahl gave an affirmative in a press release that less training helped her run faster; saying “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."

What was also notable is that the runners who trained less lowered their blood pressure and cholesterol levels, something Bangsbo said was a surprise. The study, published in the Journal of Applied of Physiology, shows runners fare better health wise and improve performance by training less, using the new 10-20-30 training concept, all of which happened after just 7-weeks.

Journal of Applied Physiology
"The 10-20-30 training concept improves performance and health profile in moderately trained runners"
doi: 10.​1152/​japplphysiol.​00334.​2012
Thomas Petursson Gunnarsson1 and Jens Bangsbo
May 3, 2012

Image credit: Morguefile