Want a fun and easy way to work some speed into your running? Try the 30-20-10 workout. It’s a great, very simple routine that helps you build up your speed if you’ve been away from running fast for a while. I started running the 30-20-10 last summer after reading an article on runnersworld.com. I sometimes refer to it as the “gear-shift” workout as it cycles though all of your training paces. I prefer to run this entirely by time instead of distance so I leave my Garmin at home and use my Timex stop watch for the intervals.
Here’s how to run the 30-20-10 workout
1. Warm up with 15 minutes of easy running.
2. Repeat the following 5 times: Run easy for 30 seconds, run moderate effort for 20 seconds, then run hard for 10 seconds. One set equals 5 minutes (5 repeats x 1 minute each). Recover at easy pace for 2 minutes then run another set. Do 3 or 4 sets.
3. Run easy for 10-15 minutes for your cool down.
After 4 weeks of running the 30-20-10 workout once a week, I noticed that my easy runs were beginning to feel easier and I was nailing my tempo runs. For the first 4 weeks I did 3 sets (8km/5mi total), then increased it to 4 sets (10km/6.2mi) for another 4 weeks. For pacing, I try to feel out my threshold pace for the moderate effort (20 seconds) and interval pace for the hard effort (10 seconds).
Have you tried the 30-20-10 workout? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. I found it really helped me to build up speed before the start of marathon training so I’m really interested to hear your feedback. Happy running my friends!