More research seems to talk up the benefits of interval training:
A just-published paper in the Journal of Applied Physiology outlines a new workout that could become as popular as Yasso 800s, because the “numbers” are just as simple. The new workout is called “30-20-10 training” (or 10-20-30). Veteran runners who followed the training for just 7 weeks improved their 5K times by four percent, dropping from 23:03 to 22:16.
They also lowered their blood pressure and their LDL cholesterol. The workout appears to be health-enhancing as well as performance-enhancing. … The 30-20-10 runners, three women and five men, also lowered their 1500 meter times by six percent, from 6:09 to 5:49. They did this while decreasing their weekly training mileage by 50 percent.
Here’s how to do a 30-20-10 workout.
1. Warm up with easy jogging for about a mile. (The studied runners warmed up for just ¾ mile.)
2. Jog for 30 seconds, run normal training pace for 20 seconds, and sprint for 10 seconds. Immediately repeat this cycle four more times, producing one continuous five-minute repeat.
3. Jog for two minutes. Then repeat step 2 two or three more times. (The subjects in the JAP study did 3 x 5-minutes for the first four weeks, and 4 x 5-minutes for the next three weeks.)
4. Cool down with easy jogging for about a mile. (The studied runners apparently did no cooldown, but we always recommend one.)
In the study, 18 moderately trained subjects (12 men, 8 women; average age, 34; normal training, 18 miles a week) were divided into two groups. …