Workout Idea: 30/30 Run

One of my favorite training runs is the 30/30 run. Made famous by some geeky track star, the 30/30 workout utilizes the vO2 max, which is essentially the maximum pace a runner can economically supply oxygen to their body. Most intense runners go to labs to get this threshhold tested, but you can also get an estimate on the internet based on your race times. You can see mine here: training pacesThis handy tool also gives you some insightful info about recommended paces for other types of runs as well! Anyway, my estimated VO2 max from a PR 23:09 5K is in the 7:21 to 7:30 range per mile. The major benefit from this workout is improving your stamina at a faster pace by increasing your vO2 max. Throughout the workout, you will alternate 30 second bursts at vO2 max max with 30 second jogging recoveries. Your body will still a maintain vO2 max oxygen rate even during the recovery. In one study, a group of average runners increased their vO2 max by 10 percent in just 8-10 weeks of doing two 30/30 workouts a week!

Required materials:

  • Phone or timer – I used the free app called IntervalTimer to ring every 30 seconds to warn me of the next rep.
  • A place to run!Here's a photo from the Santa Hustle half-marathon in December. Such an awkward picture!

The workout:

Start with a 5-10 minute warm up jog and some stretching. It will be important for you to become familiar with what your vO2 max pace feels like. Use a track or treadmill when you’re starting out. After you have warmed up, start the intervals: 30 seconds at your vO2 max with a 30 second jogging recovery period. Repeat this until you can’t hold your vO2 max pace for 30 seconds.