25. 30/30’s

Running tip #25 …

A simple introduction to speed-work may be accomplished using a training concept I call thirty-thirties (30/30’s), also known as ins-and-outs.  When you have a running base of at least 3 miles a day (preferably 5 miles per day) for six weeks, introduce your first set of 30/30’s in the following way:

Warm up 20 minutes easy, then alternate running fast and jogging …. 30 seconds fast/30 seconds jog/30 seconds fast/30 seconds jog, etc. until you get to 6 total minutes. Cool down 15 minutes easy.

Over 6 weeks, the 30/30 progression looks like this:  6 sets, 8 sets, 10 sets, 12 sets, 16 sets, 20 sets.  For best results, pick the same day each week to do the 30/30s.

I created this workout series after a conversation I had with American miling great, Jim Spivey.


I may not be remembering it exactly, but Jim said when he was training in the midwest there were no hills so he had to come up with a way to simulate the speed and strength of a hill training phase.  There was a stretch of road with every 200m marked so, instead of hill repeats in the fall (like the rest of the world was doing),  he would run 200 fast/200 recovery X 20 every week.   I modified the workout to allow for progression and development with young runners.

Another thing I learned from Spivey was to yell, “All set?!” before beginning a workout.  My runners are supposed to answer by cheering, “You bet!”  This call-and-response also comes in handy on car trips with your family.

road-tripAll set?  You bet!


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