In a recent scientific study just published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, a team of researchers from the University of Copenhagen found that doing 30-second ‘sprints’ of exercise – whether jogging, cycling or swimming – boosted fitness levels quicker than exercising at the same pace continuously.
Lead by Human Kinetics’ author Jens Bangsbo, they demonstrated that reducing the volume of training by 25% and introducing the so-called speed endurance training (6 to 12 thirty-second sprint runs 3 or 4 times a week), endurance trained runners can improve not only short-term but also long-term performance.
Runners in the trial improved their 10-km time by 1 min from 37.3 to 36.3 min after just 6-9 weeks of changed training. Six of the participating 12 runners obtained a new personal record on the 10 km, despite having been training for more than 4 years.
It’s thought that these bursts of faster exercise boost the amount of potassium in the cells and that helps the athletes move faster.
Source: University of Copenhagen
Jens Bengbo has played and coached football for more than 35 years. He spent 15 years as a top-level player in Denmark, playing more than 400 matches in the top Danish league and represented Denmark as both a youth player and as a member of the national team. He has written several books, including Offensive Soccer Tactics, Soccer Systems & Strategies and Defensive Soccer Tactics.