30-Day Ultra Low Volume Running Experiment

I’m simplifying things in my life right now.  And to me that means reduction.  Reducing the amount of time I spend training, getting rid of possessions to unclutter my living space, spending less time on hobbies, interacting less with acquaintances outside of work, logging on to Facebook far less often than I did last year, and last, but not least – whittling down the time I spend on internet forums.  

  • Training. 

  • Possessions.

  • Hobbies.

  • Acquaintances.

  • Facebook.

  • Forums. 

What does all this have to do with the title of this blog post?  Everything.  I have been running much shorter distances than even 2 months ago.  And actually feel more muscular and leaner now than I did then. 

Reducing the time I spend running each week even more will give me more time to do other things.  Like home improvements that I have put of for literally years.  Something else always comes up.  That excuse won’t fly now that I’ve engineered a way to save even more time but still get the health and fitness benefits of some weekly running volume. 

I can sum up my plan for the next 30 days like this:


Sounds pretty restrictive.  That’s because it is.  By design.  I chose the 1,600 number solely because it’s a standard measurement of runners.  A mile.  4 times the 400 meter distance that I’ve been loosely focusing on the last month. 

The beauty of this month-long running experiment is the flexibility.  Getting 1,600 meters in for most runners would be as simple as just running a single mile and then the rest of the week is spent not running.  That would be really boring and wouldn’t improve my 400 meter time by much – if any. 

I could run 7 days per week.  That’s about 229 meters per day on average. 

I could run one time in that week – as I mentioned before – the entire 1,600 meters.  Then the rest of the week would be spent pining away for some run time. 

I could run sixteen 100-meter sprints over the course of a week. 

I could do four 400-meter runs over the course of a week. 

I could switch it up and do two 100s, two 200s, and one 400.  A total of 800 meters.  Then run one other day that week and do twenty 40s. 

A huge amount of flexbility in programming with one simple ground rule – run no more than 1,600 meters per week.

Everything else is allowed.  As long as it’s not running.  I can do: 

  • Unlimited amount of walking.

  • “Strength Cardio” – like kettlebell swinging.

  • Any amount of bodyweight and strength training exercises.

  • Plyometrics – as long as they are not running-dependent, like strides, bounding, etc. 

At the end of 30 days I will retest and compare the before and after.  Before and after photos will be taken – but probably not shared with the readers of this blog.  Bodyweight records will be compared.  I don’t expect much change in body composition or bodyweight after 30 days.  I do think it will improve my 400-meter best time this year.  Here are the distances that I will compare in the before and after results:

  • 100 meters

  • 200 meters

  • 300 meters

  • 400 meters

  • 800 meters

  • 1,000 meters

  • 1,600 meters


About bencrush

42-year old multiple USAWA record holder who enjoys grip strength training, bending steel, and sharing my knowledge of training in both areas.
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One Response to 30-Day Ultra Low Volume Running Experiment

  1. chuck says:

    cool stuff. i am not surprised sprinting short distances would have favorable body comp results. good luck to you.


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