Denouement: Final Day Of My 30-Day Ultra Low Volume Running Experiment

9-26-12, Wednesday

This was the final day of my 30-day ultra low volume running experiment.

I did a 400-meter time trial to cap off my month-long running experiment.  The results of the 400-meter time trial were not great – it was 5 seconds slower than the last time trial I did about 7 weeks ago.

85 seconds.  Really wanted a faster time.  Wore my lightweight New Balance.  Went out a tad too fast and just couldn’t maintain it after the 200-meter mark.  I felt like my arms weighed 50lbs a piece by the time I hit the finish line.  Lactic acid buildup was incredible.

I don’t consider the low volume running experiment a failure though.  Far from it.  I was also 9lbs heavier during this last time trial.  And 5 seconds slower seems to at least be maintaining – when you factor in the added weight – my mediocre level of running fitness.

And I did it running much, much less volume than the previous 6 months.

I actually significantly improved my 1.5-mile time trial while doing this low volume running experiment.

Here are the PROS and CONS:


  • Bodyweight increased from 210lbs on August 28th to 214lbs on the last day of my low volume running experiment.

      • In my opinion this increase in bodyweight wasn’t caused by the program.  It was caused by eating like an idiot on my 5-day road trip last week.  I’m confident that if I had kept my weight at 210lbs – my 400-meter time would’ve improved by at least 5 seconds on this final test.
      • But it is possible that I just gained 4lbs due to not doing as much work as when I was running more.

This is really the extent of the cons that I can think of.  Paying attention to what I eat will be a bigger factor than any amount of running I’m likely to ever do anyway.  So it’s a non-factor.


  • Big reduction in the amount of time spent running.  Time that I put to use in other areas of my life.  At least a 50% reduction in time spent training with the ultra low volume running experiment.  Probably closer to a 75% reduction in time though.

  • Kept the same level of running fitness in the short distances (100 meters to 400 meters) and actually improved on the longer distances like 1.5 miles.  That’s probably easily explained by the fact that the shorter runs are essentially just speedwork and that positively effected my ability to run at faster speeds for longer times.

What’s next for my running training?  Haven’t decided yet.  Might go even shorter (like 1,200 meters total for a week) weekly volume for the same time period and see what happens then.  Or completely change it up and run every day – but at comfortable speeds and distances.

The experiment has been interesting though and I’ve had more e-mails and correspondence over this little test than all of the grip and USAWA lifting that I used to do.  Weird…


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.
This entry was posted in Running Experiments, Running Performances vs. Bodyweight, Running/Jogging, Time Trial Run and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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