The aim of this study was to compare the effects of two high-intensity interval training (HIT) programmes on maximal oxygen uptake (.VO(2max)), the lactate threshold (LT) and 3000 m running performance in moderately trained male runners. .VO(2max), the running speed associated with .VO(2max) (V.VO(2max)), the time for which V.VO(2max) can be maintained (T(max)), the running speed at LT (v(LT)) and 3000 m running time (3000 mTT) were determined before and following three different training programmes performed for 10 weeks. Following the pre-test, 17 moderately trained male runners (V O(2max)=51.6+/-2.7ml kg(-1)min(-1)) were divided into training groups based on their 3000 mTT (Group 1, G(1), N=6, 8 x 60% of T(max) at V.VO(2max), 1:1 work:recovery ratio; Group 2, G(2), N=6, 12 x 30s at 130% V.VO(2max), 4.5 min recovery; control group, G(CON), N=5, 60 min at 75% V.VO(2max)). G(1) and G(2) performed two HIT sessions and two 60 min recovery run sessions (75% V.VO(2max)) each week. Control subjects performed four 60 min recovery run sessions (75% V.VO(2max)) each week. In G(1), significant improvements (p<0.05) following HIT were found in .VO(2max) (+9.1%), V.VO(2max) (+6.4%), T(max) (5%), v(LT) (+11.7%) and 3000 mTT (-7.3%). In G(2), significant improvements (p<0.05) following HIT were found in .VO(2max) (+6.2%), V.VO(2max)(+7.8%), T(max) (+32%) and 3000 mTT (-3.4%), but not in v(LT) (+4.7%; p=0.07). No significant changes in these variables were found in G(CON). The present study has shown that 3000 m running performance, .VO(2max), V.VO(2max), T(max) and v(LT) can be significantly enhanced using different HIT programmes in moderately trained runners, but that changes in performance and physiological variables may be more profound using prolonged HIT at intensities of V.VO(2max) with interval durations of 60% T(max).