Beginners Running 30/30 Training Plan

by Hal Higdon

The first 30 days of a new exercise routine can be the hardest, and people often talk themselves out of it. For beginners running, we’ve got great tips to get you started.

Here’s a simple 30/30 training plan to get you going, featuring 30 minutes of exercise for the first 30 days, and alternating the intensity in 30-second increments. It is a routine similar to one that Chuck Cornett, a coach from Orange Park, Florida, uses with new runners.

Day One of Beginners Running

Walk out the door and go 15 minutes in one direction, turn around, and return 15 minutes to where you started: 30 minutes total.

Family running in the grass along the waterFor the first 10 minutes of your workout, it is obligatory that you walk: No running!

For the last 5 minutes of your workout, it is obligatory that you walk: Again, no running!

During the middle 15 minutes of the workout, you are free to jog or run–as long as you do so easily and do not push yourself.

Here’s how to run during those 15 minutes in the middle: Jog for 30 seconds, walk until you are recovered, jog 30 seconds again. Jog, walk. Jog, walk. Jog, walk.

Once you’re comfortable jogging and walking, adapt a 30/30 pattern: Jogging 30 seconds, walking 30 seconds, etc.  As jogging for 30 seconds becomes easy, gradually increase the jog time while maintaining the 30-second recovery time.

Follow this 30/30 pattern for 30 days. If you train every day, you can complete this stage in one month. If you train every other day, it will take you two months. Do what your body tells you. Everyone is different in their ability to adapt to exercise. When you’re beginning, it is better to do too little than too much.

If you continue this 30/30 routine for 30 days, you will finish the month able to cover between one and two miles walking and jogging. You are now ready to progress to the next stage of your training as a beginning runner.


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