If you’re a complete newbie to running, the thought of trying to set a routine or schedule can seem pretty daunting as you won’t know where to start.
You don’t want to be overstretching yourself and in turn, injuring yourself before you barely get started, yet you still want to challenge yourself enough that you can make progress in a short period.
This 30-day beginner running training schedule incorporates walking and running intervals during your sessions to keep building your endurance and gradually ease you into until after 30 days you’re running for 20 minutes without stopping.
There’ll be no need to feel discouraged and embarrassed as even the best runners started somewhere and every week you’ll be surprised at how much better you’ve gotten already.
Make sure you’ve got some supportive trainers and comfortable running gear as you’ll be wearing them a lot over the next 30 days. Have no fear, you won’t be required to run every day and there are some incorporated rest days to make sure your body recovers.
You should warm up properly before every run to avoid developing any injuries.
You can do some star jumps, jog on the spot and just take a 5-minute walk before you start your routine as a light aerobic warm-up.
Then do some dynamic stretches like lunges, calf stretches, or toe touches to get your muscle fired up.
Make sure you cool down properly after every run as it regulates blood flow and gradually decreases the body temperature and the heart rate. Spend 5-10 minutes after every session doing various body stretches.
We recommend hip flexor stretches, thigh stretches, hamstring stretches, and calf stretches, but try to do what you’re comfortable with.
Adequate stretching after your runs will decrease the risk of injuries and possible stiffness. You can also take an ice bath or use a foam roller, to ease muscle pain in your legs after your sessions.
Day 1: Begin with a 10-minute brisk walk then start running at a manageable pace for 1 minute, then brisk walk for another 5 minutes. Repeat this step 3 times. Make sure you’re keeping your heart rate up during the walking intervals by walking quickly, don’t slow down too much as it’ll make it harder to start running again then.
Day 2: Jog at your own pace for 1 minute, then walk for 4 minutes at a quick pace. Repeat the step 3 times.
Day 3: You can use this day to rest, make sure to do some stretching or a light walk to stop the muscles from stiffening. If you want, you can continue your regular workout routine but be careful not to tire your body out too much.
Day 4: Jog at your own pace for 2 minutes without stopping, then walk for 4 minutes. Repeat this step 3 times. As the jogging time has been increased, you’ll find yourself getting more breathless, make sure you’re breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth.
Day 5: Rest day or low impact exercises like swimming, yoga, or static cycling.
Day 6: Jog at your own pace for 3 minutes, then walk for 3 minutes. Repeat this step 3 times.
Day 7: Rest day - make sure to just relax, you earned it!
Well done, you completed week 1 and now you’re onto week 2.
Week 2 is slightly more challenging as we’ll be increasing your running times and decreasing your walking intervals.
Day 8: Run at your own pace for 4 minutes and then walk briskly for 2 minutes. Repeat 3 times.
Day 9: Rest day or you can do your own training routine.
Day 10: Run at your own pace for 5 minutes, then walk quickly for 2 minutes. Repeat this step 3 times. Make sure you keep on top of your breathing and practice your running form.
Day 11: Run at a manageable pace for 6 minutes without stopping and then walk quickly for 2 minutes. Repeat the steps 3 times.
Day 12: Take a rest day.
Day 13: Run for 7 minutes, then walk for 2 minutes and then start running again for another 7 minutes. Finish with a brisk walk.
Day 14: Rest day or low impact cardio if you feel up for it. Make sure you stretch your muscles!
The penultimate week, well done for getting this far. You’re smashing it!
Day 15: Run at your own pace for 8 minutes, then walk for 2 minutes and repeat the process twice.
Day 16: Rest day.
Day 17: Run for 10 minutes without stopping, then walk for 2 minutes quickly (keep your heart rate up) and repeat the process twice.
Day 18: Have a rest day or do some low-intensity cardio.
Day 19: Run for 12 minutes, then walk for 2 minutes and then start running for 6 minutes to finish off.
Day 20: Run for 13 minutes, then walk quickly for 2 more minutes and then run at your own pace again for a further 5 minutes.
Day 21: It’s your last day before you start week 4 so make sure you rest up!
Week 4 (final week)
You should start to feel more confident in your ability now and be able to see the progress in your fitness from when you started.
This week will see you attempt to run for a full 20 minutes without stopping. You’ve got this!
Day 22: Run at your own pace for 14 minutes, slow down a bit for a brisk walk and go for 2 minutes, then start running again for 5 minutes.
Day 23: Rest, stretch, or low-impact cardio.
Day 24: Run for 15 minutes (if you feel comfortable, try to run a bit faster this time), then switch to walking for 2 minutes and finish with a run for 4 minutes.
Day 25: Rest.
Day 26: Run at a comfortable pace for 16 minutes, walk for 1 minute and then continue running for 4 more minutes.
Day 27: Rest, stretch or do some light exercise like swimming.
Day 28: Run for 18 minutes without stopping at your own pace, slow down and walk for 1 minute and then finish with a jog for 3 minutes.
Day 29: Rest. Rest. Rest! Tomorrow is the big one!
Day 30: You’ve reached day 30, this is what you’ve been working towards. Start your final session with a 5-minute walk, then run at your own pace for 20 minutes with no stopping, and then finish with a brisk 5-minute walk to cool down.
If you enjoyed the process, you can continue your running by building up your time each day.
You could start setting yourself time goals, like being able to run 3 miles in under 30 minutes or trying to do your favorite route in as fast a time as possible.
What sort of things should I eat before my run?
Don’t eat a big meal directly before going on a run, you should ideally wait around 3 hours after a meal before you go out on a run.
If you’re going to eat a small snack like a piece of fruit or an energy bar you should wait a minimum of 30 minutes or ideally 1-2 hours before beginning on your run.
Being too full can make you feel sluggish and will cause you to want to give up. Make sure you stay hydrated throughout the day as well.
What should I eat after my run?
If you’d rather wait till after your run to eat, or you’re feeling extra peckish then you should try to stick to high protein and carbohydrate meals.
Have some lean meats with vegetables and potatoes or even just a protein shake if you don’t want a whole meal. Adequate protein will give your body the amino acids it needs to repair and build new muscle.
Can I still exercise on rest days?
If you feel up to it then yes, you’re more than welcome to workout on your rest days.
We recommend some lower impact workouts like yoga or static cycling as anything too enduring may add strain on your body and you’ll be too sore to run the next day.
Any other form of cardio will boost your endurance as well and will contribute to your overall fitness.