Beginner’s 30/30 Plan

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

For 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 middle 15 minutes:

  • Jog for 30 seconds, walk until you are recovered, jog 30 seconds again.
  • Jog, walk. Jog, walk. Jog, walk.
  • Once you’re comfortable with the jogging and walking routine, adapt your workout to a 30/30 pattern, jogging 30 seconds, walking 30 seconds, etc.

Follow this 30/30 pattern for 30 days. If you train continuously (every day), you can complete this stage in a month. If you train only 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 two and four kilometres walking and jogging. You are now ready to progress to the next stage of your training as a beginning runner!

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4 Responses to Beginner’s 30/30 Plan

  1. Rich 4 January 2012 at 8:25 pm #

    My wife runs all the time and I’d really like to start joining her (by following far behind of course!). This looks like a great way to get me going this year without suffering from the dreaded shin splits. Thanks for posting this routine.

  2. Andrew 5 January 2012 at 10:36 am #

    Beware the transition from shorter distances (10 KM) to intermediate and long distances (>21 km). I and a lot of my running friends have experienced running injuries when first making that progression. Personally I am convinced that one’s body undergoes some adjustments to deal with the increased distance. Maybe Runners World could do an article on that?

  3. LAURETTE 8 February 2012 at 10:17 am #

    I am cycling every day about 20km, but want to start jogging/running as well, should I start with the 30/30 plan also?

  4. Andrew 21 February 2012 at 1:11 pm #

    I have not been a runner since primary school and now at 36 years of age have decided to do a half marathon on the 25 March. I was a national swimmer at the highest level for 10 years between 1987 and 1997 however have not trained seriously at any sprort since then.
    I am in fairly good physical condition as I have been doing ‘outdoor fitness’ aka. bootcamp for around 5 months now.
    I started running in the beginning of Feb and quickly and without (excessive) discomfort progressed within the week to a 6km 80% run 20% walk which takes me 30-34min.
    I try do this 3 times a week and the route I take includes a 1km long steep climb.
    My Runs have become longer recently, pushing up to 8-10 km’s, with an average heart rate of 145ish and peaking at 170-5, and keeping the walking to an absolute minimum.
    After reading this, my question is, “Am I hurting myself by doing too much too soon?”
    After swimming 21km’s per day, every day in my youth, I can’t bring myself to ‘waste’ my time for 1-2 months. I like to push myself but am I going to hurt myself in the long run?
    Am I being silly?
    Any advice will be appreciated but I think my head is my biggest hurdle…

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