Hal Higdon: Beginning Runner's Guide--The 30/30 Plan

Average Weekly Training Hours 03:00
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours 03:00
Training Load By Week

Hal Higdon: Beginning Runner's Guide: 30/30 Plan: My 30/30 Plan, is for beginning runners, true novices, those of you who never have run before, but who would like to become a runner, whether for fitness or to some day run a marathon. This is how you begin. The 30/30 Plan features 30 minutes of walking/running for 30 consecutive days. If you think you need more time to get in shape, you can lengthen your 30 days to 60 days by running and walking every other day. Choose my 30/60 plan instead. For more information, check the Beginning Runner's Guide on my website: halhigdon.com.

Sample Day 6
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DAY 1: The 30/30 Plan begins today and continues for 30 days with 30 minutes of walking and jogging each day. Let me explain again how to begin. On your first day, go out and walk for a half hour, 30 minutes. You could pick any course, but easiest is to walk 15 minutes in one direction, turn around and head home for a total of 30 minutes.

Sample Day 7
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DAY 2: We are now into the second day of my 30/30 Plan, featuring a half hour of walking and running each day for a month. Here's the pattern I want you to follow each day. Walk for the first 10 minutes. Don't even think about running at the start. Then during the next 15 minutes you are free to do some running. Run a minute, walk a minute, run a minute after that. Stay in motion. If you get tired, revert to walking only. The last 5 minutes, it is obligatory you walk.

Sample Day 8
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DAY 3: Yesterday, I introduced you to my 30/30 Plan, telling you to start by walking 10 minutes, next running or walking 15 minutes, finally walking 5 minutes. 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 comfortable jogging and walking, adapt a 30/30 pattern: jogging 30 seconds, walking 30 seconds, etc.

Sample Day 9
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DAY 4: You are on your way to becoming a runner, using my 30/30 Plan. Follow this 30/30 Plan for 30 days, walking and/or running 30 minutes each of those days. If you train continuously (every day), you can complete this program 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.

Sample Day 10
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DAY 5: 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 will then be ready to progress to the next stage of your training as a beginning runner.

Sample Day 11
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DAY 6: Continue to follow the 30/30 Plan. You are on your way to becoming a runner. Running continues to grow in popularity. More and more people are taking up the sport. More people are running 5-K races. More are running marathons. An even larger number simply run for fitness and never go near a starting line, or win a race T-shirt. By committing to the 30/30 Plan you have made your first steps to joining this elite group.

Sample Day 12
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DAY 7: The end of your first week of running--or walking if you chose to begin slowly.There are many good reasons for running's recent growth in popularity. Running is simple and inexpensive. It’s a good way to lose weight. It makes you feel good. Running is good for your health. You’ll look better and have more energy if you learn to run.

Hal Higdon
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Hal Higdon is a Contributing Editor for Runner's World, that magazine's longest lasting writer, Hal's having contributed an article to RW's second issue in 1966. He also is the author of more than three dozen books, including Marathon: The Utimate Training Guide and the recently published Hal Higdon's Half Marathon Training and Run Fast (3rd edition).