Hal Higdon: Beginning Runner's Guide--The 30/60 Plan

Average Weekly Training Hours 01:40
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours 01:40
Training Load By Week

Hal Higdon: Beginning Runner's Guide--The 30/60 Plan: This 30/60 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. It differs from my 30/30 plan only in that you take twice as long to complete it, walking or running every other day instead of every day. For more information on how to begin, visit the Beginning Runner's Guide on my website, halhigdon.com.

Sample Day 1
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DAY 1: Welcome to my premium Beginning Runner's Guide and the 30/60 Plan. This is a variation of my 30/30 Plan that offers 30-minute workouts featuring walking and running phased out over 30 consecutive days. The 30/60 Plan features the same workouts, but phased out over 60 days for people who want to work out every other day. It is designed for those who never have run before, who maybe never have even done much fitness walking before, yet would like to get in shape. Let's begin. Let me introduce you on this first day of 30 training days to the program. For today's workout, go out and walk for 30 minutes. Walk 15 minutes in one direction. Turn around. Walk 15 minutes back for a total of 30 minutes.

Sample Day 3
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DAY 2: I told you to get started two days ago without telling you how the 30/30 and the 30/60 Plans work. The 30/30 Plan features 30 minutes of exercise for 30 consecutive days. The 30/60 PLan features 30 minutes of exercise spread out over 60 days. Here's the routine: 1. Walk out the door and go 15 minutes in one direction, turn around, and return 15 minutes to where you started: 30 minutes total. 2. For the first 10 minutes of your workout, it is obligatory that you walk: No running! 3. For the last 5 minutes of your workout, it is obligatory that you walk: Again, no running! 4. 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.

Sample Day 5
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DAY 3: Earlier, I introduced you to my 30/60 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 7
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DAY 4: You are on your way to becoming a runner, using my 30/60 Plan. Follow this 30/60 Plan for 60 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 9
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DAY 5: If you continue this 30/60 routine for 60 days, you will finish the program 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 30/60 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 13
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DAY 7: Stick with the plan. Head out the door for 15 minutes, turn around, and return home. Or you can run a loop course that takes you 30 minutes. The important instruction is that you only run during the 15-minute middle period of the workout. Walk before and after. 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).