All right Challengers — it’s time for a brand new month and a brand new challenge! You probably know by now, I’m a bit of a runner! I know not everybody is, but I challenge you to give this one a shot. Whether you’re an active walker and feel like running a full mile is quite literally more than a mile away or you are a seasoned runner looking to put a pep in your step, the 30-Day Running Challenge is here to help you run your first or fastest mile yet!
So if you’re happy with one mile, or looking for 5K, 10K, Half Marathon or Marathon Training, this is a great spring board to get you well on your way to your first or fastest mile!
Why You Should Join the 30-Day Running Challenge
There is no better feeling than setting a goal, working towards it and achieving or exceeding your expectations. And running is just one of those happy sports that requires very little equipment and just about anybody can do it. It does not matter if you have run hundreds of miles or zero, almost all of us can improve in this area. This 30-Day running challenge includes a series of progressive runs where you push your intensity throughout the month and you gradually increase speed and endurance. After 30 days, you should be able to run a complete mile without stopping or knock one out faster than ever before.
How to do the 30-Day Running Challenge
It’s fairly straightforward. On day one, you will start by testing your current mile pace. You now have your benchmark for the challenge. Then about 4 days a week for the next 28 days, you will perform a 30-40 minute workout with alternating intensities. You will gradually increase the intensity from walking to jogging. If you’re already a runner, you will start with easy jogging and alternate with harder/faster running for the defined interval times. Throughout the challenge, you will have longer intervals of higher intensity work and shorter periods of recovery. On day 30, you will perform the same mile pace test. You will be amazed at the time you take off!
You will have other workouts thought-out the challenge:
- Interval Days: On these days, you will walk or run the designated interval time. For example on day 2, you will walk or jog for 9 minutes and then push yourself to jog or run harder for 1 minute. You will repeat the interval 2-3 times. As the challenge progresses, your walk/jog minutes decrease as you increase the amount of time you push yourself to jog or run harder. On these days, be sure to warm up for 5 easy minutes; complete the interval and then cool down for 5 easy minutes. Then end with good stretches for runners.
- Cross Train Days: One day a week, you will want to get in a cross training/cardio day. This will keep your muscles moving and help with recovery, without any unnecessary high impact mileage. It will also help build your endurance. Good examples of cardio cross-training would be biking, swimming, elliptical or rowing machines.
- Rest/Stretch/Weight Days: These days are challengers’ choice. Stretching and strength training are both important parts of your training plan. Strength training leads to stronger quadriceps, which creates stronger knees, decreasing your chance of injury. Adding a yoga class to your schedule can also be important to improve your flexibility, also decreasing your chance of injury. try to dedicate at least one day a week to weight training and stretching. If you’re not feeling it, then take a rest day.
- Mandatory Rest Day: No matter how good you are feeing, it is essential that you take at least one full day per week to completely recover. Rest is just as essential as running when it comes to a good training plan.
- Mile Test Days: On day 1 and day 30, you will warm up for 10 minutes with easy movement, complete your mile for time, and then recover with 10 minutes of easy movement.
The Fine Print
- Always use proper running form and alignment to maximize results and prevent injury, be sure to review this 10-point checklist of good running form and be sure to sign up with Gals Who Run to get your 10 Tips to Injury Free Running.
- Be smart and mindful of your current level of fitness. You must respect the balance between pushing yourself for improvement but not so far that you hurt yourself.
- Follow the schedule in order to the best of your ability. The running, rest, and cross training days are organized in a way to allow for recovery so you can push yourself harder on interval days.
- Use your tracker to record the pace of your intervals to measure your strength and speed gains as you improve. Some days you may feel strong, push yourself on those days.
- Use a treadmill or pacing device to measure your speed and distance. It’s ok to mix up terrain on certain days and incorporate hills for an additional challenge, but it’s best to test your mile pace on the same flat ground.
- Depending on your current level of fitness, this can be a hard challenge. Be smart, listen to your body and take a rest day when needed. As long as you’re progressively increasing your intensity with good form, you’ll get stronger and faster.
- Always speak with your doctor before you start any new exercise regimen.
How to Get Started
- Get Social. Like the Teresa Marie Wellness on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and like our boards on Pinterest.
- Get access to all the complete training plan and all the 30 Day Challenge Series trackers and a monthly newsletter by joining the community here.
- Visit the FaceBook page, find the 30 Day Running Challenge and click “going.” Then invite your friends, the more the merrier!
- Throughout the challenge, you can log into the event daily and report your progress.
- Mark your personal calendar, your 30 Day Running Challenge starts Monday, September 1st.