30-Day Running Challenge: Run Your First or Fastest Mile

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There's no better feeling than setting a goal, working toward it and achieving or exceeding your expectations, especially if you're a newbie runner.

Running can be intimidating. It's hard, it can hurt, and it's nonstop. But, with the right training plan and support, you can run with ease. Follow this month-long training guide and before you know it you'll run a complete mile.

Whether you're a first time or avid runner, you can always work on speed and endurance. This 30-day running challenge includes a series of progressive runs where you push your intensity and 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.

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How? It's fairly straightforward. On day one, test your current mile pace to get a benchmark for the challenge. Then about four days a week for the next 28 days, perform a 30- to 40-minute workout with alternating intensities. Gradually increase the intensity from walking to jogging.

If you're already a runner, start with an easy jog and alternate with harder/faster runs for the defined interval times. Throughout the challenge, you'll have longer intervals of high-intensity work and shorter periods of recovery. On day 30, perform the same mile-pace test as you did on day one. You should see some time taken off of you pace.

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Your 30-Day Running Challenge Training Plan

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Interval Days

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. Repeat the interval 2 to 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. Warm up for five minutes; complete the interval workout, and then cool down for five minutes. Make sure to stretch afterward to avoid injuries.

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