30 Runs in 30 Days Challenge

Welcome to the '30 Runs in 30 Days Challenge'. The goal of running 30 days in a row is to build your stamina and biomechanical durability. The goal is not to get crazy fast in a month or less! If you go into it with that intent, there is a good chance you will only burn yourself out and/or get hurt. 

Shoot for 20min at least to consider the workout a run. Pace is not particularly important, just run (or run/walk) based on feel. Can run longer if desired, but do not compromise your ability to complete future runs. Keep HR at or below MAF (180bpm -age) at all times to help control your pace. You should notice your pace at MAF begin to increase as the month goes on. If you notice your pace become slower throughout the month it could be a sign you are over-training or running too hard an intensity during your daily runs. 

We've put together a training schedule to help you complete the 30 Runs in 30 Days Challenge. You'll need a Training Peaks account to access the calendar, we recommend you setup a free account through us. Use the link below to setup your free account, or email antonio@tritownboise.com and type '30 Runs' in the title field if you already have an account but want to view the training schedule. 


NOTE: This training schedule is simply a guide to help you see how you may structure these runs. In no way are we saying this is the ideal schedule for you, so please adjust as necessary.


Below we've republished a great review of the 30 Runs in 30 Days by veteran triathlete and physician Dr. Jeff Shilt.

You have to understand the basic premise (of 30 runs in 30days) in order to maximize the potential opportunity of the challenge. The goal is to safely increase your frequency in running and improve your aerobic base. Given that, the 45 minute minimum shouldn’t apply to everyone. To that point, everyone’s minimum is different based upon their running background.

The primary reason I believe people aren’t successful is from going too hard cardiovascularly. This has two results…one is mental/physiological burnout and the other is resultant musculoskeletal damage. We are wired to push ourselves…therefore, without wearing a hr monitor, people are repeatedly pushing above their aerobic ceiling and preventing adequate recovery.

I have more knowledge about the musculoskeletal limitations. The body responds to stress by “rebuilding itself” in a stronger fashion. To some, it would be intuitive then, to continue to go harder. However, the tissues are also constantly being resorbed during the remodeling process. This continual process of tissue breaking down and rebuilding is generally balanced. Problems arise when the balance is upset such that the breakdown is occurring at a rate more rapidly than the buildup. This results in stress fractures and overuse syndromes if the new stresses are applied too quickly. To avoid these complications it generally takes bones, tendons, and muscles approximately 6-8 weeks to rev up the building process. I believe those that aren’t patient enough to wait this period of time are usually those people who are plagued with recurrent injury and inconsistency.

Therefore, for people that aren’t accustomed to frequent running, their goal should be to build their musculoskeletal system (joints, tendons, muscles) up to the point of achieving a new remodeling homeostasis sufficient to withstand the new daily stress. This method hopefully can lessen the aches and pains that are the result from starting too rigorously that prevent continuation of running for most people. So those athletes who are patient can proceed with a gradual build-up (6-8 weeks) to provide sufficient time for the tissues to respond and strengthen to the initial stresses. I believe this increases the success of a those starting a new running program.

So on to the challenge. 30 runs in 30 days. Nothing fancy-no pace or distance requirements. Just get out and run 30 separate times in 30 days. What constitutes a run? For those people who have done sprint and oly races, 30 minutes. For those that have completed a half or full ironman, 45 minutes.

A couple of tips:

  • need a day off? Run in the morning and once in the evening on a given day to “bank” a run for your day off. Ideally this shouldn’t be done more than 1/week.
  • Use the run walk protocol on those days when you are feeling tired. Start off by walking 2-3 minutes, then begin running. After 10-15 minutes, give yourself a 30-60 sec walk break.
  • I recommend posting your daily runs on your local tri forum…this can be motivating for yourself and others. Group peer pressure is always fun ;-)

I wanted to post one thought as we are 13 days into the run challenge. It is interesting to see people push themselves despite the warnings. Even those who begin with a bit of humility and self proclaimed lack of running experience are running harder and more often than planned. I was running with Erin today and we were cruising around at her typical steady pace/effort. Given the large variability in our run experience, my effort/hr was pretty low (115) during the majority of the run. However, during each ascent, I was keeping pace with her, only to see my hr sky rocket to 150. Despite the obvious effort, she would continue to push the pace and accelerate past me. This is a common event I experience with less seasoned runners and I asked her about it.

My perception was that she felt it necessary to hammer up the hills and was looking at me and questioning why I wasn’t going harder. Yet she said, she just assumed that was the effort required to go up the hill and her perception was that she wasn’t going that hard (She didn’t have a hr monitor on). I suspect this is the same reasoning I commonly see when running with a group.

My suspicion is that these efforts are the ones that make it difficult to recover and come back the next day. But to best build endurance, you need to be able to repeatedly back up your prior days training. The repeated many day efforts of continuous training are superior in my mind than intermittent bursts of high intensity training separated by required rest b/c you are too wrecked to train.