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Try These 30-Minute Running Challenge (Indoor + Outdoor Versions)


Page last updated: 21st March 2022

Running is an amazing form cardiovascular exercise. We've covered some the benefits of running regularly here, but in a nutshell, running helps to:

  • Improve your cardio fitness
  • Strengthen your core and lower body muscles
  • Promote better sleep
  • Maintain or lose weight 
  • Improve mental health

If you're running regularly, you might find periods where you feel less motivated to get outside or on the treadmill and get going. Signing up for a running event is one way to get your mojo back, but what if it's outside of event season or you simply don't quite fancy getting involved in a race?

Setting yourself a running challenge can be a great way to make running more fun and motivating. We've created two 30-minute running challenges, one for outside and one for the treadmill, so you can try these at any time of year, in any weather!

These challenges are designed for people who already run. If you're not a runner yet, but want to be, check out with guide to getting started with running.

Before you start

Running can be tough on the body. The best way to ensure injury-free running is to properly warm up before each run. We've shared some of our favourite dynamic stretches to do before you run. These paired with 5-minutes of brisk walking will get your muscles nice and warm and ready for the running challenges!

The outdoor uphill workout

Running workout

Whether you're exploring new areas, or sticking to the same few routes, running outdoors is always interesting! Combining running with fresh air and nature is a great way to boost your mood, and the combination of uneven terrain and wind makes outdoor running naturally challenging.

Our outdoor challenge uses hills or stairs to make this 30-minute run even more challenging. Hill training is great for building stamina, speed, and strengthening your glutes, hamstrings, quads, and calves. It also burns more calories compared to running on a flat surface. 

  1. Warm up with a brisk walk and/ or dynamic stretches.
  2. Run at moderate intensity (around 6-7 RPE) for 10-minutes.
  3. Run up a hill or stairs for 2-minutes, followed by a 1-minute rest.
  4. Repeat the hill runs 5 times.
  5. Cool down with a slow jog for 5 minutes.


The Indoor treadmill workout

Treadmill workout

Outdoor running is great when it's nice weather, but if it's unbearably hot or pouring with rain, the treadmill can be more tempting. Although it's seen as inferior, there are many benefits of treadmill running including the ability to adjust and track your pace and incline, and being gentler on your joints. 

For our indoor 30-minute running challenge, we've adopted an interval training structure. Interval training combines periods of high intensity exercise with recovery periods, and many studies have found shorter periods of interval training to be just as beneficial as longer periods of exercising at a steady pace. Some of the benefits of interval running includes: improvements to your aerobic and anaerobic endurance and VO2 max, greater amount of calories burned, and a decreased risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some cancers.

  1. Warm up with a 5-minute brisk walk and/ or dynamic stretches.
  2. Jog at a comfortable pace for 10 minutes (around 5 RPE).
  3. Sprint for 1 minute (9 RPE) followed by walking at a slow pace for 1 minute. 
  4. Repeat the sprints 8 times.
  5. Cool down with a slow jog for 5 minutes.


After your workout

Once you've cooled down, finish your workout with some stretches, making sure to stretch your hamstrings, glutes, quads, and calves as these muscle groups will have been working hard during your runs! If you have the time, finishing off with a full body stretch is a great idea. 


Looking for an even bigger challenge? Why not try our 20-week marathon training plan

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