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The ultimate 30 day workout challenge for runners

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A home workout is a great alternative to an outdoors run or a gym workout, especially if the weather isn’t looking that great, or you’re having to isolate yourself at home.

This is where a 30 day workout challenge for runners comes in handy.

Home workouts are so versatile because they can be done at any time during your day, and even better you don’t have to leave the comfort of your own home.

The key is to find workouts that you enjoy and can comfortably do in your own home.

In this guide we’ll look at:

  • What is the 30 day workout challenge for runners?
  • How does a 30 day workout challenge work?
  • What are the best strength exercises for runners?
  • How often should runners do strength workouts?
  • When should runners do strength workouts?
  • 30 day workout challenge for runners Q&A
  • 30 day workout challenge for runners: Day by day plan

Ready?

Let’s get started!

30 day workout challenge for runners

What is the 30 day workout challenge for runners?

The 30 day workout challenge for runners is a series of strength workouts spread across one month.

You complete up to five strength workouts on each day of the 30 day challenge.

The workouts in this 30 day workout challenge are great for runners to complement their running.

As such, they have been designed specifically for runners in mind. 

How does a 30 day workout challenge work?

If you run regularly, then you will know the importance of staying strong, healthy and injury free, where possible.

This 30 day workout challenge for runners works by getting you to do strength workouts that help to build stronger muscles, joints and connective tissues.

Many studies have shown the benefits of strength workouts for running performance and economy.

Strength workouts for runners like the ones in this guide are great to do because they help to reduce the risk of injury.

They also contribute to better running form, in other words, these workouts will help you run more efficiently.

Related: Run strong: 30 day strength training plan for runners

What are the best strength exercises for runners?

The best strength exercises for runners are those that focus on:

  • Full body movements. Also known as ‘compound’ movements, these are movements that use your whole body, including your legs, core, upper body and arms.
  • Unilateral movements. These are movements that use a single leg or single arm, like in a forward lunge or step-ups. Running is considered a unilateral form of movement, meaning that your legs are moving independently of one another, supporting your body.
  • Core strength. These are movements that develop your core strength as a runner. Your core is important when running as it helps to keep a strong and stable position for longer.

If you’re new to strength training, then I suggest you start with bodyweight exercises.

Bodyweight exercises are simple to do and beginner-friendly.

You don’t need any equipment to do them and they can be done anywhere – outdoors, in a gym, or from the comfort of your own home.

All the strength workouts in this challenge are bodyweight exercises. However, you can adapt them to incorporate the use of free weights such as dumbbells or kettlebells if you wish.

Related: 6 of the best strength workout routines for runners

How often should runners do strength training workouts?

Strength training should be completed between 2 to 3 times per week as part of a well-rounded training plan.

However, you can be flexible when completing strength training.

Some runners, for example, choose to incorporate 4 to 5 shorter 30 minute strength workouts in their training plan and sprinkle these throughout the week.

A strength workout doesn’t have to take longer than 30 minutes.

30 day workout challenge for runners

When should runners do strength training workouts?

The strength workouts in this 30 day workout challenge for runners can be done any time of the day.

However, if you’d like to combine them with a run, then I advise you do them after an easy run.

It’s not advisable to do strength training workouts after a long run or an intense session like a speed training session or hill repeats.

Related: 7 of the best glute strengthening exercises for runners 

30 day workout challenge for runners Q&A

Q: How many strength exercises are included in the challenge?

A: This 30 day workout challenge for runners includes up to five different strength exercises for each day of the plan.

So over the period of the 30 day plan, you will be doing up to 150 strength exercises.

Q: What order should I complete the strength exercises?

A: Try and do the exercises in the order in which you see them in the plan. 

Q: Do I need any gym equipment to complete the strength exercises?

A: No. You do not need any home gym equipment to complete any of the exercises in this challenge as they’re all bodyweight exercises.

However, if you’d like to add free weights, such as dumbbells, then feel free to do so if you feel comfortable. 

Q: How long does each strength workout take to complete?

A: Each strength workout will take less than 10 minutes to complete at home, making them perfect additions to your morning routine or lunch break.  

Q: What if I find a strength exercise too difficult?

If you find a particular strength workout is too difficult, then don’t be afraid to revert to a previous day or week when you found the workout manageable.

The key is that you are comfortable doing these strength exercises.

Q: I can feel pain when I do a strength exercise, what should I do?

A: My 30 day workout challenge for runners is designed to push you out of your comfort zone.

However, if you experience pain at any point whilst doing any exercise in this plan, then stop the exercise immediately.

Don’t be tempted to push through the pain as this could lead to injury. 

Related: 6 simple strength exercises for runners

30 day workout challenge for runners

30 day workout challenge for runners: Day by day plan

Day 1

  • Squats x 30 reps
  • Press ups x 20 reps
  • Reverse lunges x 30 reps
  • Plank – hold for 30 seconds
  • Jumping jacks x 30 reps

Day 2

  • Curtsy lunge x 30 reps (15 each leg)
  • Plank with shoulder taps x 20 reps 
  • Forward lunges x 30 reps
  • Side plank – hold for 15 seconds on each leg
  • High knees x 45 reps

Day 3

  • Squat jacks x 30 reps
  • Press ups x 20 reps
  • Side lunges x 30 reps
  • Crunches x 30 reps 
  • Butt kicks x 30 reps

Day 4

  • Jump lunges x 30 reps
  • Tricep dips x 25 reps
  • Hip thrusts x 25 reps
  • Russian twists x 30 reps
  • Side-lying leg lifts x 30 reps (15 each leg)

Day 5

  • Single leg squats x 20 reps (10 each leg)
  • Superman pulls x 20 reps 
  • Skaters x 30 reps (15 each side)
  • Lying windscreen wipers x 30 reps
  • Fire hydrants x 20 reps (10 each leg)

Day 6

  • Sumo squats x 30 reps
  • Hip thrusts x 25 reps
  • Donkey kicks x 30 reps (15 each leg)
  • Lying toe taps x 30 reps
  • High knees x 45 reps

Day 7

  • Squats x 35 reps
  • Leg lifts x 30 reps
  • Wall sit squats x 30 reps
  • Jumping jacks x 35 reps
  • Plank – hold for 45 seconds

Day 8

  • Curtsy lunge x 40 reps (20 each leg)
  • Crunches x 40 reps
  • Side lunges x 40 reps (20 each side)
  • Russian twists x 30 reps
  • Hip thrusts x 30 reps

Day 9

  • Squat jacks x 35 reps
  • Leg raises x 30 reps 
  • Fire hydrants x 30 reps (15 each leg)
  • Burpees x 20 reps
  • Crunches x 30 reps

Day 10

  • Jump lunges x 35 reps
  • Tricep dips x 35 reps
  • Skaters x 35 reps
  • Prone leg lifts x 30 reps
  • High knees x 45 reps

Day 11

  • Single-leg squats x 30 reps (15 each leg)
  • Russian twists x 30 reps
  • Side-lying leg lifts x 30 reps (15 each leg)
  • Donkey kicks x 30 reps (15 each leg)
  • Plank with shoulder taps x 30 reps 

Day 12

  • Sumo squats x 30 reps 
  • V-sit ups x 30 reps
  • Forward lunges x 30 reps (15 each leg)
  • Press up x 30 reps
  • Jumping jacks x 40 reps

Day 13

  • Squats with kickback x 30 reps
  • Lying toe taps x 30 reps
  • Knee to stands x 30 reps
  • Tricep dips x 30 reps
  • Plank – hold for 45 seconds

Day 14

  • Squat with knee drive x 30 reps (15 each leg)
  • Lying windscreen wipers x 30 reps
  • Hip thrusts x 30 reps
  • Bicycle crunches x 30 reps
  • Side-lying leg lifts x 30 reps (15 each leg)

Day 15

  • Squats x 40 reps
  • Scissors x 30 reps
  • Donkey kickbacks x 40 reps (20 each leg)
  • Superman pulls x 35 reps
  • High knees x 45 reps

Day 16

  • Curtsy lunge x 45 reps
  • Plank with shoulder taps x 40 reps
  • Fire hydrants x 40 reps (20 each leg)
  • V-sit ups x 40 reps
  • Knee to stands x 40 reps

Day 17

  • Squat jacks x 40 reps
  • Leg raises x 40 reps 
  • Hip thrusts x 40 reps
  • Tricep dips x 40 reps
  • Jumping jacks x 40 reps

Day 18

  • Jump lunges x 40 reps
  • Bicycle crunches x 40 reps
  • Skaters x 40 reps 
  • Donkey kicks x 40 reps (20 each leg)
  • Plank – hold for 50 seconds

Day 19

  • Single-leg squats x 40 reps (20 each leg)
  • V-sit ups x 40 reps
  • Wall sits – hold for 45 seconds
  • Crunches x 40 reps
  • Butt kicks x 40 reps

Day 20

  • Sumo squats x 40 reps
  • Lying windscreen wipers x 40 reps
  • Forward lunges x 40 reps
  • Russian twists x 40 reps
  • Side plank – hold for 20 seconds on each leg

Day 21

  • Squat with knee drive x 40 reps (20 each leg)
  • Hip thrusts x 40 reps
  • Burpees x 40 reps
  • Leg raises x 40 reps 
  • High knees x 40 reps

Day 22

  • Jump squats x 40 reps
  • Scissors x 40 reps
  • Donkey kickbacks x 40 reps (20 each leg)
  • Plank with shoulder taps x 40 reps 
  • Jumping jacks x 40 reps

Day 23

  • Squats x 45 reps
  • Lying toe taps x 40 reps
  • Reverse lunges x 45 reps
  • Superman pulls x 40 reps
  • Knee to stands x 40 reps

Day 24

  • Curtsy lunge x 40 reps
  • Press ups x 40 reps
  • Hip thrusts x 40 reps
  • Side plank – hold for 20 seconds on each leg
  • High knees x 45 reps

Day 25

  • Squat jacks x 40 reps
  • V-sit ups x 40 reps
  • Wall sits – hold for 45 seconds
  • Bicycle crunches x 40 reps
  • Plank – hold for 45 seconds

Day 26

  • Jump lunges x 40 reps
  • Leg raises x 40 reps
  • Side lunges x 40 reps
  • Tricep dips x 40 reps
  • Burpees x 40 reps

Day 27

  • Single-leg squats x 40 reps (20 each leg)
  • Press ups x 40 reps
  • Single-leg glute bridge x 40 reps (20 each leg)
  • Russian twists x 40 reps
  • Skaters x 40 reps

Day 28

  • Sumo squats x 40 reps
  • Plank with shoulder taps x 40 reps
  • Fire hydrants x 40 reps (20 each leg)
  • Side-lying leg lift – 40 reps (20 each leg)
  • Jumping jacks x 40 reps

Day 29

  • Squat with knee drive x 40 reps (20 each leg)
  • Superman pulls x 40 reps
  • Hip thrusts x 40 reps
  • Wall sits – hold for 40 seconds
  • Plank – hold for 45 seconds

Day 30

  • Jump squats x 40 reps
  • Scissors x 40 reps
  • Press ups x 40 reps
  • Single-leg glute bridge x 40 reps (20 each leg)
  • High knees x 40 reps

More strength training tips for runners:

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