I Ran a Mile a Day for 30 Days – You Won’t Believe How My Body Changed! – Fitness Volt

Running is one of the most accessible workouts around. After all, you just need a pair of suitable sneakers, and you are good to go.

You can run around your neighborhood, head out into the countryside, run laps of an athletics track, or hit the treadmill. Running opportunities are almost everywhere, so, like Nike says in their commercials, “Just Do It!

Running is good for almost every aspect of your fitness and is an effective kilocalorie and fat burner, so it’s helpful for weight management. In addition, research published on PubMed suggests that running can help prevent illnesses and diseases and even help you live longer (1).

However, all this good news comes with a caveat – you need to run regularly to enjoy all the benefits of running.

As a veteran personal trainer, I understand how difficult it can be to exercise consistently. Motivation levels fluctuate, and life throws up obstacles, many of which are hard to overcome.

In my experience, 30-day fitness challenges are one of the best ways to build an exercise habit. Committing to an immersive 30-day fitness challenge teaches you how to prioritize exercise and overcome the barriers that could derail your training. They’re a bootcamp for your body AND mind.

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Of course, I’d never recommend a challenge I haven’t tried myself – that’s not how I roll! So, in this article, I reveal my recent experiences and results from running a mile a day for a month.

What Is the Run a Mile A Day for 30 Days Challenge?

Running Outdoors

The Run a Mile A Day for A Month Challenge is exactly what it sounds like – participants run one mile (1.6km) each day for one month straight. You run at any time of day and at your preferred speed and are free to choose between indoor or outdoor running.

All this flexibility means you can adapt the challenge to fit your lifestyle. For example, some days, you might run your mile around your neighborhood before breakfast, enjoying the reported weight loss benefits of fasted cardio (2). Alternatively, you could do other runs as part of your warm-up before weights or as a quick and dirty cardio finisher.

Provided you finish each day having run a mile, you can schedule it in any way that works for you.

Check also: Average Mile Time (and How To Smash Your Running Goals)

How to Run a Mile a Day

Running a mile per day for 30 days is as simple as it sounds, but that doesn’t mean it will be easy. Here are my top tips for improving your chances of success!

Record Your Progress on A Calendar

Whether you use an app or good old pen and paper, recording your progress is extremely motivating. Crossing off days and creating a streak will help keep you on track for the entire month. Personally, I found a calendar page stuck to my fridge worked best. Still, you can use whichever method you find easiest.

Start Each Run with a Brief Warm-Up

While it may be tempting to save time by heading straight out on your daily mile run, it’s best to warm up a bit before you begin. Warming up prepares your muscles and joints for the demands of running, lowers your risk of injury, and will make your run much more comfortable.

So, before you run, walk and then jog for a few minutes to raise your core temperature and get your heart and lungs working efficiently. Finish your warm-up with some dynamic mobility and flexibility exercises for your ankles, knees, hips, and lower back. End your run with some appropriate cool-down stretches to minimize soreness and promote recovery.

Stretching My Legs

Related: The 15 Best Pre-Run Stretches to Optimize Performance and Prevent Injury

Don’t Go Too Fast Too Soon

Don’t treat running a mile a day for 30 days as a speed challenge. Instead, run at a pace that feels comfortable and sustainable. Remember, you are going to run every day for a month – no days off!

If you run too fast today, tomorrow’s run will be tougher than it needs to be. Listen to your body and allow your speed to increase naturally over the course of the challenge.

Consider Your Shoes

Modern running shoes are cushioned, supportive, and designed to safeguard your feet as you pound the treadmill or pavement.

While you don’t need state-of-the-art sneakers to run a mile a day for a month, your shoes should provide your feet with the protection they need to prevent injuries. So, consider replacing your worn-out kicks with a new pair of running shoes. Your feet will thank you for your purchase!

Pay Attention to Your Running Technique  

Your body is built to run. However, too much sitting, muscle tightness, poor posture, and a lack of practice mean that many people run inefficiently and in a way that could cause injuries.

It’s beyond the scope of this article to teach you how to run, but here is a checklist of things to think about as you progress through this 30-day running challenge. With practice, by the end of the month, you should be running much more smoothly and efficiently and looking like a pro!

Head up – imagine your head is a helium-filled balloon, and your neck is the string. Allow the crown of your head to “float” up to the sky. Keep your eyes on the horizon.

Shoulders down and back – do not allow tension to creep into your shoulders and neck. Keep them relaxed to conserve energy.

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Arms bent to 90 degrees, and hands relaxed – swing your arms lightly, but never across your body. Avoid clenching your fists. Instead, lightly close your hands and rest your thumb on your first finger.

Lift your chest – slouching makes it harder to breathe. Keep your chest up to open your airways and provide space for your lungs. Think about running “chest first.”

Lightly brace your core – keeping your abs tight will help stabilize your lumbar spine and ensure that none of the energy produced by your legs or arms gets lost in your midsection. However, avoid tensing your abs too hard, as that can be very tiring. Instead, brace your core to about three on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being as hard as possible.

Fast, light, quiet steps – while some noise from your feet is unavoidable, you should endeavor to keep this to a minimum. Take short, light steps and avoid heavy footfalls, especially heel strikes. This reduces impact and conserves energy.

For more on improving your running technique, please check out this video:

My Results from Running A Mile A Day For 30 Days

Now that you know how this challenge works, I bet you want to hear my results. So, without further delay, this is what happened when I ran a mile a day for 30 days straight.

Easy Fat and Weight Loss

Running a mile burns about 100-150 kilocalories, depending on your speed and weight. According to this calculator, my kilocalorie expenditure per mile is around 130. When many workouts claim to burn 600 kilocalories or more, 130 doesn’t sound very impressive. However, multiply that number by 30 days, and it adds to a significant energy expenditure.

Long story short, I lost three pounds doing this one-month running challenge. That’s pretty good for a guy who is already relatively lean, and who made no additional dietary adjustments.

Patrick Dale On His Paddleboard
Patrick Dale

Effortless Increase in Running Speed

During the peak of my athletic career, my best mile time was a little over five minutes. However, it’s been many years since I ran seriously, and nowadays, an eight-minute mile feels pretty quick!

Following my own advice, I started the one-mile-a-day-for-30-days challenge by running at a very comfortable, conservative pace. My aim was to finish each mile feeling like I could have run further and faster, leaving plenty of gas in the tank for the following day’s run. 

Despite this, the first few days were still pretty hard, and I could tell my body wasn’t used to daily running. However, as the days became weeks, my running speed naturally increased, even though I never pushed the pace.

I started the challenge by running nine-minute miles at a Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE) of around 6/7. By the end of 30 days, I was covering a mile in just under eight minutes at the same level of exertion.

This shows a significant increase in fitness, which surprised me, given the brevity of the workouts.

Noticeable Increase in Muscular Endurance

I do a lot of high-rep, low-resistance leg training. It’s an effective way to build and maintain muscle mass without heavy weights. Needless to say, this type of training also challenges endurance, which is the ability of a muscle to resist and recover from fatigue.

Running a mile a day for a month significantly improved my endurance. I was able to shorten my rest periods between sets and do more reps per set and exercises per workout. And while running a mile a day didn’t add any noticeable mass to my legs, it certainly made them feel firmer and more defined.

Patrick Dale Doing Jump Rope
Patrick Dale

Related: I Did 100 Air Squats a Day for a Month – You Won’t Believe What Happened!

The Drawbacks of Running a Mile a Day For 30 Days

While my experience of running a mile a day for a month was mostly positive, there were a couple of drawbacks I must also share with you:

More Aches and Pains

Running is a high-impact activity, and each footfall roughly equals 2.5 to 3.0 times your body weight. All that force can cause issues with your feet, ankles, knees, hips, and lower back. It’s no wonder that so many runners suffer from chronic injuries.

I experienced some foot and ankle soreness during my month of non-stop running, especially at the start. However, these issues were a good reminder to run lightly and with good form, as doing so reduces impact significantly.

That said, if you have a history of running-related lower limb injuries, running a mile a day for a month may not be the best thing for you.


While running a mile a day only took 8-9 minutes, each workout actually took up quite a lot longer. Factoring in warming up, running, cooling down, and showering, each day of the challenge took about 40 minutes.

Lack of time is a common barrier to consistent exercise, and doing this challenge is a major commitment (3). So, if you are already short on exercise time, this challenge may be too inconvenient to complete.

Closing Thoughts

Running a mile a day for a month was a largely enjoyable experience. While it wasn’t the easiest fitness challenge, it was flexible and manageable enough that finishing it was never really in doubt. The resulting weight loss, increased fitness, and improved muscular endurance made the effort worthwhile, and any downsides were relatively minor.

However, running a mile a day for a month is not for novices. Beginners should start with something a little tamer, such as walking 10,000 steps a day for a month. Complete that challenge, and you’ll be much better equipped to run a mile a day for 30 days straight.

Read also:


Fitness Volt is committed to providing our readers with science-based information. We use only credible and peer-reviewed sources to support the information we share in our articles.

  1. Lee DC, Brellenthin AG, Thompson PD, Sui X, Lee IM, Lavie CJ. Running as a Key Lifestyle Medicine for Longevity. Prog Cardiovasc Dis. 2017 Jun-Jul;60(1):45-55. doi: 10.1016/j.pcad.2017.03.005. Epub 2017 Mar 30. PMID: 28365296.
  2. Zouhal H, Saeidi A, Salhi A, Li H, Essop MF, Laher I, Rhibi F, Amani-Shalamzari S, Ben Abderrahman A. Exercise Training and Fasting: Current Insights. Open Access J Sports Med. 2020 Jan 21;11:1-28. doi: 10.2147/OAJSM.S224919. PMID: 32021500; PMCID: PMC6983467.
  3. Hoare E, Stavreski B, Jennings GL, Kingwell BA. Exploring Motivation and Barriers to Physical Activity among Active and Inactive Australian Adults. Sports (Basel). 2017 Jun 28;5(3):47. doi: 10.3390/sports5030047. PMID: 29910407; PMCID: PMC5968958.

If you have any questions or require further clarification on this article, please leave a comment below. Patrick is dedicated to addressing your queries promptly.

منبع: https://fitnessvolt.com/1-mile-a-day-challenge-results/