I don’t have time to run today… I have to be at work by 9 am… I need to start cooking dinner soon…

We’ve all been there. It feels like there are never enough hours in a day to fit it all in.

The truth is, all you really need is 30 minutes. 

Studies suggest that just thirty minutes of running can provide incredible benefits to your long and short-term health. There is no need to run for hours to reap the positive effects on your mental and physical well-being.

Let’s look a bit deeper into what happens to your body during a 30-minute run. 

The First Few Seconds Of Running

The hardest part is over, you’ve stepped outside or onto the treadmill and started the run! 

Initially, you’ll feel a burst of power. Your muscles will start using ATP (adenosine triphosphate), which provides energy to drive many processes in your cells, basically, the energy molecules that your body makes from the food you eat. That burst of power that you feel is the ATP converting to ADP (adenosine diphosphate). 

ADP is essential for the flow of energy in your cells. 

Adenosine Triphosphate & Adenosine Diphosphate

ATP & ADP both play important roles in providing cellular energy. Your muscle cells will turn ADP back into ATP after the initial surge of energy.

It’s easier to think about it like this: ATP is just like a rechargeable battery. When it’s fully charged, it’s ATP. When it’s run down, it’s ADP. However, the battery (ATP) doesn’t get thrown away when it’s run down–it gets recycled and charged up again.

You’re really in it, if you look back, you’re putting meters between you and your starting point, the treadmill is starting to pick up your pace, your watch is letting you know that your heart is pumping and that you are very much alive and best of all, you’re feeling positive

Keep in mind Coach Parry advocates for your training to consist of the 80/20 rule, 80% easy runs (when we say easy, we mean really really EASY), and 20% harder runs. 

Running on a promenade

90 Seconds Into Your Run

You will notice that your breathing has probably become heavy. A poor breathing technique is often the reason why people get an unwanted side stitch. 

It’s good to remember that if you are running one of your easy runs then you should be able to hold a conversation with your running partner or even sing a song. 

So, your body needs to release more of that battery (ATP). To do this, your cells will break down glycogen. This is because your body needs a quick boost of energy, breaking down the glycogen will release glucose into your bloodstream, which will be used as fuel for your cells. 

By now you’ve probably got that voice in the back of your mind telling you that overused ‘old phrase’ that was actually popularized by Jane Fonda in her aerobic exercise videos. 

Let’s say it together… 3.2.1. “Feel The Burn!”

5 Minutes Into Your Run

That “burn” you are feeling is your muscles releasing lactic acid.

The energy you are using is coming from the glucose your body is releasing, that glucose is now being broken down into Pyruvate. When your body is receiving limited oxygen (as it is now), the Pyruvate is converted into a substance called Lactate. 

Lactate allows glucose to be broken down, which essentially allows you to continue running. 

Your pulse is quickening, those drops of sweat are starting to drip down the side of your face and the back of your neck, your heart is pumping harder to move oxygenated blood to your muscles and brain, you feel alive!

Trail runner

10 Minutes Into Your Run

By now, you’re definitely hitting your stride, you can feel that your gluteus maximus, your legs, and your core are helping keep you upright.

This is probably when you’re thinking to yourself: “Damn, I should be doing more of Coach Parry’s Strength Training Classes”.

Here at Coach Parry, we’re massive advocates of strength training. We’ve put together this free strength training plan for runners that you can do once a week, at home and with no expensive equipment needed.  You can access it by clicking here

Your heart is beating FAST. Technically it’s trying to direct blood towards your muscles. To make the best use of glucose, your muscle cells require as much oxygen as possible.

Say hello to those dreaded, out-of-breath grunts, moans, and groans…

On an easy run, these should be avoided by slowing down even more or even including some walking when necessary.

Don’t worry, it’s not uncommon to run out of breath. There are a few different reasons why you could be out of breath.

Why You Could Be Short Of Breath On a Run

  • A buildup of carbon dioxide in your body from running. This will be a trigger to breathe more rapidly to allow an intake of more oxygen. 
  • Altitude. The higher the level of elevation, the less oxygen there is available.
  • Fatigue of your inspiratory muscles. (diaphragm and external intercostals)

If you’d like to discover how to breathe properly during a run, then you may find this article extremely helpful.

The halfway time is near…. Almost there! 

Sweating runner

20 Minutes Into Your Run

You’ve now been absolutely firing those calories. According to Dr. Daniel V. Vigil, on average, runners burn 100 calories in 1 mile. You’re hot, you’re sweaty and you might be checking your watch a lot more than you were in the first 10 minutes.  

Let’s break down what “sweaty” really means. 

Eccrine Sweat Glands

Eccrine sweat glands occur over most of your body and open directly onto the surface of your skin. These sweat glands are controlled by the Sympathetic Nervous System and regulate your body temperature. 

Apocrine Sweat Glands

Apocrine sweat glands open into hair follicles that surface at your skin, like armpits, scalp, and groin region. These sweat glands produce sweat that is associated with body odor. 

Things are going one of two ways here, either you’re in shape and you’re still feeling pretty strong, or every minute is now starting to feel like an eternity. 

25- 30 Minutes Into Your Run

If you’re in good shape, your muscles and their battery supply (ATP) are plentiful. Your body is shuttling oxygen efficiently and you’re having a good time. 

If you’ve been skipping out on one too many training sessions and haven’t picked up your running shoes in a while then your body is going to be flooded with lactic acid. You’re thinking to yourself… “I’m not sure how much longer I can Feel the Burn for!”

If the above is you, building endurance is your new best friend, check it out: Here

PHEW! You made it! 

The End Of Your Run

You’ve ‘hopefully’ got a gleaming smile on your face from the wonderful mood-boosting dopamine hormones that your body has released, which, along with the endorphin and serotonin chemical messages given off as you run, will lead to ‘runner’s high’ – a feeling of euphoria and decreased anxiety.

We’ve explored what happens to your body during the 30 minutes of running, let’s have a look at how all of it will benefit you.

Remarkable Benefits Of Running For 30 Mins Regularly

Trail runner's legs
  • Improved Cardio Fitness
  • Stronger Bones
  • Improved Sleep
  • Feeling Happier
  • Burnt Calories
  • Feeling Stronger
  • Live Longer
  • Healthy Weight Maintenance
  • Strengthened Immune System

After reading through all those benefits, who wouldn’t want to run for 30 minutes regularly!

If you want to increase your running endurance so that you’re able to run for 30 minutes or more then this is the best way to go about it. In this video, Lindsey Parry talks Brad Brown through the strategy of running longer and faster without getting tired.


Devlin Eyden has a passion for seeing his athletes grow and excel. From novice runners or cyclists across all disciplines to elite mountain bikers representing South Africa at World Championships. In addition to helping you ride faster, for longer, Devlin also has the personal touch when it comes to your bike setup, aiming at improving the overall rider experience. With his background as a Sport Scientist as well as a Strength & Conditioning specialist, performance is Devlin’s main priority, be it in the gym, the lab or out on the road or trails. Being a keen runner & cyclist and having completed the Cape Epic among others, Devlin has first hand experience in what it take to reach your goals. If you’re looking for a once-off training program or ongoing, high touch support Devlin has you covered.

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