As I enter the final chunk of the 30 day shred challenge, I thought I would share how beneficial I have found this challenge and how its impacted my running training.
For those who do not know its a 30 day, 20 minute workout, split into 3 Levels (1-3). Ex-Biggest loser coach Jillian Michaels instructs the video in her normal, motivational manner with two ladies showing you the moves so to speak, one at advanced level and one at beginner level (adapted, easier moves) which you can follow along, depending on your ability.
For the first 2 levels I have been mostly doing the beginner level, but mixing in some of the advanced to see how it felt and now I have reached Level 3, I have found I am much more stronger and can do a lot of the advanced level. I have to be careful of the planks with jacks as my continuing big toe issue has been reoccurring (of which I am changing my shoelace style to see if this improves).
Each 20 minute session level is split into multiple cardio and strength exercises interspersed and each only being 30 seconds long. What I like about this is that the exercises seem to fatigue each muscle group – but as its only for 30 seconds, its entirely manageable! Whenever I am struggling I tell myself its only seconds rather than minutes, or an hour that I have to go!
Its really sat well alongside an online course I am taking run by Dublin University ‘Exercise prescription for the prevention of diseases’ – yesterday’s lesson was on how much strength and cardio we should be doing. Current guidelines suggest that ‘moderate intensity for 30 mins/day 5 days a week, or vigorous intensity aerobic exercise for 20 mins 3 days/week’. Also its recommended to have ‘2-3 days/week strength training, with a guideline of 10,000 steps a day!’.
So with this in mind and once I find myself post-shred I intend to continue with strength training 2-3 times a week as I have really felt the benefits to my running training in terms of stronger posture (so therefore a much stronger core) while running and legs feel much stronger and reactive. I have also noticed that the jumping exercises have helped with this strength, specifically while I was trail running last weekend I felt so strong and agile as I had to navigate that terrain, its definitely helped.
Its been fascinating to see my shoulders take shape and arms build muscle, all of which will power me through my runs! That with a focused breath, I feel more of a better, complete runner incorporating these changes, just all-round stronger really. Apparently there is a diet plan online you can follow alongside the shred but I have decided to continue eating as I am for marathon training, I don’t want to feel weak on those longer runs.
Which reminds me to get ready for an 8.5 mile run today!
All in all I would highly recommend the 30 day shred and the benefits it can bring to a runner, you don’t have to be at the advanced level to feel and see the results. I will certainly be looking into Jillian’s other videos to see what else I could do in terms of strength, I really like the way she instructs in the videos and glad there are two options to follow along to!
Happy bank holiday weekend all! BB x