Saturday, February 22, 2014

P90X3 and Running: A Perfect Combination

Cross-training, in addition to running, increases speed and endurance. Some people don’t think they have time to do a program like P90X while running.  Well, doing the original P90X program with the 60 minute workouts is tough, although possible, since I just did it.  While doing both I did have to cut down the amount of running I did.  Despite running less, I found I now run stronger and faster.  But there is an easier way to incorporate P90X into your running routine.  That’s P90X3!

What is P90X3?
P90X3 is a 90-day extreme fitness program created by Tony Horton.  It is designed to get you really fit in just 30 minutes a day.  It combines a highly structured, plateau-busting schedule with a variety of moves that keep every muscle challenged.
Anyone can do P90X3.  It is designed for beginning to advanced fitness levels.  Every workout includes modifications to accommodate all fitness levels.  P90X3 is a stand alone program, meaning you did not have to complete P90X or P90X2 in order to do P90X3. 
Facts about P90X3
           30 minutes long, including a brief warm up and cool down.
Optional 12 minute cold start warm up.  Great if you are working out early in the morning.

 It includes a nutrition plan that gets down to the basics of healthy eating.

 There are 16 workouts including cardio, mixed martial arts, agility and yoga.

 The Pilates workout is great for runners.

  Isometrics is a strength/balance/flexibility workout.  Another great one for runners.

  There are 4 programs to pick from: classic, lean, doubles or bulk (I would not recommend the latter 2 for runners).

 39 out of 40 people in the test group lost 10% of their body fat!

  Minimal equipment is needed.  Hand weights or resistance bands are a must.  A pull up bar is preferred but you can do modified moves. 

How Does Cross Training Help Running?

Mixes things up- I know I can get bored easily if I do the same workout every day.  Adding a different workout to your routines will keep things fresh.  P90X3 has a different workout every day so you’ll really be mixing things up by adding this to running.

Increases Flexibility- Incorporating yoga and Pilates, like the routines in P90X3, builds core strength and loosens the hips, hamstrings and calves.  This is very important to running efficiently.

Reduce the pounding- Let’s face it.  When you incorporate other workouts, you’re not pounding as much so you reduce the stress on your joints.

P90X3 Hybrid with Running
So you have a few ways to incorporate P90X3 into your running routine.  You can simply double up on some days.  That is the way I am doing it now.  I use running as a warm up on some days and I use it as a second workout on others and then include a long run on the weekend.  This doesn’t allow me for a rest day.  I don’t recommend that.  About every 20 days I feel it and just have to stop and do nothing.  Other than that I keep active every day. 

The other way to run with P90X3 is to do a hybrid.  Here is a sample schedule.  I can help you come up with a schedule if this is something you are interested in doing.

Hybrid Schedule Block 1
Weeks 1-3
Monday: Total Synergistics
Tuesday: Run
Wednesday: Agility
Thursday: Run and YogaX
Friday: Warm up run (1-2 miles) and CVX
Saturday: The Warrior and a long run
Sunday: Rest
Week 4
Monday: Isometrics
Tuesday: Run and dynamix
Wednesday: Accelerator
Thursday: Run and Pilates
Friday: CVX
Saturday: long run and YogaX
Sunday: Rest

Another Popular Program
I feel obligated to talk about another popular program with runners.  Some of you may have heard about Focus T25.  As I said, this is a popular program with runners.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s great.  I love it and recommend it to a lot of people.  I actually cross trained using Focus T25 when I was training for my Half Marathon in October.  But this program doesn’t build nearly the same amount of strength as P90X3 does.  They are both approximately 30 minutes, making them easy to incorporate into your running schedule but they help your running in different ways.  Focus T25 is more cardio based and is a great way to stay conditioned if you can’t get out during the winter and don’t have access to a treadmill.  If you are a beginner, Focus T25 will help you with breathing and your coordination.  That’s not to say an experienced runner won’t benefit from Focus T25 but if you are looking to improve your strength and speed, P90X3 is the program to do just that.

If you have questions about P90X3, send me an email.  I’d love to connect with you and get you started with P90X3. 


  1. currently on the p90x3 lean schedule. I want to start running and was thinking of running on the dynamix and yoga days since those are light,, but I want to run 3 days. Any advice?

    1. So are you looking to run on the same days as you do P90X3? Then yes, I think dynamix and yoga days are great days. I also think Isometrix days would work since that is really like a yoga routine. Depending on how far and fast you run you could probably run on any day if you had to but I it would be more difficult after a workout like agility. Let me know if you have anymore questions!!

  2. My first go at P90x3 was the "lean" version. I am easily bored and I felt that the program they put together did not maintain my attention. I have always had weight issues, ups and downs. I have been a weight watcher for 15 years ago. My first go at it I was young, 20 years old and lost a remarkable 80 LBS. My second go at it was after having children. My first pregnancy I had restrictions, after going from constant exercise to limited activity I put on the lbs quick. I struggled to get that weight off, in fact it took 5 years. Had my next child exactly 4 years after my first. By his first birthday I was only 20lbs away from my 20 yr old self. After going back to work I found myself slowly gaining the weight back. This May I decided to do something for myself. I began with the P90x3, incorporated Biking (with kids in Tow), Running and Swimming (again with kids in tow) and ran my first triathlon with less than 5 weeks of training on June 8. As I said in the beginning, the lean scheduled was not exciting enough for me, I have moved into the "Classic." I find that the Classic offers the strength training and muscle conditioning I need. My youngest age 3 loves exercising with us. I would always use the excuse that I did not have time, It was not that I did not have time I did not make time. Now I use the kids to exercise. Bike rides became a daily routine (riding to sports if time was on our side) If they want to get TCBY -- well we are walking 2 miles.. Another neat tool I purchased to monitor my movements, activity, etc was the FITBIT. As you continue to establish friends you become challenged when someone else is averaging 23000 steps per day. It makes you want to walk around the block before bed just to exceed a specific number. I am glad I found your site though, I do not want to burn out doing double exercises daily and will try to adhere to the scheduled you put in place.

    1. Melanie. Keep up the good work. I know how hard it can be with 2 children. My boys are a little over 4 years apart. With my first son I lost the weight within a year. With my second son it just wouldn't come off. It took 3 years. I lost it with the original p90X. I did the lean version of the original and I thought that included a good balance of strength and cardio. I agree with you that the X3 lean version isn't as interesting. I find the X3 includes more cardio in general and not as much strength as the original and the lean version is just a little too lean for me. You seem to be incorporating fitness into your daily life and including your kids. That is awesome. But you are right. You don't want to burn out. Running and doing P90X3 on the same day all the time will be too much. But on some of the light days it could be good. Give this schedule a try and play around with it to see what works for you! If you have any questions feel free to contact me. If you don't have a Beachbody coach and would like to join my accountability group on Facebook let me know. It is free and it keeps everyone motivated. Thanks for checking my blog out and thanks for taking the time to comment!

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  4. Hello,

    I came acrossed your blog while trying to figure out how to incorporate running and doing P90X3. I ended up doing the lean program and Almost finished with 90 days.
    I have really like the program but have found myself frustrated because I have gained weight instead of losing weight.
    I am 41 and 5' 3 weighing 140 pounds when I started the program I weighed 135. I have lost a few inches but not a lot. I am running 20 -25 miles a week. Currently, training for a half marathon in April. The number on the scale bothers me. I eat pretty healthy but not perfect. Do you think I am doing to much exercise? Would you recommend doing your program or should I follow classic. I do sometimes find myself feeling tired after doing both running and p 90x3.
    Any suggestions would be great!

    1. Hey Shelly, thanks for reading my post. It is not totally uncommon to gain weight with a fitness program and it could be for several different reasons. One reason could be you gained muscle without losing fat. Did you follow the nutrition guide? Nutrition is crucial. The other thing that I will say is I find it tough to lose weight while training for distance. I too am a distance runner, training for half marathon. Eating enough food is important to fuel your workouts and runs. It seems counterintuitive but you may need to increase the amount of food you eat in order to lose weight. So for example, if you fall into the first tier of the nutrition guide, you may need to jump to the second tier on days you run....especially your long run day. Remember, food is fuel and if you are really tired, you might need more. That being said, it is a lot to run and do the full P90X3. It is possible, I've done it but it is taxing on your body. While in full training mode, maybe follow my hybrid program. Then in the fall or winter when you are running more leisurely you can follow the program and run just a little. I love the Classic program. Muscle burns more calories throughout the day. I feel the Classic helps develop more lean muscle than the lean. You are already getting enough cardio through running. Classic will help with your running too!! Good luck and let me know if you have any more questions. P90X3 is absolutely my favorite of the beachbody programs, especially for runners! Happy running!

  5. Thank you for your advice. I am excited to try you hybrid version of p90x3.
    One last question do you use shakeology?

    1. Yes. I drink it every day and have for about 2-3 years. If you have any specific questions about it, let me know. I find it is the perfect, easy, portable breakfast and makes a great snack and I've even had it for quick dinners when pressed for time. You can read more about it at or ask me questions!

  6. So I'm debating what to do after my half in May, and would love to get your thoughs. I did the first two blocks of X3 while doubling up with training, but that became a bit much for me as mileage increased. I don't want to stop running completely after the half, but I'd also like to do X3 as written once. So the debate is whether to double up some days with short runs, or just decide that I don't have to do X3 as written. In which case, which workouts would you drop in favor of running three days a week? Thanks for your thoughts!

    1. Laura, sorry to take so long to get back to you. I ran in a Half Marathon today and I was really focused this week. I think it is a matter of personal choice. For me, I've done it a few ways. If you want the satisfaction of doing all of the 90 workouts, you could easily double up on workouts like CVX, MMX and Yoga days and not feel over worked . But you don't want to over train either. So you could see how you are feeling and stop X3 if you feel it is jeopardizing your running or just do a few workouts as cross training. Triometrics and the Warrior are two great cross training workouts for runners in my opinion! Consider doing X3 as written in the fall/winter if it gets too tough to do both. Although I did X3 in full with running I wasn't training. I live in the north east so I don't get to run as much in the winter so that is my X3 time!!! Hope this helps you consider what is best for you.

  7. Hi Kathleen

    I have recently finished T25 and P90x3 Hybrid and am now running 3 times a week and would like to work up to a half marathon in the next 4-5 months. I also have on my fitness shelf Body combat and P90x ! so am now looking for the best of all to incorporate into a 7 days a week with 3 days running program, aiming for roughly 12 weeks but have no set date booked.

    thanks for your help !

    1. Hi Jenny! I don't think you could go wrong incorporating T25 or P90X3 into your Half training. I've used T25 while training for a Half and it worked great. If you pick a few of the P90X3 workouts -- like the Challenge, Warrior and Yoga, I think that would work well too. Or every 2 weeks rotate a new dvd in and rotate one out. I would recommend keeping yoga in throughout your training. Do you have a training plan for your Half? Many include days for cross training whether you cross train on days when it calls for a short/easy run or just cross training. I love Combat but I don't think it will benefit you as much with training. P90X was my very first Beachbody program so it has a special place in my heart but the 60 minute workouts make it harder to incorporate. Another option is PiYo. I am actually starting a PiYo for Runners Challenge Group! Good luck and have fun!!!

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