Running and Insanity

Does Insanity make you a better runner?  How can I incorporate running and Insanity into my fitness schedule?  These are two questions I get quite often and I can assure you that you will become a better runner by incorporating Insanity into your running schedule and I have a system that has worked well for me.

The first question you must ask yourself is: What is your running goal right now?  Are you training to run a marathon?  Do you want to be a faster runner?  Are you running to stay in shape?  These answers are important to creating your Insanity / Running hybrid schedule.

When I was training for a marathon, running was the focus of my schedule and I used Insanity as cross-training a couple days a week.  In the running off-season, I merely flip this schedule.  Insanity is my focus six days a week and I run a couple days a week just to maintain a solid running base of about five miles per run.

Insanity and Running Hybrid Schedule

Insanity and Running hybrid

I cannot stress how important it is to incorporate some type of cross-training into your running schedule.  It will not keep your routine new and fresh, it will help you stay injury free, build a strong core and become an overall better and faster runner!  Who doesn’t want that?

Prior to May 2010, I ran a lot but never really lost any weight and was not able to get any faster.  I was an average runner with average goals.  Since incorporating Insanity and numerous other Beachbody workout programs into my regular workout schedule, I took 16 minutes off my previous marathon PR and qualified for The Boston Marathon.  I’ve become leaner, faster and much more efficient.

Proper Nutrition

The Insanity Elite Nutrition Guide has helped me get my diet under control and provided my body the necessary fuel for better and more effective runs.  This detailed, yet simplified nutrition plan, which includes having Shakeology daily, has been the key and essential component of making this hybrid work.  Becoming a faster and better runner is not just about running more.  It’s about proper nutrition, effective cross-training and creating a powerful mix to have a successful running season.

Incorporating Insanity with Running

My transformation


18 Comments on Running and Insanity

  1. Christi
    January 20, 2013 at 11:04 pm (10 years ago)

    Would love to know your exact schedule you followed with Insanity. Focus on running, already have the insanity program. Joline Atkins is my BB coach

    • Rhonda
      January 24, 2013 at 5:03 am (10 years ago)

      During the first full 60 days of Insanity, I followed the program exactly as written. I ran three days a week including a long run on Saturday, which was about 8-10 miles during that phase of marathon training. After my initial 60 days, I continued to do Insanity three days a week and ran four days, so on Wednesday, I was doing a short tempo run or easy run followed by Insanity. I never did Insanity and long run (more than 12) during the later stages of marathon training. I always had one day of complete rest (Friday), the day before my long run. M – Insanity T – Run W – Insanity / Tempo Run T – Run Easy. F – Rest S – Long Run Su – Insanity

  2. patricia giardina
    May 1, 2013 at 8:54 pm (10 years ago)

    Hi Rhonda,
    I am 48 and in my first round of the second month of insanity. two weeks to completion. I only lost 6 lbs but have toned up a bit. I started Insanity because my running was getting worse. I broke my collar bone two years ago and really got out of shape (50 lbs over). I tried starting insanity three months after the second surgery and could not do the pushups. While I was recovering I ran my 3,4,6 miles when I could and got up to everyday (10K at heart), but quite when a group of overweight people smoking cigarettes pushing a baby stroller walked passed me in a local 10K (that is real). I had dropped to 13 min miles and did not realize it. I needed something else. I restarted Insanity. When I finish my first round I want to successfully incorporate my running and weights (light upper body) into my routine.

    I was thinking Insanity, weights, run six days a week. Is this a recipe for burn out. Maybe run every other day and insanity every day (6 days a week) or possible run one day insanity the next. Would you recommend alternating? On your schedule do you consecutively go through the insanity work outs or do you select from the max workouts or your favorites. Do you recommend starting insanity over from the beginning after a round. My goal is to be a faster 10k and have a tight core.
    Happy Running Trails,

    • Rhonda
      May 4, 2013 at 12:49 am (10 years ago)

      Such great thoughts Patricia. I definitely think if you’re planning to incorporate Insanity with running, you will definitely improve your times. I wouldn’t however try to do all of this or you’ll be on overload. I would suggest that if you are planning to run, just do Insanity every other day and perhaps you can do one day where you do both. Your body needs adequate recovery time as well in order to improve and be more efficient. The schedule I have included worked really well for me when I was training for a marathon and doing Insanity.

      Whenever I do a round of Insanity, I always follow it per the calendar and if I’m running more, I’ll just swap out a day or so. I would also highly recommend that you should absolutely start over when you start a new round. I always find that month one is even harder the second time because I’m pushing myself even more.

      If you do this, you will get faster and leave those smokers in the dust! I was able to get faster in part because I shed fat and that was highly because of following the nutrition guide. Are you following that?


      • Rebecca
        July 14, 2013 at 1:34 am (9 years ago)

        Patricia’s question is the closest to my question I have seen after digging through the internet and youtube. I just completed the first round of insanity. While there is some change, I did not experience the melt like butter weight drop or a washboard tummy (though I do’t think it that will happen due to the c-section), but I had to learn the hard way. I totally did not eat enough! I battled with understanding how eating enough played a role. I delved into finding answers, but it did not click until two weeks before the end. Now I am determined to get the results I am looking for. Rhonda, I want to run again mainly for weight loss/maintenance/ and variety. I was used to running 3-5 miles 5 times a week, but after the first week of Insanity, I did not have the energy, so I am hoping fueling will make the difference. What I am seeing is that even with Insanity focus, running is attached to two workouts. I thought I could do , Insanity, Insanity, Run, Insanity, Insanity, Run, Rest…What are your thoughts?

        • Rhonda
          July 14, 2013 at 4:19 am (9 years ago)

          Nutrition and listening to your body is key. I closely follow the Elite Nutrition Guide and even though I felt like I was eating all the time, I was eating the right foods to fuel my body. So I would highly recommend that you tract what you’re eating for at least a week and track your energy and see if changing things ups helps you energy levels at all.
          Doing both is a lot of load on your body and if you feel it is too much, then absolutely back off to what makes you feel best. Better to get adequate exercise than to overtrain which can lead to injuries and lack or adequate rest can lead to weight gain.
          I wrote a more detailed hybrid that I would be happy to share with you or even help you come up with a plan that helps you find the right mix for your body. There is no one size fits all answer here. Let’s find out what works best for you. Sound good? Rhonda

          • Rebecca
            July 14, 2013 at 4:48 am (9 years ago)

            I am absolutely interested in your hybrid. Also, I finished Insanity on Friday would you recommend a break doing something else and then jump back in?

  3. krista motz
    May 17, 2013 at 9:06 pm (10 years ago)

    how in the world do you have time for both of these? Do you get up early? Do you have a family?? Seems so time consuming! You LOOK amazing but I just wonder where the balance is! Would love your advice

    • Rhonda
      May 18, 2013 at 1:06 am (10 years ago)

      Krista, balance with exercise and family is super important to me. I do get up earlier than the rest to make sure I take care of me first. Keeping a schedule for me, my business, my family and even my Friday lunch dates with my husband are critical to maintaining the balance of being mom, Motivation Rhonda, Rhonda, a wife and friend. I am very thankful to have an incredibly supportive husband and I have two kids, the youngest being nine years old. Definitely create a schedule and follow it and honor it. I call it ‘being where I am.’

  4. Tania
    May 17, 2013 at 11:33 pm (10 years ago)


    When you did the full 60 days your long runs were 8- 10 miles.. I am running 3x a week at 8- 10 miles and then my long run on Saturday. I know there is 60 day schedule, but how can incorporate with reducing my mileage and not wearing myself down.


    • Rhonda
      May 18, 2013 at 1:02 am (10 years ago)

      If you are incorporating more long runs and really focusing on training for a race, I would only do Insanity about two days/week and extend the 60 days to 90 or even 120 days, following the schedule, but definitely not doing it six days a week.

  5. Rhonda
    July 14, 2013 at 6:09 pm (9 years ago)

    Rebecca, I would suggest doing a recovery week like you did after Month one and then either going into the Insanity / Running Hybrid or perhaps if you want to really run more, then I would maybe suggest one of Shaun T’s shorter, yet very effective workouts like Focus T25!

  6. Anneka
    October 1, 2013 at 8:02 pm (9 years ago)

    Hello, This was such an amazinf post. I was wondering though, i am looking to lose about 40% and tone my legs (gigly inner thighs) What would you recommend? more running then insanity? I find when people say they lost a lot of weight they did it through running! but i know that insanity shapes you really nicely. I was 216 lns and now im 180lbs. I did one round of insanity but i will admit, it took me 3 months to finish it. I can run about 5k nonstop right now. Thanks so much for your ideas!

    • Rhonda
      October 2, 2013 at 5:39 pm (9 years ago)

      It has to be a combination. I love the interval based training with Insanity because it improves your fitness level while still burning fat and increasing lean muscle. I love to have a nice balance of both. Congrats on your weight loss! That’s fantastic! Tell me about your nutrition Anne. What improvements have you made? That is going to help kick in the weight loss!

  7. Andrew
    April 18, 2014 at 9:20 pm (9 years ago)

    Those comparison photos are deceptive. She just progressively lowers her pants line and raises her too to create the illusion of elongating her torso, which makes her loon skinnier. The first photo has a larger too as well. Add a little sucking in and a bigger smile and a brighter colored top, and voila. These photos could all have been taken on the same day, easily. Diet is 80% of weight loss results, and has nothing to do with some gimmick shake. Insanity is no different than just doing jumping jacks as fast as possible until you drop alternated with planks. Aim for simple, common sense workouts that have no fluff and no gimmick. Never pay for an exercise routine or some magic bullet. Simple intense workouts and healthy eating with caloric deficit is all that is necessary. Furthermore, running is a very inefficient way for most people to lose weight, and will often result in nagging overuse injuries for a lot of people. Just clean up your diet.

    • Rhonda
      April 19, 2014 at 9:07 pm (9 years ago)

      Hi Andrew,

      Thank you for your comments. I am actually flattered you feel my photos are deceptive. I am happy to share that those photos were taken exactly 60 days apart. I completely agree with you that a clean diet is absolutely essential for success and it was a huge part of my transformation. Although I didn’t have a lot of weight to lose, the interval training with Insanity leaned out my body which did indeed help me become a faster runner. The cross-training also was a major factor in helping me stay injury free. Runners do indeed become injured often and it’s usually because of the repetitive nature of running. Adding cross-training helped me avoid the overuse injuries you eluded to.
      Again, I appreciate your comments and I do agree with you in many respects. I don’t however believe Insanity or Shakeology are gimmicky. In fact, in addition to a clean diet, I believe a key to success is consistency with effective training. For me, Insanity and Shakeology worked and continue to work…four years later. I don’t believe in quick fixes. I believe in hard work, natural products, and I believe in a lifestyle habit to overall quality of health.

  8. Asrul
    November 30, 2014 at 1:35 pm (8 years ago)

    Hey Rhonda, just came across your blog. I am actually looking for something to improve my 10K again after not doing so well in FM the past month, and I’m lazy to do gym works. So I really wanted to try insanity and see how it can fit into my running training regime. Will give you recommendation a try and I will update again in 6 months.


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