I have been combining Beachbody workouts with my running for over 11 years now! After I qualified for the Boston Marathon this year, a lot of people asked how I trained. It really all began back in January when I did 4 Week Gut Protocol. In November, I accomplished a goal 10 years in the making and qualified for Boston! This recap will break my training to qualify for Boston with Beachbody workouts down for you month by month!
Running & Beachbody – My 10 Year History & the Power Of Consistency
I cannot say that any ONE thing I did this year contributed to qualifying for the Boston Marathon. But I can say that consistency, patience, and hard work over many years is truly what did it. I’ve been consistently strength training and running – and I mean CONSISTENTLY – for 11 years, since I first did P90X along with marathon training in 2011.
Since running my first marathon in 2011, I have completed 8 marathons and a full ironman triathlon. I’ve done countless Beachbody programs – P90X3, 21 Day Fix, 80 Day Obsession, LIIFT4, #MBF, 9 Week Control Freak. In tis time I’ve gotten married, had my first baby, got pregnant and delivered TWIN babies, and completely changed careers from accountant to full time Beachbody coach.
I start this blog post telling you this for a reason – because there truly is no magic solution to achieve your running or weight loss or strength goals. It takes a plan, persistence, failure and learning. You MUST love the journey but you won’t love every moment. The reason I fell in love with running and with Beachbody programs is that they challenge me and they give me structure. I achieve small wins along the way and I’m able to track my progress. Although I set big goals like qualifying for Boston, there are thousands of goals set and achieved along the way.
Now, here’s how my training went in 2022 – the year I FINALLY qualified for Boston after setting the goal back in 2012 after my 2nd marathon!
January: Job 1 & Starting 4 Week Gut Protocol
Total Mileage: 90.8 miles (3-4 runs/week)
Beachbody workouts: Job 1 & 4 Weeks for Every Body (4 workouts/week)
In January I stepped on the scale to find that I had gained 8 pounds between Halloween and New Years. I admit, I had gone a little crazy in this first non Covid holiday season – I attended ALL the parties, ate ALL the treats and also went on a few trips over that period of time. I decided to not wait until 4 Week Gut Protocol test group began to start working on my nutrition and loosely followed portion fix along with Job 1 workouts and running the first two weeks. I felt better almost immediately and then got Covid.
Luckily my Covid case was pretty mild and cleared up just in time for me to go to Vegas to support some of the leaders on my team at New Leader Conference and then to start the 4 Week Gut Protocol coach test group the day I got back! I had very little time to prep for 4 Week Gut Protocol (I remember reading the food lists on the plane), but I committed to truly going ALL in with it and spent most of the day that Sunday before getting ready.
The first week of 4 week gut protocol was a learning experience as my body went through some withdrawals but within a week, I was feeling so much better. I loved the 4 Weeks for Every Body workouts – 4 30 minute workouts/week really paired well with running.
In January, I re-joined my local running group called the Seaside Striders. I had stopped running with the group during Covid and in 2021 had hired a 1:1 online coach. Although I liked my online coach, I am a social runner and found that the in person group was a better fit. My coach, Jim O’Hara, does provide a weekly custom training plan, but I don’t upload my data to any kind of tracker (sometimes I send him screen shots). However, we do have in person speed workouts once a week which is great because it pushes me and he can give me form feedback too.
February: 4 Week Gut Protocol & a Strong Half Marathon
Total Mileage: 83.1 miles (3-4 runs/week)
Beachbody workouts: 4 Weeks for Every Body (4 workouts/week)
February was all about finishing the 4 Week Gut Protocol & 4 Week for Every Body test group. I was running, but not as seriously and I always prioritized my strength workout if there was a conflict (though like I said, I found it very easy to combine this program with running).
When I finished 4 Week gut Protocol and 4 Weeks for Everybody, I was in the best shape I’d been since becoming a mom. I lost over 8 pounds during the program and another 2 afterward. I raced a small, local half marathon for fun at the end of the month and felt SO strong. I ended up taking 3 minutes off of my half marathon time compared to a half I did in December. The course for the December half marathon was a net decline and this race course was completely flat.
I felt unstoppable after 4 Week Gut Protocol & that half marathon. I felt so fit and I was really focused on how food affected my energy level, mood, sleep and performance. I noticed I was recovering faster from my runs as well (previously I was discouraged about training for a full marathon because of how crappy I felt after my long runs!). I truly feel like this program set the tone for my entire year of successful running. (I’m doing it again in January, join me!?)
March: BODi & Half Marathon Training & Travel
Total Mileage: 105.8 miles (4-5 runs/week)
Beachbody workouts: BODi
In March I picked up the running mileage and started to run up to 5 days per week. I had signed up for the Rock N’ Roll Marathon as a goal race, with the goal of running sub 1:45 (which is my fastest post-kids half marathon time) & it was time to train.
In March, I had 2 back to back trips – first our Beachbody Success Club Trip in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic and then a 2 night trip to Napa for a friends 40th birthday. In Punta Cana we got to sample the new Fire and Flow workout & do live workouts with the super trainers and I went for a few runs with coaches from Team Run the World as well!
April: 4 Weeks for Every Body & Half Marathon Training
Total Mileage: 139.7 miles (5 runs/week)
Beachbody workouts: 4 Weeks for Every Body
I returned from my back to back trips feeling sluggish and very excited to get back to & guide a group of women through 4 Week Gut Protocol, which had now launched! I continue to train for my half marathon and did 4 Week for Every Body again! I did a modified version of 4 Week Gut Protocol this time – I wasn’t willing to give up alcohol and coffee again and made some other exceptions, but mostly stuck with it. I also ran a the La Jolla half marathon for fun with my Team Run the World teammate Jen.
May: BODi & Half Marathon Training
Total Mileage: 139.7 miles (5 runs/week)
Beachbody workouts: BODi (lots of Amoila workouts!)
May was peak half marathon training so I ran a lot and did BODi workouts as I could, mostly choosing my favorite trainers Amolia Cesar, Megan Davies and Autumn Calabrese workout! BODi workouts are not organized into programs (though in 2023 they will be more structured) so you can do any workout anytime. There’s constantly new workouts being put up and the workouts are more casual (feels like a live class) and have great music too! BODi is the PERFECT strength option for peak half or full marathon training, in my opinion.
I also had our first annual Team Run the World Race Retreat in May which took place in Carlsbad, CA for the Carlsbad 5000! I raced the Carlsbad 5000 and felt strong despite having done a long run the day before. The highlight of the weekend was being in the beer garden with my fellow coaches, medals around our necks, hanging out and celebrating in the sun – this was a moment I envisioned for a long time!!!
June: Rock n’ Roll Half Marathon & Fire & Flow
Total Mileage: 87 miles (3-4 runs/week)
Beachbody workouts: Fire and Flow
I raced the Rock n’ Roll half marathon the first weekend in June. Rock n’ Roll didn’t end up being my day – I felt sluggish and flat. It was a humid, warm day & if I’m honest, mentally I wasn’t willing to push. Its as disappointing but I know my training was solid.
After the half, I took an intentional week off of running/workout after that. Then I started the 4 week program Fire and Flow. Fire and Flow was a fun program, but not my favorite program.
July: Travel & Marathon Training Begins
Total Mileage: 130.5 miles (4 runs/week)
Beachbody workouts: Misc BODi/Super trainer workouts & Start LIIFTMore
July was the month of travel – and yet again, COVID! We went to Big Bear for the week of 4th of July and Mike and I were able to get in some solid hikes and even a trail run while we were there. We also did a Fire and Flow cardio workout that I had skipped in the garage while the kids played.
The week after that, I headed to St. Louis for Coach Summit! It was the best Summit yet – since we had been virtual for the last 2 years. I was recognized on stage as the number 19 coach, I gave a 20 minute training to the top leaders in the company & I got to meet many of my Team Run the World teammates in person for the first time. We had an absolute blast and it was one of the highlights of the year for me! While in St. Louis I did a treadmill speed workout, we did a team run around the Arch, we did a workout with Andrea Rogers, the new XB sweat and sculpt super trainer, and did a 90 minute workout in the streets with ALL the super trainers (each one comes on for 10 minutes each, it’s SO fun).
When I got back from Summit, I got Covid & had to delay my planned start of Joel Freeman’s new program LIIFT More – but again it was mild so it only set me back a little bit with my running. I was eager to start marathon training and between the insanely hot and humid summer in San Diego, the travel & the illness, it felt like I was off to a very bad start. But in the end, it all worked out!
August: Marathon Training & LIIFT More
Total Mileage: 151.8 miles (5 runs/week)
Beachbody workouts: LIIFT More (3 workouts/week)
Marathon training went into full swing in August & I started to consistently do a Monday tempo workout on my own, a Wednesday speed workout, and a long run Saturday. I did an easy run Tuesday and Thursdays. I did LIIFT More workouts on Mondays, Tuesday or Wednesday and Fridays. (Get my 3 free schedules for LIIFT More and running here).
I trained while on our week long family vacation to Santa Barbara and Paso Robles. I did my long run of 12 miles with a fast finish on Thursday before Paso Robles and then didn’t run at all over the weekend. I did 2 LIIFT More workouts in the hotel gym as well!
For most of month it really felt like I was not in the right shape to BQ…and I’m writing this to remind myself and YOU, that when you’re 3 months out from your marathon, you should not feel fit enough to run your marathon goal time! It takes TIME and you have to trust the process.
However…during the last speed workout of the month, my coach sprung a really difficult workout on me. It was a 10 x 800 intervals at 7:20 (aka Yasso 800s- the interval time is 3:40 which is my goal marathon time) with only 90 sec rest (which is less than Yasso 800s). I NAILED this workout and was able to do all 10 800s at 7:20 pace or faster. I was the only person at the group workout that day that was assigned to do 10 reps too, so It felt even more empowering knowing I finished on my own when everyone else was done already.
September: Marathon Training & LIIFT More
Total Mileage: 160.8 miles (5 runs/week)
Beachbody workouts: LIIFT More (3 workouts/week)
Since I was running 5 runs/week and building my mileage and the LIIFT More workouts are 45 minutes (and very intense), I made the decision to do just 3 LIIFT More workouts/week. The program is designed to have 5 workouts/week but it would just not work. These workouts are fast moving and tough! In the end I think they were actually VERY good for marathon training because I really needed the intense leg strength training to build me up for my downhill marathon in November.
October: Marathon Training, Half Marathon Tune Up Race & LIIFT More
Total Mileage: 185.1 miles (5 runs/week)
Beachbody workouts: LIIFT More (2-3 workouts/week)
October was peak marathon training & it was peak LIFE.
In October, my daughter had soccer games every Saturday (and I was team mom), I became Girl Scout troop co-leadeer, I ran the Long Beach half marathon as a tune up race, traveled to Scottsdale for Beachbody Leadership Retreat, went to my cousins wedding, had my daughter’s 7th birthday, AND helped my kids have an amazing Halloween.
Yes…. “I’m the problem, it’s me” to quote Taylor Swift.
The month was CRAZY. In retrospect I’m shocked none of us got sick (or maybe we did and it was mild and I can’t remember). But I’m glad we got through it. During this time, I started to fall behind on LIIFT More and some weeks could only do 2 workouts. But, I got in all my runs and that was the most important thing.
My tune-up race at Long Beach was meant to be run at marathon gaol pace and I got a big discouraged because the pace did NOT feel easy. But honestly, it really shouldn’t have – it was humid, hot, I hadn’t tapered. Plus, the course was more difficult than my gaol race. I kept telling myself that I COULD run a 8:24 pace or faster at Revel Big Bear, even if I didnt do it at Long Beach.
I had 2 really confidence boosting long runs after the though – first was a 22 mile run that consistent of 3 very intense loops. The loops had a portion of trail (including sand, so hard to run in), then a big uphill and then a nice solid downhill where I ran race pace. At the end of the run, I felt strong and confident that I could BQ At Revel Big Bear. The next weekend, during my final long run, I ran 15 miles with 10 miles progressing to race pace or faster and I felt so strong.
November: Taper, Boston Qualifying marathon & Recovery
Total Mileage: 73.7 miles (0-5 runs/week)
Beachbody workouts: None
The first part of November was all about the taper. I made the decision to stop strength training earlier than usual. I did my last LIIFT workout 10 days out from the race and then didn’t weight train again til the end of the month. I also had a substantially more intense taper than in past marathons – my mileage cut back was more serious, but I think that it helped in the end.
And then on November 12th, 2022 I ran a Boston qualifying marathon at Revel Big Bear – 3:37: 31, 8:18 pace!
The race itself was challenging in its own way & there were moments I didn’t think I was going to do it. But it also SO magical. I have never felt so strong in the final miles of a marathon & my last mile (with was mostly flat) was one of my fastest miles of the entire day!
I truly believe that all my work this year on fueling and the strength I built in my legs was a big factor. And of course, my consistency and hard work with training! Read the full recap here.
After the race, I was in pain. I had major bruising and swelling of my toe nails and the soreness in my legs was unmatched. I took a full week of of all exercise (I couldn’t even go for a walk the first few days!) and then slowly got back into it after that.
Another highlight of the month was doing he Encinitas Turkey Trot as a family and Siena (she just turned 7) ran/walked the ENTIRE thing!!! I was so proud of her!! She was even more proud of herself!
December: Healthy Obsession & Base Building
Total Mileage: 104 miles (4 runs/week)
Beachbody workouts: Healthy Obsession (BODi)
In the weeks following the marathon, my entire family got sick twice. The time after Thanksgiving was brutal (I think it was RSV) and we were down for the count. I had to push back my plans to start Autumn Calabrese new BODi Block, Healthy Obsession, but was able to start it in December along with 4 runs/week.
I am really loving the Healthy Obsession workouts – Autumn really is my favorite trainer. I love her motivating talks and the style of her workouts. The workouts are 60 minutes long, so it has taken me longer to complete it than I hoped, but I’m determined to finish it before I start Sure Thing with The Best Run Year Ever group on January 9th!!!
2022 Running & Beachbody Recap
2022 Total Mileage: 1,445.7 miles, average of 27.6 miles per week.
Races – 4 Half Marathons, 1 5K, 1 Marathon
Mermaid Half Marathon:
La Jolla Half Marathon (training run)
Carlsbad 5000 (Team Run the World Race Retreat)
Rock n’ Roll Half Marathon
Long Beach Half Marathon
Revel Big Bear Marathon
Encinitas Turkey Trot 5K
Beachbody Programs Completed (Mostly): Job 1, 4 Weeks for Every Body (2x), Fire and Flow, LIIFT More, Healthy Obsession
2023 Running & Beachbody Plans -Leading a Top 10 Team
In 2024, I’m hoping to run the Boston Marathon (I won’t be able to put application in until September 2023 to find out my time was good enough).
One of my big goals for 2023 isn’t actually workout or running related – it’s to lead my team, Team Run the World, to a top 10 coaching team. Being a Top 10 Team is a HUGE honor and it means that I’m helping women achieve their fitness & business goals. If you are curious about becoming a Beachbody Coach (or now BODi Coach!) on a team of runners, please reach out! I’d love to help you start and grow your business to meet your personal & financial goals! More info on joining Team Run the World.
I’m still finalizing my fitness goals for 2023… but I have decided that my “Personal Everest” is going to be to hike Rim to Rim of the Grand Canyon (it’s 25 miles, but just about 26.2 including the walk from our hotel on the North Rim) in one day with my husband Mike for our 10 year wedding anniversary. I’ll hopefully be starting marathon training in December. I’m pretty sure I’ll be focusing on half marathon training and working toward a lifetime PR in the Spring along with Sure Thing and another round of 4 Week Gut Protocol.
Beachbody programs will continue to supplement and support my training. I love that having a strength program to follow keeps me on track (looking back during the months I wasn’t on a program, I strength trained significantly less) and that it keeps me motivated and interested even when I’m in a running off season or lull.
Now that my twins are 4 years old (and we have no plans to have more kids) and I’ve finally qualified for Boston…..I’ve started to wonder…what am I capable of now? In the long run, I want to run a half marathon with a 1:3X…and a full with a 3:2X….. I don’t know how long that’ll take, but I’m ready to work for it and find out!
Want to Train with me and a group of other runners who love Beachbody!? Joni the Best Run Year Ever !!! We officially kick it off January 8th but you can join anytime throughout the year! Get more info on Best Run Year Ever.