21 Day Fix and Running

So as many of you know I have several upcoming half marathons and I have already completed one in March with another coming up in two weeks.  During the last couple months of my training, I had been taking part in a 21 Day Fix Challenge Group with some of my customers and fellow coaches.  From a runner’s stand point it was a doable program to follow while still training for a longer race distance.   There are daily workouts for the 21 days, some being “active rest days” with Yoga Fix and Pilates Fix.  I typically run 3-4 days a week with one of them being a long run on Saturday or Sunday, depending on my schedule with family activities and what not.  There was never a workout, I didn’t feel like I couldn’t get a run in later in the day due to fatigue.  The 21 Day Fix is a wonderful all around program for any runners wanting to get closer to racing weight!

For me, I think the hardest workout was Total Body Cardio Fix and not so much was it hard/difficult, but it was always the one that left me sore the next day!   I’m not sure what it is about that workout as you feel great after it’s done, but you will DEFINITELY feel it the next day in a good way!

When it came to the 21 Day Fix nutrition and running, I gauged my number of containers be determined how I felt that day.  If it were a day that I was only doing the 21 Day Fix, then I would stick to the alloted number of containers for my correct calorie bracket.  If I had a run scheduled that day, I would for the most part stick to the alloted number of containers for my correct calorie bracket, however if I was feeling hungrier then usual do to the extra calorie burn from a workout PLUS run, then I would bump up my calorie bracket to the next level.  This  usually just means adding an extra container to the majority of the containers. Some running days I would eat all the extra containers, some days I may only eat an extra green or purple.  I just let my hunger be the judge.  I always made sure to fit in all of my reds (protein) though.  Never at any point though did I feel like I needed MORE containers than that.

When it came to my long run days when I needed fuel however, I did not count that fuel towards any containers.  Following a long run, I just made sure to fuel up afterwards with some protein, most of the time being Shakeology.  Shakeology has always been my go to pre-run fuel and post-run fuel.  Pre-run I usually only do a half of a serving so that I’m not loaded down, but post-run I do a FULL serving.  It helps curb that ravenous desire for food all day long post long runs!  HA!  It’s better than my arm right?


33 thoughts on “21 Day Fix and Running

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  2. I’m a runner and very active person already and am participating in the 21 day fix myself. I was quite hungry the first day trying to stock strictly to the nutritional guide/meal plan and was curious if I should be eating more based on my higher activity level. Hearing your comments about this issue were extremely helpful. Thank you.

    • Shaina, I simply found that out by trial and error as I went through training. It just seemed with all my training during the 21 Day Fix that I should be eating more on the days that I doubled up with runs AND the 21 Day Fix workouts. I’m getting ready to start a 21 Day Fix challenge group on Monday the 6th and going to incorporate it into my marathon training. Let me know how it works for you!

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        • Hi Deanne! I am actually currently following the fix schedule and I am getting ready to finish up my last long run before taper tomorrow. During the week I tend to run 3-6 miles 2-3 days (usually Tuesday, Wednesday and either Thursday or Friday) and then my long run on Sunday. The days that I do run and do the 21 Day Fix workouts I add in an extra yellow or even purple container on those days just so that I’m not low on energy. I also make sure to drink my Shakeology following my runs so that I’m not eating myself out of house and home! I actually set up a challenge group to correspond for this time to help keep myself accountable and help others see the amazing benefits of the 21 Day Fix. 🙂 Are you training for anything particular at the moment?

          • I’m not right now. I ran the Toronto Scotiabank two weeks ago and am in that crazy land of deciding how to approach training for my next big race which isn’t until next June. I’m sort of toying with a 10k plan to try to build some speed between now and the end of the year and then will be looking to starting training for my first 50k ultra in June. I thought it would be good to start incorporating strength work now so it’s not so daunting when I start my serious training. I used some of the Fix workouts in my training last year but wasn’t very consistent. I guess right now I need to sit down and set some goals – I would really like to lose a few pounds and maybe building speed, strength and losing weight simultaneously isn’t realistic….Oh how I hate being without a plan!!!

          • Yes that is hard to do together, lose weight and put on muscle, however at least your body composition will be changing. I think after my race on the 23rd I’m going to run but less of course and then finish PiYo. I’ve noticed more tightness the last few weeks. That way I still feel some structure of some sort. You will have to let me know what you decide on training. Feel free to contact me too on Facebook. I can’t wait to hear about your 50k training!

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  5. I am on day 6 of the program am had my first long run today on my Marine Corps Marathon train. It was an 11 mile run this morning in a hot and humid environment on a hilly course. I started out this morning with a half of the full grain English muffin with 2 teaspoons of peanut butter and half a banana and about 10 ounces of water.

    I have been using the Gu brand of gels or Clif bars to fuel while I run. I didn’t think try the Shakeology before my run this morning but I will follow your advice and try half a serving on my 12 mile run next Saturday.

    Today I just didn’t have the right stuff to do the run. I was cramping in my calves even with the banana this morning. I usually will refuel with a serving of beans to replenish the salts. But I would appreciate some ideas on electrolyte drinks and alternatives to Gu gels or Clif Bars that keep to the 21 day plan. I have been faithfully following the nutrition plan and so far it’s been pretty easy so I don’t want to derail my progress by using running fuel products that may not be good for my eating plan but help me sustain on long runs on hot days!!

    • Hi Steve!

      Congrats on the marathon training! Will this be your first?

      Yes I had luck with the half a serving of Shakeology before the run or even a slice of toast, natural PB, 1/2 banana and honey before. On those long run days since I was always starving after a long run I would actually bump up myself to the next calorie bracket or add in an extra green, purple and red. Sometimes even a yells if it was a really long run at the end. As for fuel I didn’t even bother to try and categorize it. I myself like the sports bean or even fig newtons. They base the 21 day fix eating plan off burning 400 calories and running those long runs plus the 21 day fix workouts you burn way more then that.

      Let me know if you have any other questions and best of luck!

  6. I just started the 21 day fix too. Day 3! Marathon training starting soon and a bit freaked because I always loved my carbs! I use to have a pre meal
    Of half bagel, cream cheese and my cup of coffee. Do you think 1/2 shakeolgy will be comparable? Did you ever eat extra the day before a long run to fuel up? Loved your post btw! Very helpful

    • Hi Amanda! Good luck to you as well on the marathon training! Is this your first? Congrats to making it through day 3 of the 21 Day Fix! Day 3 was the hardest for me.

      Shakeology would have more protein to it then the bagel with cream cheese plus it has the carbs for quick release energy as well as the protein to help hold you over. You could make it with some unsweetened almond milk for more carbs as we as fruit.

      Another option I have done is a slice of whole wheat toast with natural PB, a half of a sliced up banana on the toast and PB with honest drizzled over it and then follow up with a full serving of Shakeology as a post run recovery/snack.

      The fuel I used during long runs I did not count as containers. I never ate more the day before a long run. The day of a long run I would bump up to the next bracket. I would also do this the days I ran PLUS did the 21 Day Fix workout. The bracket is based off a 400 calorie deficit from the 21 Day Fix workout alone.

      Best of luck and let me know if you have anymore questions!

      • I am so happy to have found this! I am not officially training for anything right now, but regularly run 6 mies 2-3X a week and then 10-12 on Sunday. Just started 21 Day Fix yesterday and decided to log my calories as well. The macros balanced perfectly, but i only had 1100 calories. Not good with 6 miles plus the Cardio Fix workout. Been more particular on food choices today and should end up around 1500. Tomorrow is my long run and I will use my usual pre-long run snack – a piece of whole grain bread, peanut butter, raw honey, and 1/2 banana. I hydrate with both water and a nuun tablet, and will fuel with a Cliff energy gel. Will bump up to the next calorie level for tomorrow. I’ve learned through experience under nourishing is detrimental for performance during workouts. Thanks for reassuring me that I wasn’t taking the easy way out!

        • Hi Andrea! Yes that is what I found out with the 21 Day Fix and running in the same day is I was ravishingly hungry and my runs truly suffered. Are you training for any particular race?

          • Haven’t picked one yet. I usually run 3-4 half marathons in fall and winter, but considering tackling my first full in February. Wanting to get my body stronger before I hit the 40+ miles/week again. Thinking the 21 day fix should do the trick , as long as I’m conscientious to get enough of the proper calories. I have really become more aware of which foods give me the most bang for my buck. I’ve had two really bad days where I couldn’t even focus because my blood sugar was off. I added 1 extra yellow serving/day, and on my long run day I had an extra purple and red as well. Feeling great now!

          • That is awesome that you are that much in tune with your body. I have a half coming up on November 1st. I’m excited but a little nervous as my training hasn’t been as consistent with the building of our house and moving. Let me know what HMs you choose! 🙂

  7. I am currently on Day 3 of 21 Day Fix Extreme and running two half marathons this fall. I’ve been switching around workouts (did arms on a rest day, will do yoga on my long run days). Glad to see the modifications you did for thr eating plan, I was thinking of something similar for days I was extra hungry.

    • Best of luck to you Kate! Yes I had to get a little more creative with 21 Day Fix Extreme as it wears my legs out more. When is your first half marathon?

  8. Hi there. I’m just getting ready to start this again. I started the program a few months ago while running 4 days a week (one long) and doing personal training twice a week. I am a slower and much heavier running (roughly 200) and so I tried moving up a bracket but I was still failing and very hungry. I was eating at the top bracket and still hungry so I continued with the workouts but got rid of the containers. It was making me crazy. I’m really hoping to do this again but this time I will not have a PT but will continue to run. What would be your suggestion as far as containers?? BUMP to the top bracket from the getgo? If still hungry what would be your first go to? Red?

    • Hi Kim!

      The only days I bump up to the next bracket are the days I have done the 21 Day Fix workout AND run all in the same day. I would suggest for one looking at the foods that you are eating. For instance in your green container, are you eating celery which is very low in calories vs eating a veggie that has higher calories? Not that I’m suggesting that you count calories as that is what the containers are trying to get you away from, just a suggestion is consider your food choices. Second would be after your runs and workouts are you getting your proteins in shortly after those? I found that to be a BIG help. If you are still hungry I would first look at reds and then pairing them with a green. Also making sure you are getting in all of your teaspoons and orange in. Our bodies need some healthy fat in our diet. Healthy fats are energy. Lastly, how is your water intake?

  9. Hello Kim,

    I just finished my first round of 21 day fix and am going to start training next month for my first half marathon in February. The training plan I picked is moderately aggressive in order to get a reasonable time and it includes strength training days. If I were to use the DVD’s from the 21-day fix to supply my strength training do you have any suggestions of which ones would be best for running? I’m guessing it’s the ab and lower fix ones?

    • Hi Naomi! Sorry I haven’t responded sooner as we have been moving to our new house.

      I would even add in the upper fix as well as Pilates and yoga just to help increase muscle strength as you use your arms a lot during running and it seemed to help ease my neck/trap pain that you can get during longer runs. Pilates and yoga will help keep those muscles from getting tight and avoid injury.

      What race are you planning on? Congrats on taking that first step!

  10. Hi,

    I just found this website! I started the 21 day fix 2 weeks ago and I am seeing great results. I run 3-4xs per week but only 3-4 miles each time. I am planning to run the Chicago marathon in Oct 2016. Any suggestions of feedback for making sure you are fueling correctly with doing 2 workouts a day would be much appreciated. I started this program to work on toning and being stronger for the marathon. Thanks so much for having this page!

    • Hi Cathleen!

      When it comes to fueling for those long run days and the double workouts, I would personally either bump it up to the next bracket that day or add in an extra red and/or green if you are hungry or an extra purple and/or blue container in. Normally that would be enough to fix it for me so that I didn’t feel like I was starving. If it’s 7 + miles I would go ahead and bump it up to the next category just because you have so much calorie burn. The 21 Day Fix is basing their formula off of a 400 calorie burn with it’s workouts, granted I never got that high from what I experienced but the days that you would double up definitely had over that depending on the distance. When it comes to actual fuel during the race/training runs, I wouldn’t even count that towards a container or anything else.

      Will this be your first full?

  11. So glad I found your post on running and 21 day fix. I did 2 rounds of 21 DF before a 10k last fall and loved losing weight and gaining strength. Now I’m training for a half marathon in June and am trialing 21 dfx. Man are those hard work outs. I am sticking to only 3 runs/week and cross training with dfx. So you would recommend doing all 7 work outs and running? Thanks!

    • Hi Liz!

      I would start with all 7 workouts and try running on the upper, pilates, and yoga fix days and if you find that your runs are lacking or you are struggling then swap out pilates, yoga, cardio or dirty 30 for your running days. However I would also think that a pilates or yoga day would be good in there to help stretch out those muscles.

      What half are you training for?

      • I’m doing the Rock and Sole half marathon in Milwaukee, wi. I’m done with the strict 21 dfx but really like using the DVDs now as cross training. Especially since she hits the hamstrings so well to give my quads a break and reset

  12. Training for a half and trying to add in 21DF. So sore and heavy feeling. Do you recommend 21DF video before or after your run? I want to be strong for both but feeling a bit sluggish.

    • Is this your first half Tracy? I would actually do a run early before work and then the 21 DF video in the evening after work or vice versa depending on the weather. On leg days, I wasn’t able to run at all afterwards because my legs would be too fatigued. What race will you be doing?

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