Ever since the race in Oregon in July, I've been taking it easy with the running to nurse my sore hamstring and glute on my right side. My husband has been a P90/P90X guy for several years now, and he recently rejuvenated his fitness routine by getting on the P90X3 bandwagon. For several months he has been urging me to give it a try, as it incorporates lots of strength training exercises which could ultimately help my running.
When we returned from our vacation in July, I decided that was the time to give it a try. I was sore and injured and about a zillion pounds heavier from completely killing my diet while away, but I knew I needed to get back to business. I wanted to ease up on the running for a little while to try and rest my hamstring & glute, so I gave in to P90X3. I just finished up my first three weeks on the "classic" track, and it has been pretty good.
I definitely feel stronger in some areas, like my upper body which has always been notoriously weak. I can actually handle doing a fair number of push-ups now as well as pull-ups and chin-ups with an assist band. That is progress for me for sure. My hamstring and glute are getting better, but they still aren't 100%. I like several of the workouts in P90X3, most especially Dynamix which helps stretch and prepare the body for more intense exercise. It is the kind of workout that a runner should do whenever possible before running or maybe even after running. It feels great.
I also really like the Yoga workout and CVX workout which is basically cardio with weights. The first week I did these dvd workouts, my arms were so sore I couldn't wash my back in the shower or unhook my bra! Now I'm fine and still trying my hardest to push during these workouts. For the most part they are fun, but there is definitely a lot of action packed in to each 30 minute workout. That is the real beauty of this suite of exercises...each one is only 30 minutes. I can suffer through a bunch of pull-ups and push-ups for 30 minutes; more than that and I might not make it, but 30 minutes isn't bad.
I haven't noticed any enormous changes in my fitness level, but I think the muscle I'm building will help me run better. In the short runs I've been doing along with P90X3, I have found that the running feels pretty easy, mind you, that is at a non-race pace, but I'll take it. The bottom line is that I haven't wanted to overdo it during this end of summer stretch, as I have my next half in early September and I want to be strong enough to do it and do it well.
Time will tell for sure on P90X3 and its effects on me, but so far it is a nice cross-training alternative.