Back on June 1st, I started James Dunne’s (Kinetic Revolution) 30 Day Challenge and this morning I finished it.
Yes, it took a little longer than the planned 30 days, but life tends to get in the way of running or exercising from time-to-time.
Disclosure: I have no formal or informal relationship with James Dunne or Kinetic Revolution and I have not received any compensation for writing this post and no post was expected from me, for participating in the free to all – Challenge. The below are simply my thoughts and experiences with his 30 Day Challenge.
At the beginning of June, I was not running consistently, getting very frustrated with the problems with my hamstring and was grasping at straws to get back to running, as you can see below in my previous three weeks my running sucked, before I started the Challenge
I had injured/strained, done something to my left hamstring on April 30th and all the mobilization, stretching. seeing a Chiro and everything else I was doing wasn’t doing a whole helluva lot of good.
I have followed @KineticRevolution on Twitter and his blog for a while now and when I saw the challenge, I figured…
- ah what to hell, I am willing try just about anything at this point, so I added in the 30 Day Challenge activities to my morning routine.
Was I ever in for a rude awakening – a good one though!
The exercises in stage one were different from the routines, I had done and some challenged me more than others – a lot more.
Basic Mobility Drills
- Hip Flexor Stretch
- Hamstring Stretch
- Adductor Stretch
Today’s Balance Drill
- Single Leg Balance – Dynamic Running Man
- Single Leg Balance – Eyes Open
- Single Leg Balance – Eyes Closed
- Single Leg Balance – A-to-Z
The one drill that bothered me the most was the hip flexor stretch – it doesn’t have a lot of dynamic movement or anything, but that one left me hurting more than the others combined. I guess my hips were just a little messed up to use a proper medical or technical term – all I know is that I had to skip this drill a couple of times, because it bothered my hips so much, but I also included it as often as I could stand into other stages, since this was a drill I knew I needed more than some of the others.
Something surprising happened, as I worked through these routines and the others I was doing.
I was starting to run again, although not pain-free, I was running.
I do not know if it was the addition of the Kinetic Revolution routines to the Wilks and Fitzgerald routines or starting to see my Chiropractor, or most likely some combination of them and not the least bit – time, but at least I was running.
Basic Strength & Core Training
- Split Squat
- Hip Thruster
- SL Straight Leg Deadlift
Today’s Core Exercise
- Mountain Climbers
- Standing Core Control – Arms & Legs Together
I am not going to lie, I did not enjoy this stage, it made me work on probably my weakest part, so it was definitely needed (it is the one that I am going to go back to next week). In addition, I also continued most of the drills from stage 1, which seemed to be helping with some of my problems.
Intermediate Mobility & Plyometric Training
- #1: Modified Pigeon Stretch
- #2: Lateral Hip Stretch
- #3: ‘Spiderman Rotations’
- Double Leg Jumps
- Single Leg Hops
At some point during the previous week, something in my butt region began to bother me, so the stretches in this stage were point on and definitely got my attention. Unfortunately, my left Achilles still bothers me too much to do the full dose of Single Leg Hops. I have a feeling that damn Achilles will bother me the rest of my life. The double-legged jumps felt good (I have a feeling that I might be compensating a little on landing, but I am trying not to).
Plus Bennie gets all excited when I am doing them, he jumps up on me, barking and making a big commotion. He thinks we are getting ready to go for a run, because I have made them a part of our pre run warm-up routine.
Resistance Band Training
- #1: Resistance Band Squats
- #2: SL Resisted Toe Touch
- #3: Lateral Resistance Band Walk
- #4: SL Rotations with Resistance Band
OR Alternative Exercises
- If you don’t have access to a resistance band…
- #1: Sumo Squats
- #2: SL Toe Touch Hop
- #3: SL Balance & Lateral Push
- #4: SL Rotations
The first three days of this stage I did both the resistance band and alternative exercises, which was a bit too much for my right hip area (IT Band probably), which bothered me a lot towards the end of the week. Lesson learned – it is okay to do a little more than what the challenge calls for, but to do double the workload, probably is not a smart idea and me being me – well you know.
Also SL Resisted Toe Touch or SL Toe Touch Hop, were TOUGH as hell for me, especially with the bad hamstring, so I only did about half of what I should have done here, but I did what I felt that I could do. This is one of those drills that I will keep coming back to and will give me a good check of my hamstring’s progress and simply because I do not like saying that I can’t do something…I will be doing this drill at some point, just not yet.
Running Technique Drill
- #1: Free Standing (no wall) – Hip & Knee Flexion Drill
- #2: Arm Swing Strides
- #3: Longer Technique Reps
I have added the Free Standing Hip & Knee Flexion Drill to my pre run warm-up, instead of the 100 ups that I used to do. They do a better job of getting me focused on how I want to run. The Arm Swing Strides are something that I have worked on for a while, but this drill made me focus on actually doing it.
The reality is that
Before I started doing the 30 Day Challenge, I was not running regularly and although I had started to add some mobilization/stretching/strength routines into my daily schedule, it was hit or miss and definitely not very consistent. Starting the challenge gave me some necessary structure and something that I feel was critically important – video instruction on “how to do” the exercises correctly. James’ videos were well done and helped me to do the drills/exercises the right way, instead of “my way”.
Stages 1-4 challenged me with the different drills that I would not have normally done. After some of them sure I was sore, because I was using them in ways that they haven’t been used for a long time. However, it was a good sore, if you know what I mean.
While I do not believe that the 30 Day Challenge was solely responsible for me getting back on the roads, I also know that it is not just a coincidence that I started running more after I started the Challenge.
The exercises that James put together for this Challenge, were at least a part of the reason for me running as well as I am now and something I want to continue doing.
Based on my experience with the Kinetic Revolution 30 Day Challenge, I consider the Challenge a huge success and would recommend it to runners who do not have a stretching/strengthening routine in place or who have one, but do not actually do it (you know what I am talking about). The structure it provided me, got me used to doing drills daily and now I miss the mobilization/stretching/strengthening routines if I do not do them.
The Challenge did help make a difference.
Now I have to figure out if I want to do James’ next part – Kinetic Revolution’s – Online Running Technique Course. Yes, I am hesitant and wonder how an online course will help me change/improve my running technique, but at the same time intrigued, because of the success that I have had with the 30 Day Challenge. I am looking into doing it, especially since I haven’t had any coaching since back in the Dark Ages and haven’t done drills/plyos all that much in the years in between.
Now if only James was on this side of the Pond in New England, instead of Old England. Maybe someday, I will get back to my mother’s family’s ancestral home and look him up. I have a feeling, it would be a lot of fun and I would learn more than a little.