I like to pride myself on having a ‘never say die’ attitude, I’m stubborn as hell, and I usually push through things regardless- hence my love of long distance running and journey to my first ultra marathon this year. That’s why this week I have struggled and felt guilty about my decision to quit following Insanity.
I quit Insanity. 1 week before I finished the program. 1 measly week.
I started following the program late last year as my mileage was pretty low at the time, I was without a gym and wanted an effective at home workout I could do alongside my running. So I stumbled upon Insanity, and I fell in love with it. It’s tough, I think it features some of the hardest workouts I’ve ever done, and they never get easier as you just push yourself harder as you go along. I got on a roll with it, and it just became part of my daily routine. I also noticed a huge difference in the fit test moves and my endurance as I went along.
Month 2 was where the program got really insane, the workouts jumped from 40 minutes to around 60-80 minutes of high intensity cardio, they were draining, and putting a lot more pressure on my body, especially as my mileage was increasing at this point. There is a hell of a lot of jumping throughout the program, and the last week or so I really felt it was causing issues with my knees, which is no bueno for running.
My issues with the program at this point weren’t only physical but mental as well. The problem with Insanity is there are only around 4-5 workouts each month, and you just repeat these, which means it can get very repetitive after a 4 week period. I started to feel mentally drained by the program and stopped enjoying the workouts too.For me workouts are something that really need to be enjoyed and I just lost that with Insanity over the last few weeks.
6 days a week of high intensity workouts (even the recovery workouts aren’t really recovery!) is just far too much to continue alongside heavier mileage (40mpw+). I thought about maybe just dropping down to a couple of sessions a week, but right now I’m not in the right place physically or mentally to do that. I stopped enjoying the workouts, and I feel if I push through them then any potential niggles could turn into full blown injury’s.
Insanity clearly is a program designed to be followed on it’s own, and following alongside a marathon program is stupid as well as almost impossible-well it is possible, but at what cost- burn out, injury etc.
I would love to look back and say I completed Insanity, but it’s just not viable for me to finish the program. I need to listen to my body, and my mind, be sensible and admit that quitting is actually OK. It’s for the best, running has to come first now. I have a hell of a long training program to get through and a lot of miles to go, and I can’t jeopardize that for the sake of one more week of a workout program. Insanity has been a great program, and I’ve learnt a lot about myself during the time. This is one of the few things that I have quit and come around to the fact that actually, I’m perfectly OK with that.