30 Day Breakaway review – not from a coach!
Note: I’m in no way affiliated with Beachbody On Demand. I’m not a Beachbody coach, I’ve just set myself a goal of getting through as many of the Beachbody workouts as I can. So far I’ve done Barre Blend, 21-Day Fix and 80 Day Obsession.
When Beachbody announced they would be putting out a running workout program, I was intrigued. This would be the first Beachbody program that I had completed that was designed to be done outside.
I live in an area that gets very little rain and is mostly a decent temperature in the morning for working out, so this program seemed like a good fit for me and would be a nice change from working out in front of the TV! However I’m not a runner – in fact I don’t really like running at all. But I like the idea of getting a runner’s high and being able to complete a 5K (3.1 miles) after completing the program.
I did a bit of research before starting 30 Day breakaway. Unfortunately, most of the 30 Day Breakaway reviews I could find were from a Beachbody coach. So when I started doing the program, I decided to document my thoughts as I went. Read on to see how I went and if I was able to complete the 5K in a decent time at the end of the program.
What is 30 Day breakaway?
30 Day Breakaway is one of the workout programs offered by Beachbody on Demand which streams workouts and provides nutrition plans.
30 Day Breakaway is different to other Beachbody workout programs because it is designed to be done outside. You could of course do it indoors on a treadmill if you like.
It’s a 30 day program that combines resistance training (basically working out with weights) and running at various levels of intensity. It is for people who want to build up their running slowly via interval training and improve their running technique with the ultimate goal of running a 5K at the end of the 30 days.
I didn’t want to sign up to do a formal 5K run so my goal was to just time myself running/ jogging 5kms at the end of the 30 days. If you wanted to, you can compete with others or get some motivation by joining one of the 30 Day Breakaway Facebook groups or just try and improve your 5Ktime if you do a couple of rounds of the program.
What are the workouts like?
The instructor Idalis Velazquez, who is a track and field athlete, guides you through interval run training – which means you go hard for a short period of time and then take it at a more leisurely pace, so you are not running the entire workout. If you are not at a fitness level where you can comfortably run for an interval, you could always just jog or even fast walk.
The program uses “RPE” (your Rate of perceived exertion) for each run. Sometimes you will be running at an RPE of 10 (your fastest, best effort where you can’t talk at all) for short periods. Other times, you will running at an easier RPE such as an RPE of 4-6 (moderate run, can hold a short conversation). The RPE is up to the individual – e.g. you could be at an RPE of 10 just jogging if you started off very unfit. For other people, an RPE of 10 will be a sprint.
There are 3 calendars to chose from, depending on your fitness level and the time you can devote to the program, being:
- Regular – use this calendar if you are new to running. It starts with only 3 walks/ runs a week, gradually building up to five a week.
- Time Crunch – the workouts with this calendar option are shorter as the resistance training workout and the running workout are split out over separate days. So you only do 1 workout a day (either resistance training or a run)
- Advanced – for people who are already runners. With this option, you do both the resistance training and the runs (so 2 workouts a day) 5 days a week.
I used the Regular calendar.
If you follow the Regular or Advanced calendar, you will be doing 2 workouts a day– you start with the resistance training (which is around 20 minutes) and then head outdoors or to the treadmill to do the runs (there is also a rainy day workout to follow that doesn’t involve any running which is about 30 minutes). Each day you need to do the stretch and recovery workout also (or risk injury!).
If you are running outdoors, you download the audio workout on your phone and Idalis talks you through the run. If you are using the treadmill, you have the option of downloading a video of the run. I highly recommend using the video if you are running on the treadmill, as the video has Idalis running in some beautiful scenery.
The program consists of 10 resistance workouts (such as total body strength, upper body days, lower body days, core days, abs etc.), and 10 running workouts. Some of the workouts repeat themselves.
There are also rest days (which I really needed!) where you do a workout with a foam roller.
A sample workout can be found here:
What equipment is needed for 30 Day breakaway?
- A set of light, medium, and heavy dumbbells (adjustable dumbells aren’t really appropriate for this program).
- Beachbody Resistance Loops
- A foam roller for the recovery days
- Decent running shoes.
- Headphones (I highly recommend using Bluetooth headphones)
- Some way to attached your phone to your body during the running workouts. I used this phone arm band holder, which worked well.
- Push up stand. I’ve only recently invested in these and they honestly make push ups so much more tolerable. You could totally do 30 Day Breakaway without them though.
You can of course buy most of this equipment through Beachbody, but I just ended up buying mine on Amazon to save some $$$.
What is Beachbody on Demand?
Beachbody on Demand offers a whole suite of online workouts. Beachbody on Demand also has nutrition programs that you can follow being the 2B mindset and the Ultimate Portion Fix. I didn’t use either of these but if you are trying to lose weight while doing 30 Day Breakaway, you’d presumably see some weight loss if you combined one of the nutrition programs with the workouts. The nutrition programs cost extra.
Beachbody on Demand is also part of a MLM where you can sign up with a Beachbody coach to keep you motivated and can also buy meal replacement shakes (called “Shakeology”) and supplements (called “Beachbody Performance”). I don’t want any of that so I just joined via the Beachbody on Demand website.
Pros of 30 Day Breakaway
√ Unlike other Beachbody programs, 30 Day Breakaway is designed to be done outside so you get to enjoy the outdoors.
√ I like that there was a goal to be accomplished at the end of the 30 days. I’ve finished a few of the Beachbody programs (so far I’ve done Barre Blend, 21-Day Fix and 80 Day Obsession), and it always kind of feels like a bit of an anti climax at the end of the program. But being able to run a 5K at the end of 30 Day Breakaway felt like a great achievement.
√ There are 3 different calendars to select (regular, time crunch or advanced) depending on how much time you have to workout and your fitness levels. The instructor also offers various levels of intensity throughout the workouts and various options to also extend the workouts if you want to.
√ The videos are shot in beautiful locations.
√ You’ll hopefully get a runner’s high each day.
√ I definitely felt my fitness levels improve, even if my eventual 5K time (see below), wasn’t that impressive.
√ After each run, you are encouraged to write down your speed. It is very motivating to feel yourself getting faster and faster. There are also Facebook groups you can join where other people are doing the program at the same time as you are.
Cons of 30 Day Breakaway
X If you don’t have access to a treadmill and you live in an area where it rains a lot, this program won’t be a great fit. I also recommend checking the weather forecast for the next few weeks before starting the program just to make sure that the weather will be decent during the majority of the 30 days. If you had a gym membership, you could do 30 Day Breakaway either on the treadmill at the gym or on a running track if your gym had one.
X I did the regular calendar. The lazy part of me really didn’t like that each day is effectively 2 workouts – the resistance training followed by the running plus the stretch and recovery workouts also. Some days, it was a struggle for me to get through the resistance training part of the workout. It was overwhelming to think that I then needed to do the run after that. Perhaps I would have been better off doing the time crunch calendar.
X Many of the workouts repeat themselves which can get a bit tedious, especially for the resistance training workouts.
X The running videos are great but if I’m being honest, 30 Day Breakaway is let down by the resistance training videos. They felt a bit meh and they didn’t feel particularly well demonstrated. This wasn’t such a big deal for me because I feel like 30 Day Breakaway is really about becoming a better runner, rather than the resistance training. But if I was to repeat 30 Day Breakaway, I might just do the running workouts and one of the other Beachbody lifting programs such as LIFT4.
X There are no other cast members, which is different to the usual Beachbody workouts. This isn’t that big a deal considering the videos are shot in some beautiful locations.
30 Day Breakaway FAQs
Is 30 Day Breakaway good for beginners?
Yes 30 Day Breakaway is suitable for people who haven’t run much before as the program is full of options and modifications making it good for beginner runners right up to advanced runners.
I do feel however, that you’d need a reasonable level of fitness to complete the program and good knees! If you’re straight off the couch, it would kick your butt.
If you have a reasonable fitness level but are newish to running, and want to get comfortable with consistent runs and eventually complete a 5K, this program will be perfect for you.
How hard is 30 Day Breakaway? Does it get easier as you progress?
I had really never run much before starting 30 Day Breakaway. After my first week, I was really doubting I could complete the program – I was just so sore. But I suddenly found myself half way through the program and I realised the runs were becoming easier and my speed was increasing. The trick is all in the interval training, rather than just running hard for the whole 30 minutes. It’s surprising how fast you can run for a short period of time when you know there is a recovery interval coming up. I also sort of lose track of the distance I was travelling with each run and was then pleasantly surprised when the run was over.
Is 30 Day Breakaway suitable for advanced runners?
In my opinion, this program is perfect for someone who wants to learn to run or existing runners who want to increase stamina, strength and lung capacity. If you are already doing long, slow runs, this program will definitely help you pick up your pace.
An advanced runner would obviously chose the Advanced Calendar option.
Do I need to run every day with 30 Day Breakaway?
No, if you use the Time Crunch calendar, you only run every second day. The Beginner calendar starts off with 3 walks/ runs a week but gradually builds up to five a week.
What if I am really slow?
I don’t think it really matters how fast or slow you’re going – the important thing is that you are moving and trying to increase your personal speed and endurance. Obviously if you are a very slow runner, your 5K time is going to be pretty slow compared to more experienced runners, but that doesn’t matter as you are only really competing against yourself. You could of course do multiple rounds of the program and aim to beat your last 5K time.
Do you needed to be connected to wifi to watch the videos or listen to the audio workouts?
No you can downloaded the workouts before you head outside if you don’t want to use your phone’s data. The Beachbody on Demand website explains how to do this.
Can you lose weight doing 30 Day Breakaway?
While I definitely increased my stamina, I didn’t lose any weight doing 30 Day Breakaway. Perhaps if I had followed one of the Beachbody eating plans such as the Ultimate Portion Fix or the 2B Mindset, I might have seen weight loss results, but I didn’t want to be on a restricted eating plan this time around.
Also, the program is only 30 days, so you probably won’t seem amazing results in that time, even if following the eating plans. Of course, there is nothing stopping you from doing multiple rounds of 30 Day Breakaway.
So did I complete the 5K at the end of 30 Day Breakaway?
Yes I did! I didn’t sign up for a formal race – I just ran laps around my local park. My time was around the 35 minute mark which is a bit embarrassing, but hey, at least I did it and I feel a lot fitter than I did 30 days ago. I also didn’t walk at all which was totally unthinkable to me before I started 30 Day Breakaway.
My advice before running the 5K is to set a time you want to achieve and try and run the 5K under that time.
30 Day Breakaway review concluding thoughts
Even though I’m not a runner and I really didn’t like running, I loved 30 Day Breakaway. It really got me motivated to get outside and move faster than I normally would. My physical health improved but more importantly, I felt like my mental health improved dramatically. There is just something so great about working out outside, seeing other runners on the track and feeling like I was getting faster and faster.
I think if you currently do some running but want to take your running to the next level and learn proper running technique, this program would be fantastic for you.
If you have never run before or if you are very unfit, this program has options for you but you’d need to take a conservative approach and not try and push yourself too hard from the start.