In this issue, a new 90-day challenge, a look at a few of our favorite Apple Watch features, and top tips for tackling your first marathon.
Since January 1st, I’ve been posting my workouts just about every day to give you, our friends, followers, and the community here on HFP a blueprint to follow + keep me accountable. Now, I encourage you to take on the 90 Days of Workouts. For fun, let’s call it a Full Send Into Summer. This is the perfect time to ramp up your fitness routine. Why not give it a go?
The Background on the 90 Days of Workouts:
In January, or phase 1, my focus was on maintaining endurance, strength, and body composition. My workouts incorporated a mix of running, core stability exercises, functional strength exercises, brute strength exercises, and mobility work.
In February, or phase 2, I continued to build and maintain endurance through running, ski erg, and assault bike workouts, while also adding some bodybuilding-style training to build muscle.
In March, or phase 3, I shifted even more of my focus towards building and rebuilding muscle, incorporating more bodybuilding-style workouts into my routine.
While each month had a slightly different focus, my workouts were all well-rounded and designed to keep my body (and yours) functioning at its best. I incorporated strength training, cardio, and mobility work to ensure that no aspect of fitness was neglected.
The bottom line is that anyone can get in incredible shape with commitment and consistency. By following a well-rounded workout plan that incorporates strength training, cardio, and mobility work, you’ll be able to build endurance, strength, and muscle mass while maintaining a low body fat percentage. So, whether you’re just starting out or looking to take your fitness routine to the next level, commit to these 90 Days of Workouts and you’ll be feeling and looking your best.
In the meantime, I’ll be here continuing to share my daily workouts to keep you motivated and inspired.
How to Start the 90 Days of Workouts
I understand everyone is starting at a different level. If you feel any of the distance running is too long or too far, cut it in half. If you feel the amount of strength training is too much, do half the number of sets.
There may also be some points in the program where you feel overtrained. If that’s the case, either cut the next day’s workout in half, or take the day off completely.
If these 90 days seem a little too intense, check out any of our 35+ free workout plans for different goals and ability levels.
Let’s Get Stronger Together
The HFP community is everything to us. We’ve been publishing free articles and workout programs for over a decade, driven by our passion for fitness and our desire to help as many people as possible live healthier, happier lives. We love hearing from you – it truly lights us up so keep those messages coming.
Also, if you’re a fan of our work, please consider posting about us on social media, tagging us @humanfitproject, and using the hashtag #humanfitproject. Send us messages, follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, and share our posts with your friends and family. And don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter to stay up-to-date on all of our latest content. We truly couldn’t do this without you, and we appreciate every single one of our readers and followers.
-Mike Simone, TORIAL co-founder
A word on… pre-training plan marathon prep
I’m excited to have my sights set on another marathon, this one in Honolulu on December 10. But since it’s still pretty far away (32 weeks!), I’ve found myself wondering what I can do to get ready for the “formal” training period I’m planning to start in late summer—and I’m guessing I’m not alone, since there are plenty of big races on the horizon. (The New York City, Chicago, and Berlin marathons are 27, 23, and 21 weeks out, respectively.)
“Most marathon training plans range from 16 to 20 weeks in length, and you can make your formal marathon training experience go more smoothly [with] what you do (and don’t do) in the weeks preceding training,” says Angie Spencer, certified running coach and registered nurse. Many runners underestimate how demanding training will be, and slacking off until you officially start the process can set you up for injury and frustration, she adds. Plus, Spencer notes that waiting to figure out things like your nutrition, gear, and fueling might cause you additional stress. Bottom line? It’s probably best to do some pre-training prep.
In general, Spencer recommends connecting with a support system before you start training. “Having the support and encouragement of people who understand the marathon training journey can be so beneficial,” she says. Even your closest family and friends may not understand what you’re doing (or want to hear so much running talk!) she explains, so you might seek out a local running group or an online community. “Many runners taking on the challenge of marathon training choose to work with a certified running coach to take the guesswork out of the equation,” Spencer adds, noting that doing so can be particularly helpful if you’re chasing a PR or tackling your first 26.2.
To help you get ready to get ready for a big race—whether it’s this fall or far in the future—below you’ll find Spencer’s top recs for when you’re 24, 22, and 20 weeks out. (And BTW, she believes they’re especially important tips if you’re training for your first marathon or if it’s been more than a year since you’ve trained for a marathon.)
Build a solid running base. It’s important to start your marathon training plan with a solid foundation. Gradually work up to consistently running 3 to 5 days per week and get your mileage level near that of what your training plan has you starting at. That will help prepare your body for the rigors of marathon training and be one key to preventing injury.
Start a strength training practice. Running is a single-leg activity because, during each stride, only one foot is in contact with the ground. When you run, your weight shifts from one leg to the other, and each leg has to support your entire body weight. This means that each leg has to generate and absorb force, which requires strength, stability, and coordination. Working on full-body strength can make you a stronger runner and decrease the chance of injury.
Know your “why.” Training for a marathon is physically and mentally demanding (and can take a lot of time). It’s important to nail down solid motivation before you’re in the thick of training. Solid “why's” that will help you go the distance come from internal motivation and because you want to challenge yourself. Less stellar motivations include things like training to lose weight or because someone talked you into the race.
Take a look at your nutrition. The way your body responds to training and the ability it has to recover is closely linked to your nutritional choices. Make sure that you’re eating a balance of carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats. It’s also important to make sure your body is getting plenty of calories to promote endurance and adaptation.
Figure out your gear. It can be helpful to have at least two pairs of relatively new, comfortable running shoes prior to marathon training. Trying to figure out the shoes you like during training can increase stress and frustration. I recommend alternating between two different pairs of trainers to prolong the life of the shoes and to challenge different muscles in your feet. In addition to shoes you can figure out comfortable shorts, leggings, sports bras, socks, and hydration systems. Also, don’t forget to be prepared with anti-chafing ointment: Long runs can often reveal areas that are prone to chafing and this can be painful to learn the hard way.
Zero in on fueling and hydration. One of the most challenging aspects of running long distance is learning how to support your body with hydration and fuel. Some runners are able to use a wide range of products but others have sensitive stomachs which are exacerbated during long runs. It can be helpful to calculate your fueling and hydration needs and begin to practice with products prior to marathon training—that way you can figure out if you plan to use the fuels provided on the marathon course or need to carry your own.
-Erin Warwood, TORIAL managing editor
A word on… game-changing Apple Watch features
I’ve been an Apple Watch user since ~2016 and so far, no other wearable has managed to fight for space on my writer or finger. (Mike, however, is also a Whoop fan.) So when I had the chance to attend an Apple Watch media preview and workout with the Apple team earlier this month, I was super excited to find out about all the newest fitness features. In short, I wasn’t disappointed! After testing them with a track workout in Brooklyn’s McCarren Park, here are the latest and greatest that I’m most excited about, personally:
Custom Workouts: You can set up intervals, like 200 meters fast, 200 meters slow, repeat 3 times, in the Workout app, and your watch will alert you when it’s time to shift gears so there’s no annoying constant wrist checking to know when to transition.
Pacer: I’m guilty of falling into a comfortable rhythm and find it hard to stick to “marathon pace” or any other pace besides “conversational” TBH. With this feature you plug in your goal pace and the watch will let you know if you’re on track, or pacing too slow or too fast.
Heart rate: Ok, I guess this feature has been around for a bit but I was late to the party. After your workout, head to the Fitness app on your iPhone and click on your latest workout. Then click on “show more” by Heart Rate. You can then see which zones you were training in. For me, it’s been interesting to see that I’m spending a good deal of time in zones 1 to 3, making me realize I probably could push harder than I do.
-Caitlin Carlson, TORIAL co-founder
A word from… certified personal trainer Simone Tchouke
For me, wellness is an ensemble:
How much are you sleeping? What are you drinking? How much exercise are you getting? How much sun are you getting? Are you eating enough? Are you getting enough nutrients? Are you getting enough sleep? Are you really happy? Are you doing what you like? Do you have a nice support system?
DISCLAIMER: This content is for informational and entertainment purposes only. It’s not intended as medical advice. Consult your doctor before making any lifestyle changes.