This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of The North Face. As always, all opinions are 100% mine.
Who’s ready for a real challenge? Some of you might remember me talking about The North Face Mountain Athletics App that you can download for free on your iPhone. It takes you through a six-week training program, and gives you the option to train for a specific event or goal with an emphasis on general fitness, climbing, skiing, or running.
I chose to go with the running program, since that’s an obvious love of mine, and you can read all about the details and my first week of training here. I have about two weeks left in my six-week, 4x a week training program, and it has already kicked my booty!
My running program gave me the following goals:
– strengthen my hips and legs for the miles I will endure during upcoming running seasons.
– build my core and upper body strength without significant weight gain.
– increase my overall physical durability and injury resistance.
An example of my week’s worth of workouts include:
Monday: Lower Body and Core Strength
Tuesday: 400m Repeats (sprints)
Thursday: Lower and Upper Body Strength
Friday: 400m Repeats (sprints)
Some weeks replaced the series of sprints with running 2 miles for time. I could tell Roadie was missing his time outside with me on runs, so I took him every now and then. I’m pretty sure my time was ruined… but it’s fine.
Scott joined me on a couple of sprinting adventures for extra encouragement. I never realized how much I loathe sprinting outdoors!
For whatever reason, I don’t mind sprinting on a treadmill, but the minute you have me go as fast and hard as I can outside, I barely go anywhere without thinking how horrible it is. Maybe it’s the air controlled climate and mile clock staring at me on the indoors that I like about the treadmill?
Without access to a treadmill right now, I’ve been forced to do my 400m sprints outside, and I would be lying if I said I pushed myself to the absolute limit every time. I did, however, run my hardest to get caught in the dust when Scott ran with me. He doesn’t kid around!
I enjoyed the other two strength training workout days (Lower Body and Core & Lower and Upper Body), each of which took me less than a half an hour to complete the workouts. Each one asked me to complete exercises I don’t always feel comfortable doing like the front squats and (assisted) pull-ups.
(I am holding some of my bodyweight by standing on an elastic band that is looped through the railing!)
The Upper Body portion of my workout was labeled The Prisoner’s Circuit, and you can find that and the Hard Rock Core Circuit along with many others on YouTube. In fact, you can check out all of the Running Workouts!
I didn’t stay one hundred percent faithful to this training program, but I made sure to complete similar workouts on the days my app told me to concentrate on lower body and core or lower and upper body exercises. For what it’s worth, the Mountain App workouts may look short and simple, but they proved to be a challenge for me every time.
Going forward, I plan to finish my last two weeks of training and turn to these workouts down the road when I want to prepare for a race season or major running goal like running a marathon. If this (along with the proper mileage training workouts) can’t get me ready for it, I don’t know what will!
Earlier this week, I made another stop into The North Face store and found the Mountain Athletics section. It sounds weird, but I felt like I actually got it this time.
Mountain Athletics isn’t just a line of workout clothing, it’s a tool that anyone from beginners to professional athletes can use to train for important goals and events. The gear is just a portion of what the line stands for, and I couldn’t help but to leave my second trip to the store with this tank to remind me that I am stronger and tougher than I think.
There were definitely some ups (completing uncomfortable exercises and getting faster) and downs (feeling like I was going to stop living on my sprints) throughout my training process, and that’s normal with any type of intense training program. That said, I have already noticed an increase in my confidence with running, and is just as important as strength.
Remember, if you’re interesting in giving this app a try for yourself, you can download it for free on iTunes!
Questions of the Day
• What big sport or event would you train for? (#ITrainFor…)
• What is something hard or tough you completed recently that surprised you?
I will never forget that feeling of crossing the finish line of a long distance race. I have gotten teary-eyed through all three of my half marathons, so I can only imagine the rush of emotions I would feel crossing the finish line of a full marathon. While that isn’t an immediate goal of mine, I hope to complete it in the next five years. Mountain Athletics, I will be turning to you for preparation when I’m ready!
Good luck to you in whatever you train for, and thank you so much for your support on this partnership with The North Face. <3
Check out the Mountain Athletics from The North Face available in stores and online, and don’t miss an opportunity to train with professional athletes at FREE Mountain Athletics events here. I don’t live close to one of these cities, but if I did, I would be all over it!