A few minutes ago, I hit the last checkmark on the day and have officially completed seven days on the 75 Hard program—one week in the books.
I'm very proud, to say the least.
This has been the longest I've gone on the program, and in only 7 days, I've noticed many subtle changes.
I thought I'd put together a real in-the-moment- update to keep track of the progress as I go along this journey, as well as some tips I've learned along the way.
I'll share all that with you in this blog post!
75 Hard Program
I'm not going to get too deep into what the 75 Hard program is (you can read this post if you're new to this).
Here is a quick reminder of the daily tasks:
Two 45-minute workouts
10 pages of reading a nonfiction book
Stick to a Diet
No Cheat Meals or Alcohol
Drink a Gallon of Water
In this post, I'll break down how each area is going for me and what I've learned so far.
This was the area I usually failed first on. The last time I tried this, I failed because I couldn't fit in a second workout with marathon training.
I'm still training for the Chicago marathon, but this round, I've been more mindful of scheduling my workouts.
Each night before bed, I've been going through my plans for the following day and creating a loose outline of when I can complete everything.
I've found that to complete both workouts, I generally need to get up early in the morning to get the first workout done.
My first workout is usually a mobility, yoga, or pilates class (unless it's a strength training day, then I'll do that instead).
I do this workout first because it's usually really dark out. I'll be honest - I'm uncomfortable going out for a run in the dark. The first workout is my indoor workout, so I've been taking group classes for this workout.
My second workout is my run (or if it's an active recovery day, a power walk). This is always my outdoor workout because I use it to mimic race day conditions as best as possible.
The biggest misconception people have about this program is that you need to do 2 really extreme workouts every single day. I know that's what I initially thought before starting.
Instead, it's more about intentional workouts. I'm a runner and would avoid any kind of strength, mobility, pilates, or yoga class possible. But this program is forcing me out of my comfort zone, and my body is actually thanking me for it.
Similarly, one thing I've always struggled with is getting my steps in. Sure, I get a ton of steps when I run, but realistically, when I look at my non-exercise movement, it's barely there.
The power walks I've been adding to my recovery days have been very helpful with keeping me active.
Ultimately, I do want to add on a rucking session in place of this power walk, but I'm trying to be mindful of my budget and not buying anything extra just yet.
This has been the biggest eye-opener for me.
I love reading, but since having kids, I never make it a priority. I've started prioritizing it now and am really enjoying it.
Normally for this program I'd choose a personal development book, but this time, I chose for my first book one that I was eager to read - Hey Hun.
It's a memoir about a former MLM (multi-level marketing, think Avon or Amway) leader who exposes the truth of the industry with stats and research.
It's also been extremely eye-opening the insights into her experience with mommy wine culture as well.
I went into this book expecting to learn a lot about MLMs, but had no idea it'd also get me to be so much more aware about mommy wine culture and the role influencers play into it.
I've started to dig into that area more and have been listening to a ton of podcasts on the subject and have added a few more "quit lit" books onto my to-read list (including Quit like a Woman and It's Not About the Wine).
My diet has been going great! For this round, I chose no fried foods, and that has been going according to plan.
Normally I'd do a diet like macro counting, but with my mileage ramping up for Chicago, I want to just focus on listening to my body and fueling when it needs to be fueled.
That's also to say I've been mindfully fueling my body with whole foods and not junk.
I've been tempted to call my diet a "modified whole foods diet" because I have been focusing on eating whole foods but modified in the sense that I'm still taking in my gels and nutrition during my runs.
Nutrition with running is one thing I'm not willing to mess with at this point since it's been working so well for me in this marathon cycle, so I've been making it a point to focus on clean eating.
No Cheat Meals/Alcohol
I thought the no alcohol would be more challenging, however, after getting into more podcasts on mommy wine culture and the effects of alcohol, I really don't miss it too much at this point.
I've swapped out glasses of wine for Lagunitas Hoppy Refreshers and hiyo social tonics.
Cheat meals have also been pretty easy this week since we've pretty much just stayed at home for meals, but I anticipate this will be trickier when events start to happen.
Gallon of Water
Drinking a gallon of water was another one that I thought would be especially difficult for me. I had tried in the past to do this - even with just 100 oz - but always would fail.
This time around, I've been more mindful of taking sips during the day and have put into place a few "rules" for myself.
Before I have coffee, I need to drink 20 oz of water first (this has been easier to do since I've started to do my morning workouts).
In the afternoon, I make myself wait for any flavored waters or sparkling waters until I'm 80% complete with my water for the day.
I've also found that I drink more water with certain tumblers than others. I prefer 20-30 oz tumblers instead of the huge massive ones, and I usually prefer a straw too.
I've been keeping track of my intake with a simple tracker in my notebook on my phone that I write 1 - 6 ½ (based on 20 oz bottles).
Once I hit 6 ½, I know I've hit my water intake goal.
The progress photo is the one that always gets people tripped up, so I make sure I do this first thing in the morning. I use the 75 Hard app and take a photo directly in there.
Tips and Tricks
Here are some tips and tricks I've learned along the way so far.
Plan Ahead for Workouts
Before going to bed, map out the next day's tasks, including when you can fit in your workouts. This not only gives you a clear roadmap but also mentally prepares you for what's ahead.
Mix Up Your Workouts
Every exercise doesn't need to be high intensity. Introduce yoga, pilates, or power walks into your routine to maintain balance.
Early Morning Commitment
It's easier to tackle the first workout early in the morning. This sets a positive tone for the rest of the day and gets one workout out of the way in case your day gets busy.
Make Reading a Priority
Even if you've got a busy schedule, carving out time for reading can be fulfilling. Choose a book that interests you, not just what you think you should read or what everyone else is reading.
Practice Mindful Hydration
Try simple things like drinking 20 oz of water before your morning coffee or not drinking anything except water until you reach a certain point.
This will help you spread out your water intake over the day instead of trying to chug it all in before bedtime.
Tracking is Crucial
Use a simple tracking system, be it a mobile app (like the 75 Hard app) or even a manual note, to keep track of water intake and daily tasks.
The nice thing about the 75 Hard app is that it has reminders in there so it can alert you when you need to do a task.
Seek Community Support
Join online communities or forums like this one where fellow 75 Hard challengers share their experiences. It’s a great place for motivation and to learn from others' journeys.
Andy Frisella's podcast Real AF is another great resource where he'll have guests come on and share about their journey.
As I reflect on this past week, I'm filled with a sense of accomplishment and anticipation. The physical changes, while important, are just one side of the coin.
The mental progress I've experienced so far is profoundly rewarding. Each day presents its unique set of challenges, but overcoming them instills a new level of confidence and resilience in me.
The journey of 75 Hard is as much about mental grit as it is about physical transformation.
Every time I check off a task or resist a temptation, I'm training my mind to be more disciplined and determined.
These moments, while seemingly small, collectively contribute to a stronger, more focused mindset.
Looking ahead, I'm genuinely excited for the next week.
The lessons I've learned in the past seven days have armed me with insights and strategies that I'm eager to implement in the coming days.
More than anything, I'm curious to witness the continued evolution of my mental state.
If this week is any indication of what's to come, I'm in for an enriching experience that goes well beyond the confines of a fitness regimen.