Getting Ready For Your Next Endurance Event

Nutrition For Performance And Health

You’ve just signed up for your next race. You are eager, excited, and fully committed to the long and demanding training ahead. Now is a perfect time to think about your nutrition.

You are going to spend a lot of hours and effort training, and you want to be at your best for your race day. A proper diet will be essential to get you there.

Focusing on your daily nutrition will help you meet your energy demands for training and performance, as well as support optimal metabolic adaptations to your training, allow proper recovery, and keep you healthy.1

In this blog series, we will discuss evidence-based nutrition strategies that will help you sustain your training, enhance your metabolic flexibility, reach better performance, recover properly, stay healthy, and fuel efficiently on race day.

As you embark on this journey, though, you should be clear about your goal. What are you trying to achieve?

• Better performance? 

• Enhanced body composition and fat loss? 

• Healthier lifestyle and longevity?

It is difficult to maximize those three aspects altogether, and focusing on one can move you further away from the other two. Practices that can lead to performance gain are not always considered healthy, and reversely, focusing on fat loss or health can limit your ability to push for performance.

If your goal is performance, you may be tempted to follow the latest dietary, supplement, or training practices popular among elite athletes. But you should keep in mind that what works for them does not necessarily apply to recreational athletes. They have different physiology, metabolism, and probably different motivations. Elite athletes have a tremendous training load and exceptional physiology and are after the slightest gain that will give them the edge and a place on the podium. The gain can be so minimal that it becomes irrelevant for recreational athletes. Those practices can be difficult to implement properly on your own and may require guidance from a coach or a nutritionist. Furthermore, they might have no benefits for a recreational athlete at all or even be unhealthy. So before trying out the latest trend, ask yourself whether it is simple enough, whether it is safe, and if it will get you closer to your goal. In doubt, you should always seek assistance from a professional.

This blog series is geared towards helping you achieve your race goal. It will provide general guidelines based on the latest science to help you sustain your training, improve your performance, and stay healthy. But keep in mind that you are a unique individual, and what is recommended for the average population may not necessarily apply to you. The best is to experiment with what you are comfortable with, adjust to your personal needs and likings, and do what works best for you.

Another important consideration is that while the nutrition strategies we will discuss here can help you support your training and achieve better performance, you should keep in mind that, when it comes to nutrition, eating a good, clean diet full of nutrient-rich, unprocessed foods should always be your first priority.2

We will start our first article with an overview of what your ideal diet should look like to keep you energized and healthy during your training days. So let’s get started!


  1. Kerksick CM, Wilborn CD, Roberts MD, et al. ISSN exercise & sports nutrition review update: research & recommendations. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. 2018;15(1).
  2. Bytomski JR. Fueling for Performance. Sports Health. 2018;10(1):47-53.

Why Cycling Is a Great Way To Stay Fit

If you want to improve your fitness, you need to find activities that push your physical limits. Physiologically speaking, you need to put yourself under enough physical stress that you require a recovery period. Then you need to repeat that process. This approach sounds simple, but it requires consistent effort and ongoing commitment.

But aside from the science, what makes cycling (one of the Humango team’s favorite sports) such an excellent activity for improving fitness? There are countless benefits, but we’ll focus on the top four reasons:

• Low impact 

• Mental health

• Efficient

• Highly social

We’ll also look at virtual group rides, which offer additional perks, including:

• Accessibility

• Affordability

Why is cycling good for your health?

Cycling is a low-impact exercise.

If your goal is to stay fit, you should consider cycling just to prolong the longevity of your body. Cycling offers one of the lowest-impact activities of all endurance sports. This means you stand a much smaller chance of injuring yourself and sidetracking your training plan.

All this might sound fantastic, but we’d like to offer a word of caution: While cycling is low impact, it’s not entirely without risk of injury. When purchasing a bike, you may want to work with a qualified bike seller to find a bike that fits you well. You may even want to customize a bike to your build. Nothing ruins a good ride like a poorly fitted bike.

Cycling boosts your mental health.

Exercise, in general, is excellent for mental health. Like most endurance sports, cycling releases endorphins into the bloodstream, and these “feel good” hormones travel to the brain, reducing anxiety and improving your mood. However, that doesn’t mean more riding is always better. While training is beneficial, overtraining can adversely affect your mental well-being. By combining artificial intelligence with sports science, Humango can help you prevent this.

Cycling makes travel efficient.

Your body is an incredible machine on its own, but when you add the two-wheel brilliance of a well-designed bike, it becomes phenomenal. Even at a modest pace of 15mph, you will cover 60 miles in four hours. There aren’t many other ways to travel that distance that quickly — not without some mechanical assistance.

In many parts of the world, it is possible to go from the mountains to the beach in a single bike ride. In addition to the incredible scenery, this mode of travel provides a tremendous sense of accomplishment.

Cycling is highly social.

There’s nothing quite like getting outside on your bike and riding around with just your thoughts. The flexibility to get on the bike and cruise around is one of the best things about owning a bike. Yet, for those who need their daily fix of human interaction, cycling can also be a way to bond with like-minded people.

With many cities and regions offering bike clubs, organized group rides, Gran Fondos, and sportives, the cycling world has evolved into a tightly knit community.

Discover the benefits of virtual group rides.

While many bike riders enjoy the wind in their hair, cycling has leveraged the power of technology to create a new phase of indoor, interactive cycling. Immersive online platforms like Peloton, Zwift, and RGT Cycling make it easy for cyclists around the world to come together and share their passion for riding a bike.

In these online worlds, you can find a group ride for almost any riding level. Options include everything from group workouts for those who need to smash a set of intervals to organized races with categories and point systems. Whether you want a relaxed ride or an event that pushes your limits, there’s an online ride for you.

These digital riding communities offer advantages that go beyond the bike. From avoiding traffic to avoiding the new guy who will overlap your wheel, virtual group rides remove much of the worry and replace it with safe, stationary fun. You won’t need to worry about running out of food or drink, searching for a bathroom, falling because you can’t unclip your foot in time, or any other factors that tend to cause anxiety.

Virtual rides are always accessible.

As you can probably guess, one of the other advantages of riding in virtual cycling worlds is that they aren’t impacted by the weather. Whether you’re trying to beat the summer heat or skip winter’s rainy gloom, riding indoors lets you accomplish your goal easily.

Virtual riding is affordable.

All this might sound expensive and, compared to other sports, the cost might be higher. However, while you can certainly splurge for the latest and greatest technology the cycling industry has to offer, there are much more affordable options too.

Used equipment is an excellent option for those on a budget or unsure if their interest will last. Join a reputable form or cycling group and seek out trustworthy sellers. Make friends with your local bike store and ask for their advice. Do some research, see what is available, don’t fall for the hard sell, and feel free to take your time.


Half Marathon Training: 5 Simple Steps To Race Your Best

When you decide to run a half marathon for the first time — or the first time in a long time — it’s a good idea to keep one important truth in mind: A half marathon is a big step up from a 10km race! Although it is just over twice the distance, the fatigue accumulation is not exactly double. To make sure you’re prepared for the unique challenges of a half marathon, follow this simple five-step half marathon training plan.

Step 1: Stay in the zone.

One of the most effective things you can do to prepare yourself for the full 21.1 km (13.1 miles) is to train the majority of time in your Zone 2 (endurance) training zone. Doing this will optimize your fat utilization, improve your capillarization (oxygen-carrying capacity), and increase your heart and lung capacity. If you spend 80-90% of your training in this zone and the other 10-20% in Zones 3 and 4, you’ll be ready to run your best race at this distance.

Step 2: Pace yourself.

Ramp up gradually. Everyone starts from a different point. This sounds obvious, but not everyone will be honest with themselves. Make sure your training plan is tailored to you. The best plans consider your sport, training schedule, injury history, available resources, and overall life balance. Humango factors all of these aspects into your training to deliver an optimal, personalized plan. All you have to do is follow along and put in the work. While training with Humango is the ideal scenario, if you aren’t in a position to customize your training, be honest about your starting point and check that your training meets you where you are — not beyond or behind.

Step 3: Plan your prehab.

Training for a half marathon can be grueling on your body. Your soft tissue, joints, and organs (especially your heart) will work hard. Prehab is a proactive training approach designed to help you avoid injury by building a strong and resilient machine. Effective prehab methods include massage, hot/cold therapy, rolling, yoga, pilates, strength and functional training, compression boots, trigger point therapy, physical therapy (especially if you have a pre-existing or known pre-injury state), sleep, and even swimming. Choose the best options that fit your lifestyle and incorporate them into your training routine. By scheduling your prehab activities, you’re more likely to follow through with them — and that goes a long way toward ensuring safe training and a successful race!

Step 4: Practice. Practice. Practice.

Every aspect of training can mirror your actual race day, so practice your race day process whenever possible. Practice (and refine) your hydration strategy, nutrition plan, pacing, visualization, warm-up, and morning routine. You can even train in the gear you’re planning to wear on race day. By practicing everything in training that you will be implementing on race day, you’ll get your body and your mind ready and make the race itself less stressful. Continually learn from your training and refine what went well and what you would do better. Then, when race day arrives, you can run with confidence, knowing your plan is already well rehearsed and all you have to do is put it into action.

Pro tip: Don’t be tempted to change your race plan at the last minute based on something you’ve never practiced. A well-known racing adage advises, “nothing new on race day.” This is a good rule to follow.

Step 5: Pick equipment that’s right for you.

Equipment ranges from shoes and shorts to tops and socks, and every racer is built differently. The perfect shoe for one athlete may not necessarily be the best shoe for you. Don’t get caught up in marketing and hype. Do your research and get clear on what you need. Maybe you need a 3mm drop shoe with high stability, but your training buddy runs best in a 5mm drop with high cushion. Take the time to do your “educated buying.” Try out your equipment. Get fitted. Talk to the professionals who care about your well-being — not just selling you the next big thing. It’s helpful to remember that you can’t always get it right. There might be some trial and error in this process. You will be continually learning and gathering information as you train, fueling you for better choices in the future.

As you can see, the secret to successful half marathon training is creating a training plan and race day routine that works for you. Humango can help you customize your training and set you up to run your best race from the starting gun to the finish line.