Traveling almost five hours by plane and two hours by car for only two short days, not to mention the jet lag, sounds a bit crazy but a destination as dope as Whistler can definitely make you do some out of the ordinary things. I took off with a bunch of friends a couple of weeks ago for a quick getaway to kind of go off the grid and do all of the outdoorsy things. Honestly, I hadn’t had that much fun in a long ass time.
We stayed at the Four Seasons Resort Whistler, which as you can imagine was a treat in itself, and fully took advantage of literally every activity offered on-site. The amazing thing about traveling with like-minded friends is everyone in the group was down to take advantage of the short time we had there, so we did all of the things imaginable during this time of the year – ski, snowboarded, hiked, worked out, and even ran some trails.
But here’s the fun part. Everyone on the trip are all Apple Watch users. Some new and most like me, have had the various versions since the first generation watch debuted. So, as you can imagine, the weekend turned pretty competitive with everyone clamouring to close their activity rings first. Apple Watch has come a long way over the past few years with several updates to both the hardware and software. The one thing I really love about the Series 4 is that no matter what workout or activity I do, the native workout app that is built into the watch can accurately track it thanks to the insane amount of workout options that are now readily available. From badminton, volleyball, functional training to even mind and body movement, the watch captures any and everything. For those two days, we were basically hitting our goals half way into the day.
I’ve used my watch pretty much every day since getting my very first one over 3 years ago and you know what, I’m still discovering features that can enhance how I use it in my daily life and for training. I picked up a few new things during these few days, but I think that was destined to happen when your amongst a group of people that also rely on their watch day to day. The biggest thing for me was how to properly categorize all the different types of movement I do within one session at the gym. My workouts are always start with some cardio (Peloton ride) or dynamic warm-up, HIIT or strength training and usually conclude with stretching or intervals on the assault bike. Instead of choosing only one option on the Activity App when I start my workout, I can actually now account for each individually by swiping right on my watch face while the workout is in progress and selecting the new (or + button) to begin a new workout, so I am getting credit accurately for each style of movement. I will have to take you guys through it live in action on my IG stories one of these days.
We were extremely lucky to be able to ski and snowboard on the best slopes in the country during this time of the year. It was low season so no lines at the chair lifts and not much action on the mountain. I actually don’t ski or snowboard, but promised myself that this year I would do more things that challenge and scare me. So, I was suited and booted in rental gear (I now deeply regret not purchasing a sick outfit of my own before we left Toronto) and did a couple hours of lessons from two insanely amazing instructors. Far from an expert and left learning how to ride both the heel and toe side…the foundation of snowboarding and enough to get me pumped to pick it up again next winter.
I would have never imagined how much of a workout an hour of beginner snowboarding would be, but thanks to this dope third party app we all used called Snoww, think Strava for skiers and snowboarders where you can follow friends and compare/track your stats, I was able to track everything from the amount of time I spent on the hills, distance, max speed, vertical and the number of runs completed. Let me be clear though, my vertical, distance and max speeds were a joke and not worth mentioning but it was still really cool to be able to have all that data and have the met. I am just happy I was able to stay on my feet and survived without broken bones. What was really cool about the app, was that I was able to track my friends in real time to see where they were at. With everyone being at various levels, we were split up into different groups and I could see exactly where the girls in my crew were at any given time. I was able to iMessage them to meet up without even having to take my phone out of my pocket. Brilliant, because my worst nightmare is dropping my phone on a chair lift. The watch’s communication capabilities with messaging, calling and notifications, legit makes it the perfect device for hitting the slopes hands-free.
There was no better way to decompress after our time on the slopes than with a calming yoga flow inside of Audain Art Museum. I am sure you remember seeing it on my IG stories. It was stunning space that was sun drenched thanks to the huge windows and had beautiful lines that left you no choice but to admire every square inch of the place. Yoga was one of the new workouts that has recently been added into the Workout App with Watch OS 5. Looking back at my metrics, I burned less than I would normally during a yoga class but this flow was restorative in nature and exactly what we needed after all the travel and hill time. At the end of our session, we did some guided meditation and used the Breathe App to help with breathing. I love this app so much that I have it as a complication on my watch face. I use it several times a day. With reminders pushed to my watch throughout the day, I end up taking a few moments to do some deep breathing and it significantly lowers my stress level. Below you can take a look at my metrics from that day. You’ll see that I more than doubled my move goal, exercised for 258 minutes, which I am pretty sure that’s the most I’ve ever done in one day and crushed my stand goal:
My favourite part of our Whistler adventure was the trail run on the last day. It’s so much different than road running and my god there is no better place to do it. It’s known for some of the best single track trails for mountain biking and we ended up on one of them halfway through our route. It makes me want to move back out west to consider this my backyard. We had Ray Zahab, ultra distance runner, Canadian adventurer, and Explorer in Residence of the Royal Canadian Geographic Society lead our trail run. But before heading out that morning, we spent an hour or so hearing tales of his unsupported expeditions to some of the planets hottest and coldest places plus his experience running 14,000+ km across the world’s deserts. Ray is also an obsessed Apple Watch user and uses it for his training, fitness tracking and even navigation on his expeditions which has allowed him to speak at numerous Apple Distinguished Educator events internationally.
We learned some tips on how to run optimally to avoid impact and injury on the trails and to focus our gaze a foot in front of us while running instead of directly down at our feet, which I assume most would to in fear of tripping or falling. I’ve just looked back at the metrics that was collected in the Activity App on my phone from my watch and my pace was so much slower than what it normally is but the elevation gain was about 133m and going uphill and downhill in dirt, snow, and ice is bound to slow you down. The air was so fresh and the surroundings was so lush, it was really a beautiful experience and makes me want to seek out trails to run outside the city at home. It really was the perfect way to end this trip.
I could actually go on forever about this watch and the funny thing is, even though I’ve gone through every watch series from one to four, I am still learning new things about it that help make my life and training better. I get messages from so many of you saying you’re on the fence about getting an Apple Watch and I think once you truly understand the depth the device has, it’s really a no brainer. I’ll be sharing some of the new tips and tricks I’ve discovered on my IG soon that have been game changers for me and useful in my day-to-day life and with training.